Finding the perfect Valentines gift without going broke

valentines dinner

From Kate Spade Watches to Pandora Bracelets, helps consumers find the best prices whether they are shopping for Valentine’s Day or cashing in on holiday gift cards. Zumur’s shopping search engine scours the entire web (from online or brick-and-mortar retailer as well as group shopping services like Groupon and LivingSocial) to save shoppers the most time and money possible.


Here’s nine top tips:


  1. Slip past the “add-ons”. Avoid overspending on accessories and additional items that can cut into your deal. For example, you find your perfect DSLR camera at a great price, and then add-on a $40.00 carrying case without first finding it cheaper elsewhere. Don’t negate your cost savings by choosing the convenience of an add-on unless you perform to check pricing.


  1. Enter the fray quickly and early. Many of the best deals are running on a base of limited inventory, so you need to act fast in order to secure the best pricing. Look at flash sales to find quick drops in price, and don’t hesitate when it comes to pulling the trigger (assuming you’ve done your pricing research first).


  1. Check out curated deal sites. Let the experts do the work for you.  On curated sites like DealNews or eDealInfo deal experts will put together the best deals they see on the web with associated discount codes, coupons, and rebates.  Let them do the work for you and reap the rewards.


  1. Use your smartphone skills. Checking prices while on the go is a vital strategy that belongs in every shopping ninja’s arsenal. Many retailers offer barcode scanners and easy item search functions that allow you to quickly find the best price for nearly any product. There are also price comparison sites which can aid in your search. Many brick and mortar sites feature real-time inventory levels, so consumers can use their phone to visit the right store, instead of wasting time trying to find out-of-stock merchandise.


  1. Choose your coupons wisely. Finding a good online coupon is relatively simple, usually just requiring a search for “coupon”, “retailer name” and “product name”. However, be sure you do apples to apples comparisons to be sure the price with a coupon at one retailer is not greater than the regular price at another one. Also remember that free shipping is everywhere during the holidays, so free shipping coupons don’t typically offer very much value.


  1. Consider cashback sites. Many retailers partner with cashback sites like CashbackHolic, eBates, and ShopatHome have partnered with retailers to offer cash back of upwards of 12% on your purchases.  Typically these sites will require you to signuo and shop the retailers through them, but it might be worth it as these are discounts across your entire shopping experience and not just on specific items.


  1. Engage in a practice session. Many brick and mortar stores now function as “showrooms” for shoppers that want to see/feel/manipulate products, especially electronics. It’s helpful to see the functionality of products in person, such as the crispness of a TV set, screen size of a tablet, or if a fancy vacuum cleaner is too heavy.


  1. Expend your energy wisely. While shopping for the best deal is a worthy endeavor, you should concentrate most of your time on the higher-priced items. Remember there is a value to your time, so spending an hour or two looking to get a $15.00 item for $12.95 or less is not a good “hourly wage.” Focus on the bigger-ticket items where you can find the largest dollar amount savings.


  1. Move beyond electronics. While there are great deals on tablets, TVs, computers, and everything electronic during the holiday season, you shouldn’t ignore other deals. Some daily deal sites offer significant discounts for local merchants, spas, and other venues that want to jump up their sales during the busy holiday season.


Consumers that follow these seven ninja tips should be able to stay within their holidays shopping budgets while finding good prices on the hottest items. While it’s important to save cash, true shopping ninjas should also remember holiday shopping is supposed to be fun, so remember the joy of giving while you slice your way to the best deals.