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Smarter holiday e-shopping

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in Office Technology

Before you fire up the Net and begin your holiday spending spree, follow these tips from financial web site “The Motley Fool” (www.fool.com) for saving money during the nation’s biggest shopping season:

1. Visit comparison-shopping web sites to hunt for bargains. Examples: Coolsavings.com, Shopzilla.com, Streetprices.com and Dealnews.com.

2. Don’t be fooled by “pay-for-placement” ads. When comparison shopping, some web sites will rank results according to which retailers have paid to be listed at the top. Try sorting the results by price, location or rating to see your true options.

3. Go straight to the retailers’ web sites. Why? Some retailers may not include their latest promotions on comparison sites.

4. Find the best possible deals by erasing your electronic footprints. Delete all cookies from your browser before revisiting a web site. Some e-tailers will serve up old prices to visitors who have browsed their sites before.

5. Compare online and offline prices at your favorite stores. They aren’t always identical.

6. Get a rebate for your spending. Many web sites make money when they refer you to a particular online shopping site. A few sites offer you a cut of the referral fee. Register on ebates.com and MrRebates.com, then use their links to visit the destination store.

7. Don’t let money sit on the table by leaving the “enter promotional code here” box blank. Tap into possible savings at sites such as Currentcodes.com, CouponCabin.com and RetailMeNot.com. You also can type in the retailer’s name and “coupon code” in your search engine to see what offers pop up.

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