Simple Ways to Save Money While Shopping for the Holidays

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Last Update: 05.12.2017

Holiday shopping is stressful. Most of us spend months saving up Christmas money just to have it vanish in a few weeks. But money saving for holiday shopping is easier than you think. A virtual private network (VPN) will give you access to international websites so you can compare prices and get the best deals. We recommend ExpressVPN to save money for online gifts.

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Shop Online with a VPN

With long lists of people to shop for during the holidays, saving money is paramount. While online shopping provides an easy way to comparison shop for the best prices, did you know your browser and your location are working against you? Whether you use Google or Firefox, PC or mobile device, online stores know exactly how you are getting to their site and what you are looking at. On top of that, depending on your geographic location, they will actually change the price! But don’t worry, our money saving tips provides you with easy ways to save money when shopping for the holidays.

Money Saving Tip #1: Know How Your Browser Changes the Prices

Online shopping can be a much cheaper than shopping at a brick-and-mortar locations – you have access to a wider variety of goods and the ability to find the best price available. But simply accepting the first price you see online is not the best way to save money on holiday shopping. While shopping online does nab you better deals, websites offer different prices to consumers based on factors like your geographic location and what device you are shopping on.

Did you know that online retailers often provide cheaper prices to those using mobile devices? More often than not, it is an incentive to get customer’s to download a mobile app (usually for an additional discount on the cost of the final purchase). Furthermore, more shopping is being done on mobile devices. On Black Friday in 2017, almost 40% of sales came from mobile devices, an increase of approximately 10% year-over-year. With nearly 125 million U.S. consumers owning smartphones and 62% of all smartphone users making a purchase within the last six months, it is no wonder mobile users are targeted with lower prices. To add an additional fact, approximately 80% of all shoppers use their mobile device in the store to look up compare prices and look up product reviews. Here’s a holiday tip: shop via mobile.

But it isn’t just what you are using that will determine your price, but where you are in the world when you are using your PC or mobile device. Depending on your geographic location, you are likely to get a different price than if you were in another country.

We decided to test this theory on Hollister Co.’s website. Using ExpressVPN, we decided to buy their Cold Shoulder Wrap Dress.

Based in the USA, without using a VPN, the cost of the dress was $39.99 USD.

US Price

After turning the VPN on, we found that in London, England, the dress retailed for £39.99 ($53.45 USD).

London Price

In Australia, the same dress was listed at $41.96 AUD ($32.85 USD). From this, we can conclude that Australia has the cheapest price, while London has the most expensive.

Australia Price

Money Saving Tip #2: Use a VPN to Shop from a Fake Location

This season, do your research. Don’t click on that checkout button until you’ve used a VPN to compare prices to get the best holiday deal. With just a few clicks, you can create your own holiday savings, even on items that aren’t on sale.

VPNs allow you to bypass your location by making your internet traffic appear to be coming from a different, remote server. If you live in London and you really want that Hollister dress but not at the expensive price listed, download a VPN, sign in, turn the VPN on, and choose your desired location. Your IP address will change and your traffic will appear to be coming from that location. A good VPN has servers in different cities around the world to enable you to choose a location without limitations.

As the information travels from server to server, it’s encrypted. This means neither hackers nor your internet service provider will be able to see your activity because it is scrambled beyond recognition. Top VPN companies don’t keep detailed records of your activity, so there is no way to trace your transactions later. For those looking to buy and save on the go using public Wi-Fi with your mobile device, a VPN will also protect you from hackers who want to steal your personal information, including credit card numbers.

#1 ExpressVPN to Buy and Save for the Holidays

 One of the best saving tips this holiday season is to invest in ExpressVPN. For just $12.95 for 1 month or $6.67/mo. with the 15-month plan, you can get:

  • Unlimited bandwidth for those shopping binges
  • Strong encryption so your information stays private
  • Numerous server locations, so you can always choose the best country for saving money

With 24-hour support, a no-logs policy, and a 30 day money back guarantee, ExpressVPN is the top-rated VPN we recommend for all your holiday shopping needs.

Sign up with ExpressVPN here.

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#2 NordVPN

If you are concerned about privacy, NordVPN is a great contender. You can purchase the service for $11.95 for 1 month or $3.29/mo with their 2-year plan. Other features include:

  • A kill switch that will drop your internet connection if the VPN drops, guaranteeing that no one see’s what you were doing
  • Servers in over 60 countries (primarily in Europe), guaranteeing lots of shopping possibilities
  • Strong encryption to prevent your personal information from being stolen
  • A 100% no logs policy

NordVPN also boasts a 30 day money back guarantee that lets your try out NordVPN for free.

