This holiday season, avoid long lines and mall traffic by shopping from the comfort of your own home. Last year, online shopping accounted for $106 billion worth of holiday shopping. This year, that number is projected to grow to $123 billion. Read on to find some tips to getting the best online deals this holiday season.




Make a List, and Check it Twice


Making a shopping list of everything you need this holiday season is the easiest way to limit yourself to just what you need. Its so easy to end up in a rabbit hole of great online deals, and end up spending more than you would at the mall. The easiest way to combat this is to make a list and to stick with it! One thing we do recommend is the free shopping list app Santa's Bag. The app allows you to organize the people on your shopping list and give each person an individual budget, so you always stay on track.




Take Advantage of Online Sales


In the days leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, stores will begin to announce what their sales are going to look like. Many times, Cyber Monday sales are bigger than Black Friday sales, but because Cyber Monday trails behind Black Friday, if you miss out on a big ticket item you had your eye on, then you are out of luck. Our suggestion is to weigh out if the price difference between Black Friday online sales and Cyber Monday online sales are worth the risk of potentially missing out on the hot ticket item. 




Sign up for Notifications


Most stores will send out emails, app notifications and even snail mail catalogues that list the sales that they are having. If you don’t like being bombarded by store notifications, then follow your favorite stores on social media, most of the time the stores will post about their big sales so that you can stay in the know.




Keep and eye out for Free Shipping and Store Pickup


Sales aren’t worth it if you have to pay $20 just for shipping. Many online retailers offer free shipping options for buyers. Amazon Prime gives you free 2-day shipping, Overstock gives US buyers free shipping on $45 or more and other retailers even offer free shipping as part of the Cyber Monday specials. If your item doesn’t ship to your house for free, many times you can send it to your neighborhood store free of charge and simply pick it up there!




Compare Prices


Just because something is on Amazon, doesn’t mean that it is the least expensive one on the market. During Cyber Monday giant department stores like Target, Walmart and Best Buy are fighting to have the lowest prices on the market. Be sure to compare the prices of your big ticket items before purchasing, and if worse comes to worse, Best Buy has an in store “price match guarantee.” Just head into your local Best Buy and show them the discounted item elsewhere and they will honor that price.