Get the most out of your online shopping

Caroline Cassidy

With packed shops, endless queues and the inevitable parking nightmare of Christmas ahead, more and more of us are turning to the internet to fulfil our seasonal shopping needs. But just because it's easy doesn't mean you're getting the best deal.

Computer keyboard with shopping key
Computer keyboard with shopping key

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Many sites will be looking to entice Christmas shoppers this year with deals, offers and incentives, so we've picked out a few tips on how to make the most of your online shopping.

We're all aware of shopping comparison sites these days and sites such as Kelkoo and Pricerunner can help you to find the best deals on your chosen product but they don't all offer prices from the same retailers and you may miss out on a bargain.

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has devised a website called, which automatically searches all the comparison sites and automatically picks the best one for your chosen category and it's definitely worth a look if you know what you're after.

With online competition fierce numerous shops will offer discount vouchers and deals and there are plenty of websites that provide you with the voucher codes for deals from a host of famous names such as Currys, and Iwantoneofthose. Check out for the latest offers.

There's also money to be saved with cashback offers - websites such as Topcashback and Quidco offer you money back when you buy from selected retailers. Likewise, there are plenty of credit cards on the market that include cashback and you'll have the added security of a refund should you get ripped off online.

If you like to stick to your old familiar favourites though, the big name high street brands have plenty to offer.

You may already be aware that Argos runs a "reserve and collect" service but others provide the same. Boots customers can order online and pick up in store or take advantage of free standard delivery for orders over £45.

Department store John Lewis is similarly helpful with a "click and collect" service where you can order up to 7pm online and your item will be delivered to the store of your choice by 2pm the next day (particularly useful when you can't wait for Christmas delivery).

And clothing store Next allows registered customers to order up to 9pm with a next day delivery (though we should point out it's not free) and has a handy "send to a friend" service so you can surprise a loved one.

If you're feeling flush this Crimbo, there are some good deals at Comet. Their online store is currently offering the VAT back on a wide range of Sony products while you can find the odd real bargain at the clearance auction site.

Meanwhile iPads and iPods will no doubt be a feature of many a Christmas list so why not take advantage of their current free engraving and free delivery offer.

There is no doubt there are bargains to be had in the wide world of internet shopping - it's just a case of knowing where to look.