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10 Holiday Shopping Secrets You Didn’t Know

Amelia Mularz
October 20, 2015

Top 10 holiday online shopping secrets

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How’s your holiday shopping going? OK, wait! Don’t slam your laptop shut in a fit of despair. You are more than fine on time. The biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, hasn’t even hit yet. Plus, according to last year’s numbers, more than 80% of shoppers will still be on the hunt, for a few items at least, come mid-December. Phew! With that panic attack averted, we want to make sure you’re prepared to shop, whether that happens next week or December 24th. Here we’ve rounded up our favorite tips for saving cash online. Now go get ‘em!

1. Scan for deals.

All right, here’s a shameless plug: if you check out before you shop, you’ll know where all the best deals are on the web. That way, you won’t waste time looking for a coupon after the fact, like when you already have your heart set on that Chicago Bears-themed nutcracker. As Jiminy Cricket said, “Always let your coupons be your guide.” Fine, he might have said ‘conscience,’ but we still think he’d approve.

2. Use a coupon.

Speaking of coupons, use them! It seems so obvious, but it’s easy to forget once you’re on a roll and breezing through checkout. Don’t leave that promo box empty!

3. Stack your coupons.

This is what seasoned shoppers call using more than one coupon at once. Not all sites will let you do it, but some that will include Victoria’s Secret, DSW, and Kohl’s. Just be sure to enter your coupons in the right order. If you have a percentage-off coupon, enter that first and then a dollar-amount coupon to maximize your savings.

4. Keep your eye on the calendar.

Online retailers tend to offer sales at the beginning of the month (usually around the 2nd), and at the end of the month (around the 27th or 28th). Plan accordingly.

5. Compare similar stores.

Think outside the box and feel free to stray from your usual retailers. For example, 1800-Flowers might have the exact same collection of arrangements as Telefora but the prices might be different from site to site. Plus if they both have the item priced at the same cost, one website may have a better coupon than the other on our site. So what’s an easy way to compare offers? Funny you should ask. Chippmunk will help you compare prices lickety-split.

6. Sign up.

Register on your favorite retail sites and they’ll send you savings. Some stores will give you a 25% discount just for entering your info. Better yet, just sign up to our Chippmunk email and we'll wade through all the retailer emails and deals - then send you one simple email a week. No spam, we hate that, too!

7. Never pay for shipping.

Plenty of stores will offer free shipping when you hit a certain dollar amount, like $49 or $99. If not, you may be able to nix the shipping fee by picking your product up at a local store. If all else fails, check Chippmunk for free-shipping coupon codes. Right now, our favorite free shipping offers are from Wayfair, which is offering free shipping over $49.

Target has free shipping on everything as well as free in-store pick up Sears has free shipping on everything as well as free in-store pick up

Nordstrom has free shipping on (almost) everything to addresses in the United States and in-store pick up

8. Watch for site-wide offers.

Loads of retailers run site-wide sales for short periods of time, especially over weekends. Keep an eye out and then take advantage when one hits. Right now, you can save $5 off sitewide, plus free shipping code at BarkBox : use code CHIPP5.

9. Steer clear of clutter.

  If you’re registered at a few dozen sites that probably means you’re getting hit with a ton of promo emails. Sorting through all those deals almost becomes a second job. That’s where Chippmunk comes in (da da da DAAA!). Chippmunk shows you the sales without the clutter.

10. Use the right card.

If you have a store credit card, don’t forget to use it when the time comes. J.Crew, for example, recently offered 30% off sale items online. That discount bumped up to 40% off if you used a J.Crew card. Additionally, some stores offer monthly savings with a store card. LOFT will knock 10% off your purchase the first Tuesday of each month. Not that you should sign up for a whole slew of new cards, but if you have ‘em, use ‘em. Chippmunk conveniently tells you which coupons require using the store credit card.

If you have a loyalty card or special membership you can also get sneak peeks, special shopping days and first pick offers. Here are our favorite deals so far:

Toys R Us Rewards Members can shop Black Friday deals NOW

Kmart Shop Your Way Rewards members can shop Black Friday deals NOW

Amazon Prime Members can shop Lighting Deals 30 minutes earlier that everyone else. Prime members can also opt for delayed shipping and get a $1 store credit for each order to use on digital media.   What's YOUR best holiday online shopping tip? We'd love to hear it!  

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7 thoughts on “10 Holiday Shopping Secrets You Didn’t Know

  1. One great tip I’ve learned for shopping online: many retailers will provide a special, one-time offer the very first time (and only the first time) that you visit their website. Many times this is an email signup offer, like up to 25% off on your first order.

    To get these types of offers, you can clear your cookies and re-visit your favorite site. That way you appear to be a first-time visitor, and you may get an awesome offer!

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