15 Sites to Help You Find Amazing Holiday Deals

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Who doesn't like a deal -- especially at this time of year and in this economy? That's why we're back with our fourth annual list of Web sites that will help you save money on holiday gifts.

There are sites that post the latest deals on everything from clothes to electronics, sites that provide coupon codes, sites that help you compare prices, and sites that feature free-shipping and gift-card deals.

Even if you don't end up buying online, it never hurts to find the best deals on the Web before you brave crowded stores. Then you can comparison shop and make better choices.


We've tested and picked 15 Web sites we think are easy to use and will help you save money this holiday season. Take a look:

If your number-one goal is to score deals this holiday season, start by checking out sites that do the bargain hunting for you. Deal sites scour the Web for discounted items -- saving you both time and money.

Our favorite deal site still is dealnews , which has a team of deal hunters keeping their eyes on a million products at more than 2,000 online retailers. Plus merchants and the site's visitors tip them off to bargains. The deal hunters hand pick the best deals among the thousands they get daily and update the site at least 200 times a day, says Dan de Grandpre, founder and chief executive of dealnews.

The site also bans stores with poor customer service. Plus, you can sign up for e-mail or RSS alerts for products or stores you're interested in and get gift ideas from the site. Dealnews also has added a local deals section to help you find discounts at brick-and-mortar stores near you.

And the site's Black Friday page is one of the best out there. It features both confirmed and leaked ads (before they're officially released). It also shows when stores that haven't released ads yet are scheduled to publish them.

GottaDeal.com Black Friday site

A reader favorite is Slickdeals.net , a user-driven deal sharing site. It features a few deals on its homepage daily, but its forums are where you'll hundreds of deals posted daily.

You can find lots of bargains at deal-of-the-day sites, such as Woot.com. But it would take a lot of time to check each one of these sites, which list only one deal a day. DODTracker.com does the hard work for you. It lists hundreds of items from deal-a-day sites and daily deal offers from retailers, such as Amazon.com. It shows how long the deal has been posted, time when sale ends, amount of discount (if available) and whether the item still is in stock. When you click on any of the tabs at the top of the homepage (All, Computers & Electronics, etc.), you'll get a page that lets you sort by retailer, product, price, discount and more.

If you don't want to rack up credit-card debt shopping this holiday season, there is a safe way to pay with cash online -- and get deals. EBillme offers you a way to make secure cash payments when you shop online. Check out its Cyber Monday deals and sales for online shopping.

Amazon.com

However, we found two worthy competitors. Pronto.com fetches prices on 70 million products from more than 25,000 online merchants, including eBay. It also lets you sign up to receive e-mail alerts when your favorite brands or products go on sale. Google's shopping search engine, Google Product Search , is great if you want just a bare-bones price comparison tool. What you'll get are lots of results for your search, product reviews, seller ratings and a "local shopping" option to help you find products at stores near you. What you won't see is a home page full of hot products, shopping guides, product categories and colorful images.

CouponCabin.com has more than 110,000 active coupons and deals. Its staff searches merchant sites, forums, blogs, consumer emails and even the Sunday Paper for coupons and updates its listing three times a day. It shows when a coupon expires and when it was last tested, so you know it still works. CouponCabin.com also offers a downloadable toolbar that displays coupons and deals if you visit one of its 2,500 participating merchants online.

CouponWinner.com has more than 27,000 coupons from about 9,000 retailers. What we like about the site is its Coupon Scout tool that lets you compare coupons from up to five retailers. Click on a category, such as women's apparel, and the Coupon Scout tool will appear on the left-hand side of the page.

To truly get in the spirit of giving, consider Alex's Coupons . Not only does the site offer coupon codes for more than 1,200 stores, but also it helps in the fight against childhood cancer. Alex's Coupons has donated more than $20,000 to childhood cancer charities.

Never pay full price for a gift card again. Plastic Jungle and Gift Card Granny sell merchants' gift cards for less than face value. They'll also buy gift cards you don't want (for 80% to 90% of the card's value).

High shipping costs can be a big drawback to shopping online. FreeShipping.org offers free-shipping coupons for more than 3,800 stores, including Amazon.com, Target and Best Buy. And all you last-minute shoppers don't want to miss Free Shipping Day December 17. More than 700 merchants already have signed up to participate this year and guarantee Christmas-Eve delivery for all items purchased on Free Shipping Day.

On a final note, if you're shopping online be sure to look for privacy and security seals on retailers' sites, know the return and exchange policies, and check shipping deadlines to ensure your gifts arrive on time. (See 10 Online Shopping Traps That Catch Even Smart Shoppers for more advice.)

And to make sure you're getting the best bargain online, look for the item at the best price from a merchant with free shipping and a coupon to lower the cost even further -- the trifecta of bargain shopping.

Happy shopping!



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Insurance

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