Sign up with NordVPN here.

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#3 PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is another affordable option for online holiday shopping. While the quality of their service isn’t as good as some of the other VPN providers listed, it still offers a number of features that will help you save money shopping for the holidays:

  • Servers in over 50 locations, allowing you to compare prices on a global scale
  • Can connect up to six devices, so you can get more people in on the holiday savings
  • Ideal for those who are on a budget (holiday shopping is expensive!)

The annual plan is $54 with the discount and currently includes a 13th month free so you pay as little as $4.15/mo. Three months is $16.88 and one month is $8.21. PrivateVPN also has a 30-day free trial so you can try PrivateVPN and not feel like you are making a total commitment to the VPN.

Sign up with PrivateVPN here.

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#4 IPVanish

While not our number-one choice as far as VPNs are concerned, IPVanishi VPN does offer a number of options should any of the other VPN choices not work for you.

  • 50 countries and 800 servers guarantees a large scope when looking for savings on holiday shopping
  • Allowed to connect two devices, so you can compare prices on your mobile device versus your PC

Currently, the cost of IPVanish is $10 for a month or $6.49 if you opt for their annual subscription. And with a 30 day money back guarantee, you can try IPVanish before making a commitment.

Sign up with IPVanish VPN here.

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Money Saving Tip #3: Know the Best Day to Shop Online for the Holidays

Knowing what you want to buy is only half the battle. The other half? Knowing what day to spend your money. According to Adobe Digital Insights (ADI), November 22nd is the best day when shoppers can expect to save, on average, 23% on their purchases. ADI also stated: “Thanksgiving will be the best day to save on computers, tools, sporting goods, video game consoles, and apparel; Black Friday will be best for purchasing appliances, tablets, TVs, and jewelry; and Cyber Monday will be the best day to purchase toys. For furniture and bedding and pet products, ADI predicts Giving Tuesday will be the day with the most savings.

In general, while online shoppers tend to believe Sundays are the best days for online shopping, it is actually Mondays that are the best for most products (see best online shopping deals tips). Even in 2011, Mark Vadon, founder of online retailer Zulily, told the New York Times, “Not just during the holidays, but during the rest of the year, Monday is your strongest day and your weekends are your quietest time.” His reasoning is that people spend less time at their computers over the weekend (and more time going to brick-and-mortar shops), but once they head to the office, they think of what they want to buy. For example, SimilarWeb found out that Amazon’s app reached peak usage on Mondays. And while evenings always prove to be popular, for mobile shoppers, peak time is between noon and 1pm.

Money Saving Tip #4: Use the Credit Card Shopping Cart Trick

The credit card shopping cart trick allows anyone to get a store credit card without damaging their credit score. It’s one of the best money saving Christmas tips because it will help build your credit.  The trick relies on the fact that most stores pre-approve you for a card without first checking your credit. Keep these three points in mind before using the trick:

  • Opt for credit offers and turn off your pop-up blockers and anti-spam tools to promotions
  • Search store cards this trick works for
  • Only enter the last four digits of your social security number or the trick won’t work

Follow these steps to complete the trick:

  • Clear all histories including your browser, cookies, and cache
  • Find the store you want a card from and create an account
  • Put a few items in your account that equal $100. If you don’t get an offer, try $50
  • Go through the checkout process, but take your time and don’t use autofill
  • Don’t click “buy” immediately. Wait for the pop-up which will appear if the trick worked
  • When it asks for your social security number, only provide the last four digits

Repeat for as many store cards as you’d like and enjoy cheap online shopping while building credit.

Money Saving Tip #5: Avoid Last Minute Shopping

One of the most important money saving tips for holiday shopping is to avoid doing it last minute. To get the most out of shopping with a VPN, research is required. All online shops hike up prices as the holiday season approaches, no matter the country or the device.  The best holiday deals won’t be advertised; create them through cheap online shopping for the holidays with a VPN.

Save Money on Holiday Shopping with a VPN

Money issues are the fastest way to crush your holiday spirit. Depending on who is on your list and/or how many people make your holiday shopping list, savings are in order. Spend a little money now on the best VPN and guarantee holiday savings in your future. Follow our easy ways to save money while shopping for the holidays and the only stress you should be dealing with is how to eat all that amazing holiday food without adding to your waistline.

More information on the above-mentioned VPN providers can be found in:

ExpressVPN review
NordVPN review
PrivateVPN review
IPVanish review

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