The holiday shopping season is here, in fact, Black Friday is a month from today. Estimates predict the average consumer will do 36% of their shopping online. Some will use daily deal sites, but how do you know you're really getting a bargain?
"Groupon andLiving Social are the ones that I mainly use," says shopper Norely Ortiz. Plus, there are hundreds of others out there for shoppers like Ortiz to use. Daily deal sites have become all the rage, the latest method to snag savings.
"It's almost like couponing plus," exclaims Ortiz.
Group coupon sites are one way to go, Ortiz uses them for entertainment deals. "Because Groupon and Living social do the movie tickets where you can buy them for anywhere from $2 to $5, sometimes $8."
Eversave and Yipit are popular too. Price Grabber also offers location based discounts. The tip here, don't be afraid to check out deals beyond your community. Some can be redeemed anywhere.
For example, Ortiz got a coupon book at a 90% savings. "I know the ones here for like Phenix City and Columbus are like $20, I paid $2 for that book with shipping."
While Ortiz won't be able to take advantage of some of the deals, the book does have grocery coupons that are hard to come by. There are also hundreds of other sites that offer products as daily deals.
Brad Wilson is the founder of Brad's Deals. He says while these sites often have deep discounts, it's not always the best bargain.
"They present it in such a way and they present it with such urgency that we jump in and we buy it anyway when in reality, the price is better somewhere else."
So, another tip to finding the best deal online, is to price compare to make sure you're really saving money.
We saw a Kodak waterproof camera featured at 1saleaday for $69.99, it claims an 80% savings. We checked Price Grabber which shows a range from $109 to $210, but a closer look at 1saleaday reveals the cameras are used. Scroll down through the product info and it reads "factory refurbished"
Another insider tip...check for additional discounts.
Ortiz got some children's earrings for free at VeryJane.com. "It's not your usual deal a day site because they're stuff is mainly handmade."
Ortiz says she often saves even more, just for referring friends or through free shipping.
And if you don't want to sit at your computer and surf through dozens of sites to find a deal, don't worry, there are other sites that'll do the work for you.
Deal Sucker allows users to view by sites or sort by category. It's similar at DOD tracker. Brad's Deals has coupon codes, plus links to sales at brick and mortar retailers.
"Amazon and Target and Dell and Macy's and on and on and on. Also, if Groupon had a great deal or if one of the flash sale websites had a great deal, it's our job to tell people about that," explains Wilson.
Don't forget about traditional retailers. They're really the originator of flash sales, some are getting into the online game too. Stores like Target and Sears post daily deals to their websites.
Wilson says one of the easiest ways to find the best deals online is by using the same strategy you would if you walked into a store, and that's through stacking your savings.
"The best deals always have two or three or four or five pieces together. At their most basic, it's buying something when it's on sale, using a coupon and seeing if there's anything else to layer on top of that."