If you know where to look, the Internet offers an expansive offering of great shopping deals.
It's the knowing where to look that can bog shoppers down, but it doesn't have to.
As Jeffrey Strain at Mainstreet.com notes, shopping online is great for many reasons, including no sales taxes in most cases, no transportation costs, lower prices and, most of all, coupons and exclusive online discounts.
While there are a variety of sites to help you sort out the best deals, Strain suggest something even simpler: Do a Google search.
"After finding the product you want to purchase, do a simple search with 'coupon code' or 'promotional code' and the store's name," Strain writes. "You should be able to find several codes quickly that will give you anything from a percentage off to free shipping."
But the deals go beyond that.
The site lists deals and coupons from all over the Web and makes them easy to find by category, retailer, popularity or expiration date. The site is heavily user dominated, with a forum that posts great deals.
And beyond coupons, the site also offers surfers the chance to earn cash back from hundreds of retailers such as REI, Barnes & Noble and Eddie Bauer.
Another site for deals, SlickdealSlickdeals.nets.net, recently topped a survey from the readers of Lifehacker.com.
And for good reason. Slickdeals offers the latest deals in a blog-like format, providing an uncategorized and constant stream of deals running from tech to toys and clothing to appliances.
Mainstreet.com is also a big fan of RetailMeNot, a site that allows deal searchers to get social (it even has a Facebook fan page). Some 20,000 retailers, including Amazon and American Eagle, have discount codes listed on this coupon aggregator.
If you have a gamer on your list, you can't go wrong with a visit to Cheapassgamer.com. The site not only includes deals on the best video games around for every available console, but goes farther by offering video game news, blogs, forums and more.
There are also tons of sites available dealing in a specific item or interest. Take Dealmac for instance.
This site, run by Dan de Grandpre, who also runs online deal site Dealnews, has a list of deals from Apple. If your gift recipient has a Mac or an iPod, you can't go wrong starting, and most likely ending, your search there.
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