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Shopping expert offers tips to save time and money during holiday rush

Last minute shipping deals and online safety
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Posted at 5:25 AM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 08:08:04-05

TAMPA, FL -- Time is ticking away for people who still have holiday shopping to do.

Sara Skirboll with Retail Me Not has some tips for consumers.

"This is crunch time for holiday shopping so I like to recommend shop early, ship early," Skirboll said.

Tuesday is the last day for ground shipping for a gift to get to its destination on Christmas. Later shipping dates will come with an added cost, but Skirboll said there are ways around extra fees.

"Send the gift straight to your loved ones. Bypass sending them to you and wrapping and sending them again," Skirboll said.

Another option is curbside pickup.

"I love this idea if you need something in a pinch in your local area or consider sending them to your loved ones' areas. So places like Express, Walgreens, Petco, World Market, Dick's Sporting Goods all offer buy online pick up curbside," Skirboll said.

Skirboll said some retailers offer monetary incentives for those who opt for curbside pickup and consumers can order online and choose the pickup location of their loved ones who are receiving the gift.

"The beauty of curbside pick up is that you can get your items within two hours or less so you don't have to adhere to that December 15 cutoff," Skirboll said.

Millions of Americans are shopping online this year and Skirboll said scammers know that.

"Shoppers really need to pay attention to a few things. Number one any fraudulent activity on your bank account or credit card statements. Try to review those once a week especially if you're doing a lot of shopping online," Skirboll said.

Skirboll recommended consumers take a close look at the website they're making their purchases through.

"You want to pay attention to https. That S signals secure website so your financial and personal information are in good hands," Skirboll said.

Like most things in life, Skirboll said go with your gut when shopping online.

"Pay attention to the email address. The coupon itself. Don't click on anything funky. Macy's may be spelled with an S and not a C or Kohl's may not have the S at the end," Skirboll said.

Another tip to save money, Skirboll suggested consumers follow their favorite retailers on their social media sites. She said there could be extra offers and right now every little bit helps.