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Using Technology to Optimize Christmas Shopping

Shopping via the Internet

I use the internet to shop frugally all the time. In fact, if you don’t use bargain sites (like, and ), you are missing out on potentially big savings.

Then there are sites like Craigslist and Ebay that offer great deals, or in eBay’s case, hard to find items that may be impossible to find otherwise (for example, trying finding: “The Hootin Hollow Haunted House” at Walmart)!

Often in the cases of the big stores with many physical locations, you can use the internet to find something at a remote store, and have it delivered to you at your local store shipping free!  It’s a great savings to you.

There are other ways to optimize buying online as well, but today I’m going to mention an uncommon method that my friends and I sometime use to buy things in sharp demand during the Christmas season!  First, as you well know, the hard to get gifts are posted on ebay but often at a premium.  The markup can get kind of crazy via ebay actually…  My friends and family use a cheaper solution!

System Used by Family, Friends and Neighbors:

  • We use the internet to locate any shipment of the “hard to get” product (sometime even calling a store, and asking them to check their inventory online system) that one of us is interested in.
  • Next, we go call that store and ask if they can put the item on hold for a few hours.
  • Then we call the  friend that lives close to that store and ask them to purchase the item.
  • Finally, depending on the distance of where the friend lives, we either have our friend ship it via a postal service, or coordinate a picking the item up the next time we get together for lunch or dinner…

I know the 4 steps above doesn’t see like much, but it is!  The alternative would be tor keep trying for days to get the item from stores in the area, or pay a huge premium on ebay…

Readers, do you have an optimal system you’d like to share?


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19 Responses to Using Technology to Optimize Christmas Shopping

  1. When shopping, I use my mobile internet to compare the price of the item i am looking at with other sellers on the web such as amazon. If the price is close it’s a good buy, if it’s lower that means the item is a steal!

  2. agree with BTI…. first check on Amazon or other web sites, add sales tax, and compare before buying.
    MR, what items have you found pricegrabber to be good for?

  3. I don’t really know anyone that has ‘unique’ tastes, but I can see where this plan would come in handy.

    I do almost all of my shopping online anymore, and I love it!

  4. I do a lot of price comparisons online before I go (if I go). I typically don’t utilize family and friends to get hard to find/cheaper items though. I plan purchases and tend to purchase a lot when I find great deals. I definitely do site to store as well and also love free shipping!

  5. That’s a great strategy. As long as the stores near your family and friends sell that “hard to get” item, it sounds like a great alternative to going without or paying a premium for it.

  6. I always use the Internet to purchase gifts for people who are too far away to hand-deliver gifts to. By sending it direct from the store to them, I don’t have to worry about wrapping and shipping. Just click, enter their address, and viola–no worries. They get to see how much I spent on the invoice, but if they complain, that just means they won’t get anything the next year. 😉

    • Quick and easy! That’s the best way to do it!

      As a small boy, I remember my Uncle sending my packages from another state! It was always cool because it came from so far 🙂

  7. I have found the best technology to help me shop is my phone scanner. I can go to a store, pick and item and then scan the barcode with my phone and it will tell me the best price whether at another store or online. Usually the store I am at will go ahead and match the price when they see the proof.