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Money Matters

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The economy may be in the tank, but that means more bargains for Christmas shoppers.

Retailers don't want to be stuck with a bunch of unsold inventory in what's predicted to be worst holiday shopping season in two decades.

Fifty-nine percent of shoppers are expected to reduce their holiday spending, so the sales have already begun. Here are four tips on how to get the most out of your holiday deals.

1. Compare prices. Don't just buy because a flyer says big sale. To find the best deal you can use a price comparison Web site such as the following.

PriceSpider.com, which tracks a product's price history for six months.
PriceGrabber.com, which calculates and compares the total price of an item including tax and shipping.
Deal Alerter.com, which let's you know when the price of a certain item drops

2. Don't jump the gun. You may see a great price now, but chances are the deal will be better the day after Christmas and may be slashed further in the days just before Christmas

3. Black Friday Previews. The day after thanksgiving can be a mad house, so do your homework. You can get a preview of those ads at BlackFriday.info and BlackFriday.GottaDeal.com for an idea of which stores to focus on.

4. Check for price adjustments. Keep watching the ads after your purchase. Many stores will refund the difference if an item goes on sale within 60 days of your purchase. If the store won't, some credit card companies will. Keep your receipts and keep the ad showing the lower price.


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