Saving Tips For Shopping Holiday Gifts and Toys

As holidays are quickly approaching, many people have already turned to Internet for their Christmas Holiday Shopping to save time, money, gas, and avoid crowds. Online shopping is not only convenient, it’s safe too. If you are planning to undertake a frugal holiday shopping without a big hole into your pockets, then take advantage of these tips that will enable you to shop economically for Christmas gifts and toys. Here are some tips to make your online holiday shopping a little easier and more frugal.

  • Set up a budget: The first step to be considered before you start shopping is setting a budget, and sticking to it; no matter how many great deals or bargains you find!
  • Search for coupons: Start searching for best coupons as soon as possible. Because coupons and deals with huge savings come a month or weeks before Christmas and they will not last for a longer period.
  • Price comparison: Compare the price of the same product at different stores. Some of the best prices comparing sites are Bizrate, PriceGrabber.com, NexTag, and Shopzilla, where you can easily see the rebated prices of a product available across various stores.
  • Make use of credit card: It’s best to make your online purchases via credit card. A credit card offers an extra level of protection in case something goes wrong and the online store is not handling the situation to your satisfaction. Most credit card companies will reverse a charge if you dispute it for good reason and have tried your level best to resolve the problem to no avail.
  • Shipping details: Be sure to check the shipping details and handling charges before you make a purchase. Many stores offer Free Shipping coupon separately while others may have discount coupons including Free Shipping.
  • Check for secure e-commerce: Be sure, that the store from where you are making online purchases is offering secure purchases. If the site is offering secure purchases then it will display it. For those that does not, look for the http: in address bar to change to https: on store’s shopping cart or page where you put in your credit card number.
  • Look for electronic deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: If you’re planning to gift a gaming console like Xbox, Wii, PlayStation or a tech gadget to your kid this year, then it would be a better option for you to shop for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Many stores offer huge discounts for a short span of time on these particular days.
  • Deal Alerts: You may also subscribe for e-mails from retailers as they include coupon codes and alerts to discounted “online-only” deals.

Last but not the least, if you have the storage place and saved enough money via online shopping, then you can stock up and get a head start for next year, by taking advantage of After Season Sale. Many stores provide huge discounts on decorative pieces and toy sets after Christmas. So, this can be one of the best times to buy gifts for New Year or Birthdays.

Go ahead, and do your Holiday shopping online. You would be pleasantly surprised at how stress-free your holiday shopping can be by following these simpler ways.

Happy Shopping!!

Cheap Online Shopping: The Top 10 Sites for Finding Discounts Online

Shopping online can be significantly cheaper than heading downtown towards your local mall, outlet, Best Buy, Walmart and so forth. The overabundance of competition at the entire world’s fingertips forces suppliers to break down and get rid of their items for a bargain that bests its competitors’ prices. Shopping on the web may also be tax free for a variety of online shops. Thanks to the likes of eBay, many retailers may even specialize in refurbishing products and selling them for far below the out-of-box price. However, surfing the web simply to find which store can sell an LED Television for $20 less can be time consuming. Customers also tend to worry about having their credit card information stolen. Therefore, I have compiled a list of the top 10 places to buy cheap electronics online. The websites making this list are based on reputation, security, inventory, shipping speed, and of course price.

1. eBay – eBay is the mecca of purchasing cheap electronics online. Customers can find literally anything here, be it new, refurbished, used, broken, etc. Thanks to the Buy It Now feature users no longer need to consume their time getting into bidding wars. eBay’s partnership with PayPal allows customers to shop with confidence. Despite its reputation eBay cannot control how long their suppliers take to ship items, whether the items are in the condition described, or if the seller is an outright scam artist. PayPal does a great job protecting consumers from these types of incidents; however they can still cause headaches, and potentially a loss of funds.

2. Cheap Electronics Depot – CheapElectronicsDepot.com features the lowest prices online by a landslide. Their product selection may be low (less than 100 items) however the items sold are in very high demand. iPod’s, HDTV’s, MacBooks, Video Games consoles, and more are all sold for up to 99% off retail. Bargain hunters looking to go the extra mile for an incredible deal enjoy shopping at Cheap Electronics Depot. The catch here is all items are sold via a “bidding fee auction.” Meaning users must pay a small fee (usually 60 cents) each time they place a bid. The price increases by 1 penny with each bid. Most items tend to sell for about $50. Therefore placing 100 bids on a one thousand dollar HDTV is equivalent to purchasing it for $90. Cons are, the site design leaves something to be desired, and you may end up paying for bids without winning the product.

