A recent study revealed that over half of Americans are already beginning the long trek that is the holiday shopping journey. Many are also looking toward big savings days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to buy some of their larger items. However, there are some ways you can start getting the most for your hard earned dollars right now.
While we don’t want to overcrowd our devices with apps that we don’t use regularly, it may not be a bad idea to download a few to help you for the season. A couple of options: BuyVia, Shopular, and ShopSavvy will allow you to scan QR codes or bar codes and will then help you find discounts, coupons, or just compare prices.
Speaking of comparing prices or getting the best deal possible, it may be helpful to check out a store’s policies. Some of them offer a price-match policy.
You may hesitate to sign up for some of these, but the truth is, when it comes to a heavy shopping season, they can be helpful. You can receive specials alerts about promotions or earn rewards. You can always “unjoin” later if you’d like.
However plugged in to social media you may or may not be, nowadays retailers use it to promote special deals and exclusive sales you don’t want to miss. Go find your favorite stores’ pages and see what deals you can get.
Make sure websites are secure and verified
Don’t make purchases on or enter your personal information into websites that aren’t secure and verified. When shopping on Amazon, don’t follow pop-up ads to other websites.
Use a credit card instead of a debit card
Credit cards offer more protection when contesting a charge. Additionally, if a hacker gets hold of your information, they won’t be stealing money directly from your checking account.
Have an email for online purchases
Have an email address you only use for making online purchases. Don’t use your personal or work email account when shopping online.
Get deliveries straight to your garage with Key by Amazon
Online retailers such as Amazon serve as a popular holiday shopping destination. This season you can get your Prime packages delivered safely and securely right in your garage with Key by Amazon in-garage delivery. Amazon recently launched the new service to provide Prime members with the option to select in-garage delivery at checkout. To provide peace of mind that your holiday purchases won’t go missing or get damaged by weather, all you need is a myQ-connected garage door opener linked to the Key App to have packages delivered directly into your garage for no extra charge. myQ technology can be added to all leading brands of garage door openers in minutes via a Chamberlain myQ smart garage hub.
Give specific delivery instructions
Most delivery services allow customers to set instructions. Ask your mail carrier to knock or ring the doorbell so that you are immediately alerted when a package arrives at your door. If snow, rain or any other weather issue is a concern, consider requesting that you mail carrier drop off packages in an out-of-sight dry spot. Get creative with these drop-off locations and use other delivery points such as back porches, patios and exterior basement stairs.
Sign up for delivery alerts
Major mail carriers and delivery services have systems for tracking packages. You can use tracking numbers to determine where an item is, and when it should be delivered. Check with your delivery provider to see if you can sign up for alerts via email or text message for when your package is shipped, out for delivery and delivered.
Team up with a neighbor
Work with a trustworthy neighbor to mutually look after each other’s packages. If a neighbor is home during an anticipated delivery, ask permission to have packages sent to their address or have them hold deliveries that come to your front door. Return the favor whenever possible, and bake a holiday treat or give a small thank-you gift to show your appreciation.
Request a signature
If you are ordering expensive items online, it is a smart idea to require a signature for delivery. By requesting a signature before a package is released, you can ensure that your online purchases are never left unattended. If you are not home at the time of delivery, the mail carrier will typically leave a note with options for rescheduling the delivery for a more convenient time or picking the package up in-person.
How about a locker for your porch, one that’s not limited to Amazon deliveries?
That’s the idea behind Boxlock, asmart padlock that scans packages so that delivery drivers can unlock a storage box on your porch. You provide the box; BoxLock handles the scanning and connectivity. The latter happens over Wi-Fi, with the lock checking the bar code to make sure it’s a box you’re expecting and one tagged “out for delivery.” If so, presto: the lock opens. It sounds like a pretty solid solution, but it’s a pricey one: $129.
Holiday shopping can be stressful. Give yourself the gift of peace by trying out some of these tips, and spend more time enjoying the moments that matter.