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How To Have The Best Online Holiday Shopping Experience

12/14/2015 11:37 EST | Updated 12/14/2016 05:12 EST
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I was in a shopping mall the other day, and forgot how busy it can get around the holidays. It is lovely to view all the Christmas displays and take in the sights, but to save time I do most of my shopping online.

To find out the best tips and tricks on how you can get the most out of your online shopping experience this holiday season, I spoke with Camille Kowalewski, Senior Communications Manager, eBay Canada. Camille shared with me the latest tips.

What are the best deals for online shopping this season?

There are lots of great deals to be had leading up to the holidays. For example, sales up to 70 per cent off on the latest consumer tech, home and garden and fashion accessories.

What is on trend for guys and women and the hottest looks for the holidays?

For Guys

• We're seeing brown and burgundy making a comeback.These are warm, rich tones that can dress up a holiday wardrobe -- a great alternative to black!

• Pocket squares are the new happy socks. They are an easy way to add colour or a fun pattern to a basic suit.

For Women

• The Little Black Dress is timeless and perfect for the season. It can take you from day when paired with a blazer, to night with a great statement necklace.

• Faux fur continues to be a hot trend for winter. You can easily add a punch of fun and warmth to any holiday outfit with a coloured faux fur vest or scarf.

What are some of the top tricks of the online shopping pros?

Your mobile phone allows you to shop anytime and anywhere inspiration strikes, so take advantage of this convenience this holiday season. To ensure you have a great online shopping experience, just remember to always:

• Pay attention to product details. Photos are a great starting point, but be sure to read about the material, measurements, model number, etc. to ensure you really have a full picture of the product.

• Use a secure form of payment.

• Take note of shipping time. This is particularly important for any holiday gift purchases, as you want to make sure your item arrives in time.

What can you do if an item does not fit or is not suitable?

Just like when you are buying an item from a store in a mall, when buying online, always take note of the return policy.

If the item you purchased doesn't come with a return policy, consider reselling it online.

How can you get the best deal online?

The first step is to research the item to get a sense of the price range you are looking at to get a deal. From there, you can then use this information to refine your search results by entering your spending parameters in the pricing filter.

You can also look at auctions and listings with "Best Offer" options; these allow you to start with a low offer on the product, increasing the chances of getting a good deal.

To really score a deal on high-end, name brand or designer goods, consider buying gently used. For example, I'm currently coveting a designer wallet and am finding some great nearly-new options at a fraction of what I would pay in store buying brand new.

Any other tips?

As we approach the last couple of weeks before the holidays, there are some things last-minute shoppers need to keep in mind to help ensure their presents arrive on time:

The closer the deadline for receiving an item, the closer in geography you should be searching for that item. Adjust the item location in the search parameters to find items listed closest to you as they will have shorter shipping times.

Purchase items at "Buy It Now" prices to ensure you can buy the item right away. If you bid on an item, you will need to wait until the listing ends to actually make the purchase.

If you are really leaving a present to the last-minute, contact the seller to see if they will offer expedited shipping at an extra cost to ensure you receive your gift in time for the holidays.

I will be thinking about all of these online shopping tips as I do my holiday shopping.

Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest. Let's have the very best Holidays ever!

This post has been updated.

Visit Sacha daily at SachaD.com

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