3. Ioffer – Ioffer is a clever site that is a slight variation on eBay. Rather than the seller setting a price, the customer makes an offer to the seller. The seller may accept, decline, or make a counter offer. I have realized that if you search around enough and make enough offers, you can get some amazing deals on here. A lot of sellers may be eager to get rid of their product; therefore they are quick to accept a low offer. However, the site can become frustrating when sellers decline very reasonable offers. The product selection is very vast, and users should be able to find any electronics they like on here.

4. Best Buy – Before you jump all over me for putting a retail chain on here as an online store, please hear me out. BestBuy.com offers products online from their Outlet Center that cannot be purchased in the store. Don’t think the 7th Generation iPod is much different from the 6th generation? Head on over to Best Buy online store and check to see if they have any refurbished 6th generation iPods at the outlet center. The price is much cheaper, and since you are dealing with such a refutable seller, you can shop with confidence. The shipping costs are high, taxes must be paid, and the outlet center may not always have what you need. This is still a very worth place to find cheap electronics online.

5. NewEgg – I don’t know how they do it, but NewEgg features some very solid deals on High Def televisions, digital cameras, and most of all computer parts. Tech savvy bargain hunters could practically put together an entire desktop from parts they purchased for NewEgg. All for less than $300. Less technologically inclined users may not be able to find such deals, however the prices on electronics here are definitely not something to snub one’s nose at.

6. Wal-Mart – Walmart.com… Not much to say here. While not everyone may agree with their labor policies, or corporate practices, there is no denying the Wal-Mart continues to find ways to push out products for prices few can match.

7. Craigslist – Without a doubt, Craigslist features some of the best prices on electronics. Plus users get to avoid the whole shipping process, tax, credit card entered online, etc. It is also great to see the product in person before purchasing. Craigslist slips because if one lives in a rural region of the country, very few ads are available and finding what you need may be difficult. Secondly, Craigslist is prone to a variety of scams. Most importantly, Craigslist is not always entirely safe. Visit a stranger’s house at your own risk, and cut down your risk by bringing someone with you.

8. HHGreg – Like NewEgg, HHGreg features some good deals. While their prices cannot compete with the likes of an eBay or Cheap Electronics Depot, their products are always top notch, and you know you are dealing with a trustworthy seller who can come through should the product fail to work.

9. Amazon – Most of you would have Amazon ranked higher on this list. I mean after all, they have a great reputation and sell basically any product imaginable. Well the factor I weighted most when creating this list was price. And Amazon is very hit or miss with its deals. I may be able to look up an off brand Television and find it for about $100 less than what it may cost directly from the retailer. However, there are other products that only seem to sell for exactly the same price in the store (sometimes more). Amazon is still a great website to give a try. You never know if you may find a deal on what you are looking for.

10. Target – Target is the rich man’s version of Wal-Mart. I’m sure everyone is well versed on Target and understands that the slightly better reputation over Wal-Mart means slightly higher prices.

Holiday Party Planning is Both Exhausting and Rewarding – Get More of the Latter

Holiday parties offer a superb opportunity to get together with family and friends and to show gratitude for the people in your life.  To ensure a successful event, you’ll want to put forth a lot of effort into your holiday party planning, because holiday parties in particular require a lot of preparation.

For planning your next holiday party, you have many major holidays to choose from.  Each holiday offers its own special theme for your upcoming party occasion.  Take Fourth of July, for example.  This holiday is the perfect occasion for an outdoor barbecue or pool party.  Thanksgiving lends itself well to a friendly dinner party, and Christmas is a great option for you to have a themed cocktail party.  There’s not too much difference between planning a regular party and holiday party planning.

Your first consideration is always the guest list.  You’ll want to ensure that you have plenty of food for everyone attending your party.  As with any party, you’ll need to choose the setting, possibly rent tables or chairs and purchase party supplies.  The greatest variation is that the holidays demand a lot of preparation unto themselves. 

If you are considering hosting Christmas party, remember that you still have to fit in gift shopping, holiday decorating and any other established Christmas preparations in addition to your holiday party planning.  You may want some assistance with your holiday party planning.  You can invite a friend to plan the celebration with you or you could decide to employ the services of a party planner.  

One advantage of planning a holiday party is that the theme is already built-in.  You could choose to spice things up by adding your own unique activities and games or select an elaborate presentation.  It is worthwhile to commit your time and money into the small details that will yield unique party results.  

