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
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
, 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.
Black Friday site
A reader favorite is
, 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
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.
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
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
offers you a way to make secure cash payments when you shop online.
Check out its
Cyber Monday deals and sales
for online shopping.
However, we found two worthy competitors.
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,
, 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
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.
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
. 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
Never pay full price for a gift card again.
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
High shipping costs can be a big drawback to shopping online.
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
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
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