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How to save money when ordering gifts online

Rebecca Gramuglia

Special to the Village News

With the recent announcement of increased shipping rates for the holiday season, Americans may face higher-than-usual costs for their packages.

Luckily, as we head into peak holiday shopping season, there are ways to save when shopping online that can make up for these pesky shipping prices. Here are four ways to find deals on your digital holiday finds.

Know the return policy

While some returns can be made at the physical store, sometimes a retailer may be too far away or only online. In that case, you’ll likely need to ship the product back in order to return it. Check the return policy to see if there is a fee associated with this or if the retailer offers free shipping on returns. Keep in mind that the return window may be extended through the season, too. Knowing these points prior to buying the item is important to help eliminate any potential headaches later on.

Beware of shipping deadlines

The closer we get to the holidays, the more expensive shipping rates may be. Retailers may offer both a free and paid shipping option, depending on when you need the item. And since USPS increased their rates for the season, waiting until the last-minute to shop online may cost you more when you need to pay for shipping. If you aren’t sure when the retailer’s shipping deadlines are, look to see if they have a “Shipping” or “Returns” section on their website to find out more information.

Pro tip: Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Dec. 14 aka Free Shipping Day. This will likely be the last time most retailers will offer free shipping with no minimum purchase and guaranteed delivery by Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022.

Compare prices and rates

The price on your item may be the same at different retailers, but you should also include shipping rates in your decision on where to complete your purchase. One retailer may offer free shipping while others may not. And of course, make sure you’re layering on the deals by stacking coupons and credit card rewards, as well as shopping through a cash back site, like TopCashback, which guarantees the highest percentage of your money back on qualifying purchases at over 7,000 retailers, including Macy’s, QVC and Walmart, to increase your savings.

Keep it digital

Rather than worrying about shipping and returns, opt to send your gift digitally. Consider shopping through TopCashback Gift Cards where you can score cash back on digital gift cards for over 300 retailers, including Sephora, Target and Best Buy.

Rebecca Gramuglia is a consumer expert at TopCashback.

 

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