By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When it comes to holiday shopping, we’ve all heard the same old advice: start early. comparison shop and clip coupons. But 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan also tells us about some other savings strategies that are outside the gift box.

Lynette Pettinicchi loves to shop online, but only makes a holiday purchase when the price is right. She says, “I visit web sites. I compare them and then I go through the stores and see who had the best deal.”

Lynette isn’t alone. Holiday sales are expected to increase by 4 percent over last year, but Jeanette Pavini with coupons.com says, that doesn’t mean you can’t haggle. If you fill your shopping cart, then virtually walk away, a growing number of retailers will try and lure you back with deals. According to Pavini, “They will send you an e-mail anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours after you’ve abandoned the cart and offer you some type of an incentive.”

Think free shipping, or up to 20% off. Lindsay Sakraida with dealnews.com says there is a catch. “You really do need to have an account with the store so that they know what email address to contact you at.”

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You can also bargain online via live chat. Many times a retailer will match a competitor’s price. Pavini says just be sure to ask, “Am I missing any deals or discounts? And if they come back and say no, then you say, ‘ok, well can you offer me something?'”

A growing number of stores will also let you register for text-based promotions that will clue you in on secret sales and only-for-you offers. You don’t know when they’ll pop up, but Sakraida says, “At the very least, when you sign up, you should get maybe 10% to 15% to 20% off just for registering.”

Finally, consider downloading location based apps like Foursquare and Shopkick. Sakraida says “Both of these apps allow you to check-in when you’re physically in a store, and sometimes you can get a special promotion just from being there.”

Lynette recently abandoned her cart of clothes and scored a coupon for 20% off. She says, “since the economy is still rough and I am trying to be frugal, it’s definitely a way to save money.”

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www.Coupons.com
www.Dealnews.com