Shopping Strategies: How to get the best holiday deals online

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What's the Deal: Online Shopping. Nydia Han reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on November 1, 2017. (WPVI)

More and more people are skipping the mall and planning to do their holiday shopping online.

If you want to save money when shopping online, Consumer Reports can help you line up the best prices, with just a few clicks of the mouse.

The free browser extension, InvisibleHand, tracks prices at eleven thousand online stores without collecting any of your personal information.
And can let you know if an item you're looking at is cheaper somewhere else.

Another free browser extension, Honey, sweetens your discount at checkout, automatically.

Nikhil Hutheesing of Consumer Reports Money Editor said, "As long as you're shopping at one of the participating stores, Honey goes out and only finds discount codes for you and enters them automatically, when you check out."

Honey collects data to help save you money, but doesn't sell it.

You can also save money by playing hard to get. If you put things in a shopping cart, but don't buy them - you may get an email the next day, offering a discount to complete the purchase.

"Sometimes you can even get a better price, just by asking. If there's a live chat option, you can go in, tell the representative how much you like the product, but you think it's a little pricey - and ask if there are any promotions or discounts," said Hutheesing.

Use sites like 'Raise' and 'CardCash' to create your own discounts by buying unused gift cards below face value and using them to purchase gifts for others.

Strategies that take a little work but could lead to big savings.

And if you're curious about when you'll get a better deal - Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Consumer Reports says it depends on what you're buying. After comparing prices for several, coveted holiday gifts including televisions, fitness trackers and smartwatches, Consumer Reports found all came up cheaper on Cyber Money.

But the one thing they say you should pick up on Black Friday, is a laptop.

Happy shopping!

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