Faster Christmas shopping with a broadband speed checker
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Improve Your Online Christmas Shopping with these Easy Tips:
The internet is a godsend in many ways, but none more so than when it comes to Christmas shopping. Crawling through the Christmas shopping traffic, trying to find a parking space, and fighting your way through the high street crowds are all a thing of the past. Instead, just a couple of clicks and your packages are delivered straight to your door step.
If you’re looking for ways to make your online Christmas shopping even easier this season, these simple tips will help to make it a breeze, and ensure you shop securely too.
It pays to be prepared
If you want to save time and money, it’s always a good idea to start with a shopping list. Knowing what you want means you can save on postage costs by avoiding having to go and place separate orders later on. With most online stores, if you spend a certain amount, you’ll qualify for free or discounted shipping and handling. So it pays to get everything you want all at once for this reason.
Is your computer up to speed?
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to shop on a sluggish computer. Make sure your computer’s security software is up to date and that you shut down any other programmes that might be using up bandwidth, like downloads or streaming sites. If you regularly struggle with bandwidth, now might be the time to consider upgrading your broadband package to a faster speed for easier browsing. To find out what maximum speeds are available to you at home, you can use Sky’s handy broadband speed checker.
To compare prices, the quickest and easiest way is to use an online shopping robot or ‘shopbot’. These tools search thousands of online retailers at once, showing you a table of the best prices for your chosen product. Kelkoo and Pricerunner are two of the most popular, and they compare pretty much anything, while you’ll find others that specialise in books or CDs and DVDs. Just make sure you take the cost of postage and packaging into account when making comparisons.
Get in early
If you want to get the best selection, it always helps to start your Christmas shopping early. While online stores typically carry large quantities of stock, in demand items can sell out fast as the Christmas rush gets underway. So avoid the dreaded ‘sold out’, and get your essential items as soon as you can.
When ordering anything online, it’s important to check that you’re doing so securely. If product reviews are available, read them. Before you make a payment, always check to see that the URL starts with the secure HTTPS, rather than HTTP, and look out for the padlock symbol in the bottom corner of the window. If you’re shopping for more expensive items, try to pay by credit card, as this offers you payment protection against fraud.
Once you’ve done your shopping, you just have to sit back and wait for those parcels to arrive – but there’s nothing worse than having a much-needed gift show up after Boxing Day. Always check the delivery dates for items – most sites will give you detailed expected delivery information at Christmas time – and if you’re cutting it fine, you might want to consider paying extra for next day or guaranteed delivery.