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Your Christmas shopping sorted with this online bargain gift guide.

christmas shopping bargains online
Online shopping – Christmas sorted.

By JACQUI PORTER

Ok, so I don’t know about you, but every year the department store Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier, and my anxiety levels inch higher and higher.

What’s not to love about trailing around a store with two overtired kids and armfuls of junk you’ve paid too much for, intended for relatives you despise? Hark!  Feel the joy!

This year, I’m thinking smart- it’s all happening online with not a Michael Buble Christmas album soundtrack in sight.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Cash Passport  Prepaid MasterCard®. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

If you do your research, there are plenty of bargains to be had online. You just need to know where to look.

1. Member Only Deal Sites.

There are heaps of online deal sites available both in Australia and overseas. Basically, you sign up, and every day you get emailed a list of sales opening that day.

So far, I’ve purchased home wares, clothing, shoes, kids toys and hampers through some member deal sites and generally speaking, by signing up to overseas deal sites you have access to products that may not even be available in Australia.

You usually need to wait until the sale has finished before your shipping starts, but if you start hunting now, you’ll score some heavily discounted items.

christmas shopping bargains online
There’s so many places you need to see.
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2. Travel over the seas.

Well, not quite, but let your money do it.

We all know that there are certain products we Aussies pay through the nose for (cosmetics, cough cough) so if you have someone on your pressie buying list who loves the girly stuff, why not www your way through some great online beauty stores?

Many of the big ones ship to Australia now for a reasonable price and those that don’t can still be accessed using a mail forwarding service.

If you are purchasing overseas, a great way to keep tabs on your money and lock in your exchange rate is by using a Cash Passport (it’s a prepaid multi-currency MasterCard that lets you pay in foreign currency).

Basically, you load your money online, select your chosen currency (you can select up to 10 different currencies on the one card) and shop away at overseas websites.

3. Sign on up.

By signing up to a store or website membership, a lot of online retailers will let you know first about any upcoming sales and promotions they may be running so that you can grab a bargain before those in store even know about it.

You’ll also be able to access special discounts at a lot of stores.

And, some retailers offer a discount code the first time you place an order with them or sign up to their membership database.

christmas shopping bargains online4. Going once, going twice…

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Online auctions are a fabulous place to score a bargain and this is another area where you may save by looking overseas. Wine, jewellery, furniture… you name it and it’s probably up for auction somewhere.

Plus, there is a little thrill of excitement that comes from online bidding. It’s like the real deal, only no one can see my (lack of) poker face.

5. Be specific.

The fabulous thing about internet shopping is the ability to track down the exact gift for each person without changing out of your PJs.

If you have difficult family members like me, who are a nightmare to buy for because they are so specific about collectables or memorabilia, the internet is your mecca.

Whatever the topic, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll find something to fit the bill.

And trust me, you are not going to find a 1953 Elvis Presley limited edition record in Myer.

Where’s your favourite places to shop online?

Speaking of Elvis, he’s not the only one to release a Christmas album. Check out some of our other favourites to dust off before Christmas…

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 Cash_passport_logoCash Passport is a great way to save when shopping on overseas sites. It’s a prepaid MasterCard® that lets you load money at locked in exchange rates*. This means you can pay in local currency on overseas sites, so there’s no need to convert your money to Australian dollars – helping you avoid extra currency and transaction fees*.

 Plus if you load $200 (AUD equivalent in foreign currency) onto your card before 31 December we’ll add a bonus $10 to your account. Simply use the code MM10 when you apply.*

 Visit cashpassport.com.au to find out more and purchase your card.

* T&Cs apply, visit www.cashpassport.com.au for full details. Bonus $10 will be applied to your account within 30 days after loading $200 AUD equivalent on a new Cash Passport Prepaid MasterCard. Offer available to the first 500 customers using code MM10 until the 31st December 2015.

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