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Get the best deal this Christmas

Get the best deal this Christmas

Buying presents. You either love it or hate it and at Christmas time it’s hard to get away from it. But, even if you enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone special, you can’t ignore the fact that it can take a toll on your wallet.

So, what can you do to keep the costs of Christmas present shopping down, bag a bargain and feel like a real-life Santa when you see your friends and family opening their presents?

Make a list

There’s a reason Father Christmas does this. Making a list of everyone you need to buy a present for means you are in a position to make a budget and you won’t have a last minute panic because you forgot an aunt or cousin.

Set a budget

The first step to staying within a budget is to set a budget. Even Santa wouldn’t set his elves to work without telling them what to make.

There is no right or wrong way to do this and what you can afford to spend varies from person to person. The most important thing is to be realistic with your target spend.

Start early

There is no such thing as starting to early when it comes to buying Christmas presents. The earlier you start the better your chances of finding the perfect present at the right price.

The closer you get to Christmas, the smaller the selection that’ll be available in the shops, you risk those must-have gifts selling out and you won’t get the chance to find the right price.

Even if you’re buying online, you might find you get hit with extra delivery costs to make sure you get it before the big day, or run the risk of it not arriving on time.

Stay safe online

A lot of people do their Christmas shopping almost entirely online. After all, why would anyone want to deal with the crowds at the local shopping centre at this time of year.

But don’t forget, it’s important to keep yourself safe online. If not, your Christmas shopping could leave a really sour taste in your mouth.

Don’t trust the sales

Particularly when it comes to online shops, it can seem the run-up to Christmas is just one long sale. But just because something is advertised at a reduced price, does not mean it’s good value, or even a good deal.

Make sure you do some research before buying something to make sure you’re not just paying the standard price masquerading as a bargain.

Use a price tracking service

Want to find out if what you found in the sale is actually a bargain? Then check out some price tracking services to see how prices have fluctuated over time. You can set up an alert for when prices drop to a certain level and help you avoid those not-so-good Black Friday offers.

Idealo compares prices across many online and high street retailers like Boots, Argos, Amazon, John Lewis and eBay. It’ll also show you the cost of postage, which is always something you should factor into your budget. Idealo allows you to set up email alerts for price drops too. We found it best for toys and tech.

CamelCamelCamel is a simple price tracker for Amazon. You can see the price history for products, and get alerts via email for when an item reaches a certain % off, or your desired price.  CamelCamelCamel is best for books or for those with Prime membership.

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