By Susanna Kim / ABC News
Like it or not, the holidays are around the corner, and whether you are planning to buy gifts or wait for deeper discounts in the new year, Consumer Reports’ magazine ShopSmart says if you’re not taking advantage of greater savings with the latest bargain sites, you’re missing out.
Four new sites are particular favorites of ShopSmart deputy editor Jody Rohlena.
Rohlena likes Bing.com’s shopping feature that offers automatic rewards for shopping that you can use on Redbox rentals, Amazon gift cards, or charity donations.
Rohlena said the magazine is constantly looking at websites and apps to stay on top of bargain trends.
“Obviously a lot of the innovation is happening online and on your smartphone,” she said, adding that she looks for what’s helpful, cool and fun.
While Rohlena agrees that some of the deepest shopping discounts are offered after the Christmas holiday season, such as President’s Day weekend, she says many households can’t avoid buying at least one gift or winter apparel during the next two months.
“Cold weather is here. People need boots,” she said.
Rohlena said the latest shopping sites are less clunky and easier to use, and are must-try tools.
“I would say that generally if you’re not trying out new sites, you’re missing out,” she said.
“There are lots of creative ways to shop and I encourage people to try new things. You don’t have to do everything and you don’t have to drive yourself crazy to save every penny. Not everyone is built like that,” she said.
Here are four of the sites that ShopSmart recommends:
- Bing.com/explore/rewards: The site allows users to earn automatic rewards for shopping and provides points just for searching on the web or trying new features.
- CouponCactus.com: ShopSmart says this site ”is great for scoring coupons, promo codes, and cash back” and recommends users sign into this site before checking out at other participating sites, like Audible.com and Nordstrom.com. A plus is that subscribers earn cash back on their purchases.
- ThePriceGeek.com: With a simple layout and fun concept, this site helps determine the market price of an item, with the price history for recently sold items. It can be particularly useful if you’re interested in selling an item you already have. Interested in buying an Hermes scarf or Rolex watch? You’ll find some great deals on used items. You can also provide an e-mail address on the results screen to receive price alerts.
- Unroll.me: This tool manages deals by organizing all daily e-mail into one message and allows you to unsubscribe to sites in seconds. It works with Gmail and Yahoo! and other email clients. ShopSmart says a “don’t miss” feature is the site’s ability to corral social-media notifications, too.