Hate the pulsing crowds and bumper to bumper traffic that are characteristic of holiday shopping season?
Perfect! Skip the insanity and shop online this year.
Tomorrow is Cyber Monday. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, Cyber Monday is the online equivalent of Black Friday: deals and savings are abundant in online shops across North America.
Here are a few of my favourite websites for online gift shopping. While all of these websites offer (or connect with distributors who offer) Cyber Monday discounts, these sites can help you score great deals year round!
PriceGrabber and Shopzilla
Best For: Comparing online deals when you have a specific item in mind.
Pro Tip: Read up on shipping deals before finalizing purchases; while individual items may be cheaper on various websites, streamlining your purchases by ordering from only a few websites can often result in larger overall savings as many sites offer free shipping on lump sum purchases over a specific price.
Best For: Snagging additional last minute savings on local products and services.
The Scoop: Groupon offers up to a 90% discount on items and services by locality. Some of these deals may be able to work in combination with or trump Cyber Monday offers.
Pro Tip: Be wary of expiry dates on gift cards and deals- Groupon is literally a combination of the words ‘group’ and ‘coupon,’ and like coupons, Groupon discounts have fairly firm time frames.
Best For: Being a Cyber Monday deal guide for retail shops.
The Scoop: Bigmall can help you hack Cyber Monday by providing you with quick links to various websites for many of your favourite retail locations. Cyber Monday is kind of a big deal; even if your favourite shop is only a ten minute walk away you might be surprised to find that their online outlet has some sweet saving opportunities that are not paralleled in-house.
Pro Tip: Check store flyers and compare deals- many retail outlets have separate online and in store sales.
Don’t forget to check for additional saving codes and promotions on store websites before finalizing your purchases to double up on savings.
Free Shipping Deals Canada
Best For: Helping you figure out how to avoid hefty shipping and importation fees that make for horrible last minute surprises when you’ve finally found the perfect gift online.
The Scoop: Free Shipping Deals Canada offers a compilation of links to online shopping websites that ship to Canada for free.
Pro Tip: Shipping can be really expensive: use this website.
Best For: The budget conscious bid shark who already knows what to get.
The Scoop: You probably already know about Ebay, but if you don’t, it acts like an online auction site. While you can select a ‘buy it now’ option and pay a set price you can get the best deals by bidding on products.
Pro Tip: Beware of added shipping fees and make sure to keep on top of your bids.
Best For: Someone who already knows what they’re getting who also get stressed out by bidding.
The Scoop: The main difference between Amazon and Ebay is that Amazon acts like a moderator between a third party seller and a client. This makes for pretty solid deals without the hassle of bidding.
Pro Tip: Check the ‘buy it now’ option on Ebay before finalizing your purchase; I’ve found that these two websites can be quite competitive in terms of pricing so it’s always worth the extra minute of searching to make sure you find a top notch deal.
Best For: Unique homemade and vintage gifts & the option to shop local online!
The Scoop: Etsy is basically like an online coop. Sellers from all localities offer unique vintage and handmade products for very reasonable prices.
Check out Etsy Local to connect with local Etsy sellers or discover upcoming local craft markets featuring Etsy sellers.
This is Why I’m Broke
Best For: Helping you find a perfect one of a kind gift
The Scoop: This is Why I’m Broke complies the coolest products on the internet into one big archive. Click on the ‘Check it Out’ link to be transported to the product’s posting.
Pro Tip: Set prices within your budget and search away, lest you should have your heart smashed into a million little pieces by a $46,000 hover bike or a $4,000 hanging trampoline bed (seriously, don’t worry about it- there are tons of cool gifts under $20)