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Frugal Friday: Expert Gives Tips for Shopping Online

The National Retail Federation more than half of us will do some of our holiday shopping online this year, but are you getting the best deal you can?

For starters, don't buy anything. That's right, if you can, find what you want to buy and stick it in a shopping cart. Then just wait.

"Let's say you've abandoned the cart or you've just been looking at items on Amazon or wherever. You're shopping, then you go to another site. You go to your Facebook and all of sudden there's an ad for the product you were just looking at," digital marketing expert Patricia Yeager said. "And that is intentional. They are sending you that ad because they know you have looked at that item or left it in a cart and they really want you back."

You may get an offer for free shipping or a discount for purchasing a certain amount. Generally, you have to be willing to leave an item for a day or so. And it's not a sure thing.

If online tracking creeps you out, try private browsing or clearing your cookies and cache. But remember, that clears other information that's normally pre-filled out on websites.

What if you could have your own personal shopping assistant, who could alert you when it was the right time to buy something online? Yeager suggests price tracking websites like camelcamelcamel, which focuses exclusively on Amazon. There's also SlickDeals.net. All you do is find an item you want to buy.

"Go to the website and find the product. Make sure you copy the entire URL," she said. "You just paste it in and it pops up. It'll say if it falls below this set rate then we'll send you an email. Then you can go buy it. It's so easy."

There are also shopping engines like:

For coupon codes, RetailMeNot can help. Chrome has a browser extension called Honey that can automatically find coupon codes.

Looking for free shipping? Rather Be Shopping has a list of online stores with free shipping. And Free Shipping Day lists the websites with free shipping on Dec. 18.

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