While many Americans have already started getting into the holiday spirit, Black Friday and Cyber Monday marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
Last year alone, nearly 190 million Americans waited in line at their favorite stores and fired up their computers to hunt for the best deals on popular gifts for friends and family.
Although this year may look a bit different, with more consumers opting to shop online or do curbside pickup, new research from Step reveals that 43% of teens still planned to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend, taking advantage of special deals and promotions.
To help teens maximize their budgets (48% of which are under $100), we’ve created a cheat sheet to help ensure you’re getting the best deal possible on each gift and also steering clear of scams.
As you start making your shopping lists and clicking through all the promotional emails from retailers, consider the following before making a purchase.
1. Sign up for free trials
In addition to special promotions, many retailers offer other discounts and perks when you create an account or sign up for their emails. For instance, Amazon Prime offers a 30-day free trial, allowing you to take advantage of complimentary two-day shipping.
However, some retailers will ask you for a card number to keep on file and charge you once the trial period ends, so be sure to put a reminder on your calendar to cancel the membership ahead of time.
2. Check price match guarantees
Price match guarantees are unique because, unlike typical price promotions, they do not advertise a price reduction. Instead, they promise to match or beat a competitor’s lower price. These can be especially helpful if you want to cut down on the number of stores you need to visit or want to maximize rewards points by doing the bulk of your shopping at a single store.
Retailers such as BestBuy, Nordstrom, Target and Walmart offer these guarantees. Just be sure to look out for signs online and in-store that identify items available for price-matching and notify store employees at checkout.
3. Be sure to track pricing
While there will undoubtedly be several great deals on Black Friday, sometimes retailers will increase the price of an item shortly before the holiday season so the discount you are given seems more significant.
Knowing the right time to purchase a gift can be tricky but apps like CamelCamelCamel and Honey show you how the price of an item has changed over time and will even send you alerts when prices drop to ensure you maximize your budget.
4. Look for coupons
Before making a purchase, take a few minutes to type the store name into free coupon sites like RetailMeNot or consider browser add-ons like PriceBlink, which helps find you the lowest prices when you shop online. Don’t underestimate the power of a few coupons as they can help you save big this holiday season.
5. Clear your browser history
Another great tip is to clear your browser history frequently. Similar to purchasing airfare, retailers have pretty sophisticated technology when it comes to tracking your shopping and site visit history.
While this is often a good thing, when it comes to deal-hunting, you might be missing out on special promotions for first-time shoppers.
The online survey was conducted via Intercom from October 20, 2020 to October 30, 2020, among a demographically representative sample of 1,003 Step users, aged 13 to 17.
This article originally appeared on Step.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.
Image Credit: everydayplus/ iStock
Last modified: December 16, 2020