You could opt for a distinctive party invitation.  Make what you send to your quests unique and special. For Christmas or Hanukkah, your guests could receive their party favors in advance.  A party invitation designed as a gift tag that you attach to a beautifully wrapped gift would certainly get their attention upon arrival at their home.  For a unique Thanksgiving party invite, you can inscribe the invitations in pen in a vernacular that the pilgrims may have used.  You can use homemade aged paper by heating it slightly in the oven and then roll the invitation like a scroll, tied with a twine.  You can do so much with just a little creativity.  Holidays can reveal the imaginative side in all of us.  Use your holiday party planning as a chance to reveal your imagination!

People coming to your holiday party will be anticipating a good time.  Holiday parties are a chance to have fun and an excellent release from the stress of every day life.  As the host or hostess, you’re desire would be to offer this break for your guests.  You’ll want your guests remembering your holiday party long after the occasion has passed.  With the passing of time, people don’t often recall each holiday gathering that they attend.  By hosting an extraordinary holiday party, you can provide your guests with a cherished memory of the distinctive holiday joy they experienced at your holiday celebration.

Sites That Offer Totally Free Online Dating For Men

Back in the day, it used to just be loser guys that signed up for all this online dating stuff. Guys that either didn’t have the social skills to walk up to a girl in a bar, guys that were too ugly and dorky to attract girls in a bar, or guys that were just so shy they couldn’t even go out to bars for the fear of social contact. But these days, there are some cool, good looking, and well to do guys that are opting to date online rather than noisy bars.

So why are guys that are more than capable of finding girls in bars etc. choosing to look online for mates and / or partners? Well, the online dating world is not what it used to be some 3 to 5 years ago. Gone are the days when it was fraught with socially inept people, or sleazy guys just looking for one night hook ups. What with tighter legislation on these online dating sites making them safer, and free alternatives to the more usual expensive monthly fee type of sites, free online dating has really taken off and is part of the normal practice of dating.

The popularity of sites like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube, means that both guys and girls are more used to sharing information online than they ever used to. And now that these sites are properly secured, meaning no one can get your personal details unless you want them to, online dating is fast becoming the best way to date in our modern world.

You must be wary though of sites claiming to offer free online dating when in actual fact, they let you create an account for free, but then when you see a girl you would like to chat with, they ask for you credit card.

Similarly, there are a ton of online dating sites that just offer free online dating for women and not guys. These kinds of sites do well as studies have shown that guys are more likely to pay to get in contact with a mate, than girls.

So if cash is a little tight for you right now, then you probably want to know about sites that offer totally free online dating for men and not just women. Well the good news is that there are some websites out there that do offer free online dating for all. Three of the best are:

Plenty of Fish
Connecting Singles
Dating Hall

Unlike most of the sites that you have come across, these online dating sites do actually offer totally free online dating for men and women alike. You are able to create an account with them and browse through as many girls as you want. If the girls you click on, click on you back then you are in business and you can chat away for free for as long as you want.

All About The Great Online Shopping Festival 2014

Brief History

On December 12, 2012, Google India organized a day long shopping festival during which people could shop from hundreds of different online retailers at earth-shatteringly low rates. Following its success, Google organized the same event next year in December 2013. However, due to the massive success of GOSF in the previous year, this time around, it was organized for 3 days from 11th-13th December. Surpassing everyone’s expectations, the response to GOSF in 2013 was so “great,” that the organizers had no choice but to extend it one more day, in order to satiate the ever increasing number of online shoppers in the country. Now, come December, GOSF 2014 is expected to woo and please millions of online shopping enthusiasts in India, during its 3 days long run between 10-12 December. Being one of the first of its kind in country, GOSF has played a big role in introducing people to the many benefits of online shopping, even if it’s just for a period of 3 days. Moreover, it has proven to be extremely fruitful for the many already-existing as well as upcoming online and offline retailers, in getting their brand recognized and also make good sales in the process.

What’s So Special About GOSF?

