(WPRI) -- When it comes to holiday shopping, we've all heard the same old tips- start early, comparison shop, clip coupons. Call 12 For Action decided to give a present to you this holiday season- savings strategies that are outside the gift box.
Our conservative spending over the years is finally getting retailers to stand up and take notice, so many are now willing to get our attention by putting money back into our wallets.
Lynette Pettincchi loves to shop online, but only makes a holiday purchase when the price is right.
"I visit websites, I compare them, and then I go through the stores and see who had the best deal," she said.
Lynette isn't alone. Even though holiday sales are expected to increase by 4 percent over last year, experts say shoppers will continue to spend conservatively. Jeanette Pavini from Coupons.com says retailers are responding by unwrapping unique deals and promos. Combine those with savvy shopping strategies, and you could save hundreds.
"Any savings is free money, and when you look at it in terms of free money, why would you not spend the little bit of time that it takes to find these deals?" asks Pavini.
Don't be afraid to haggle online. If you fill your shopping cart, then virtually walk away, a growing number of retailers will try and lure you back with deals.
"They will send you an e-mail anywhere from two hours to 24 hours after you've abandoned the cart and offer you some type of incentive." Pavini said.
With this strategy, you may be able to score free shipping, or up to 20 percent off of your purchase. Be sure you have an account with the store first though, so they know where to send the e-mail.
Keep in mind that popular items could sell out before you're able to check out. You can also bargain online via live chat, and many times a retailer will match a competitor's price.
A growing number of stores will also let you register for text-based promotions, which are quickly becoming a holiday trend. They'll clue you in on secret sales and only-for-you offers.
"At the very least, when you sign up, you should get maybe 10 percent to 15 percent to 20 percent off just for registering," added Linsay Sakraida of DealNews.com .
Finally, consider downloading location-based apps such as foursquare and shopkick.
If your local warehouse store can legally sell alcohol, you can reap the benefits without a membership. Buy a gift set and divide it up for multiple hostess gifts.
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