There are some very good reasons why this initiative by Google is called “The Great” Online Shopping Festival. In order to attract as many shoppers as possible, the event offers massive sales in all categories across hundreds of brands and online shopping stores like Flipkart, Amazon, SnapDeal, Myntra and Jabong, to name a handful. Although the money-saving deals are applicable for a variety of products and brands, there are still some really popular categories that make the maximum number of sales during GOSF, something by which both the customers and the retailers profit. Some of the most sought-after categories are those of;

Electronics

One of the most popular categories, understandably because everyone wants to get their hands on the latest smart phones from the leading cell phone brands, especially if they are available at cheaper rates than the market prices. From Apple, Sony, Samsung and Nokia to HTC, Micromax, Gionee and more, almost every smart phone brand offers amazing discounts on their handsets. Apart from phones, the electronics category also sees good sales through LED/LCD television sets, home theaters, refrigerators, gaming consoles, among many others.

Fashion & Apparels

Another hot category is that of clothing and fashion. With most of all major cosmetic and apparel brands like L’Oreal, Davidoff, Olay, Wrangler, Burberry, United Colors of Benetton, Adidas and countless others, offering their latest range of products at wonderfully reduced prices, it comes as little surprise that this category is always in demand.

Travel & Booking

Nobody wants to miss a chance to travel to exotic locations, both within India and abroad. And if such travel and hotel bookings are available for lesser prices than usual, who would not be tempted to plan a vacation immediately? That is precisely why big travel companies like MakeMyTrip, Yatra, GoIbibo, Travel Guru, etc. introduce exciting deals on bookings during GOSF, luring in travelers who rush to book their reservations at cheaper rates.

Apart from these three, there are several other categories like books, jewellery, home decor, health and beauty, dining and restaurants, etc. that come with attractive discount offers that help shoppers save a good sum of money during the three days of GOSF.

What to Expect From GOSF 2014?

In an unprecedented move, this year, Google has already started creating buzz about GOSF through a Pre-Party, a 14 days long contest from November 25th to December 10th, the day of commencement of GOSF 2014. During this unique contest, 14 shortlisted brands will offer deals and discounts and hold contests on their products, for one full day each. The lucky winners of these contests will stand a chance to shop for free from the respective brands for a limited period of time. Add to that, this year, GOSF will also have a special segment called the “299 corner,” which will include costly, branded products for just Rs.299.

Apart from these new and special features, GOSF 2014 will give amazing discount offers and deals to customers for more number of online and offline retailers than ever before. So if you have been stashing up money to splurge on your favourite products and brands in one go, GOSF 2014 is just the right event for you. You can indulge in three days of non-stop, money-saving shopping experience between 10th-12th December and get all your desired goods at shockingly low rates!

Shopping and Product Reviews – The Purchasing Duo

When purchasing items either online or on an actual shop, it is best if you already know what you are getting in line with the product you wish to spend your money with. Otherwise, spend a minute or two to perform product review before splurging your money on shopping.

Some may think that purchasing luxury briefcases or leather briefcases are not as complicated as it is. All you have to do is go to the shop, pick which one you like, or heed the suggestions from the salesperson or from your close friend. Wrong. Everything you want to buy ought to be double-checked first.

Shopping and product reviews are twins, they should go together. Going shopping without the aid of product reviews can lead you to a rather disastrous purchasing experience.

Let us go back to purchasing simple luxury briefcases and leather briefcases. Without prior knowledge on the things that you would want to purchase, you may be fooled by fake retailers. It is a known fact that frauds are all over the place. Everyone knows that. What you don’t know is how to determine whether what you are buying is an authentic leather therefore worthy of its skyrocketing price (leathers are expensive). But since you found time to search the net of what you are looking for, together with the information of how big is it, of the marks that can be found on its body, etc at least you have the knowledge of what to look for when buying the item.

Imagine not knowing all of the information. You went home with the package on your hands, thinking that you have in your possession something that is a bit expensive when actually what you had is close to a clone. Same goes with the price. Other stores take advantage of the lack of knowledge of their customers and would give a price way too expensive than the actual one.

With reviews, previous buyers’ comments can help you decide whether your chosen product is worth it or would you rather choose a different one just because most of those who had it are saying it is not worth a penny. Prices, whether actual or approximates, are also posted to give you a hint of how much your target item costs.

If you are planning to purchase not so-cheap articles, surfing the net to look for reliable product reviews may the best thing to do. It is for your own protection still. If you can stay for a while adding friends and posting your hang-ups in social networking sites, guess you will also allot a time for this as well.

Product reviews are just safety measures a buyer should take seriously so that their money will not go to waste not to mention not be fooled by fakes masquerading themselves as store owners or retailers. Checking online will not take a lot of time. Shopping may be good, but it will be better once you are confident that what you have paid for is actually the same thing you always wanted to have and not just a poor copy of it.