Get ready, get clicking and start shopping! The biggest holiday to shop from our fingertips is Cyber Monday (Nov. 30). Almost half of holiday shopping will be done online this holiday season, and a quarter of smartphone owners say they’ll use their phone to shop.

I have a few tips to get the best deals when shopping online.

Shop Around

We all know that Amazon is a trusted retailer – so it’s a big place for us to shop. But don’t always assume that the e-commerce giant is the best place to buy certain items.  did a price comparison and found that Amazon does have the best price on items about half of the time. In particular, it’s a good place to buy digital downloads like books and items you buy in bulk. But, for more expensive, bigger ticket items like a kitchen mixer or blender and electronics, you have a 70% chance of finding the item for less at another online store.

Avoid Extra Costs

Sometimes what you see is not what you get. Shipping, handling, and taxes can easily add costs to that holiday gift. Before you click “buy,” make sure you know the final cost. And don’t get sidetracked by unnecessary items – in other words, don’t buy something you will never use just because it’s cheap.

It’s important when shopping online to do it safely and securely

Check Seller’s Record

That’s right. If you are considering making a first-time purchase from a retailer, spend time looking into their customer service record. Sellers with low ratings should be avoided.

Secure Network and Site

Always shop online with a secured computer connection to avoid becoming a target of hackers. And make sure you look at your URL bar in your browser before you put in payment information. A secure site should say “https” or have a padlock icon in the address bar. If it doesn’t, this means buying from the site could leave you vulnerable to fraud.

The most requested gift for nine years running! But, you be careful before you buy.

Gift cards are extremely popular. In fact, the average shopper will spend more than $170 on gift cards this year. Gift card fraud is also on the rise, so I have a couple tips to avoid becoming a victim.

Know Your Source

It’s important to buy gift cards from a known and trusted source. Ideally, this would mean directly from the retailer. If you’re at the store buying the gift card make sure you take it from a customer service counter instead of a display rack where no one is watching it.  A place to avoid buying gift cards is online auction sites. The sites from these cards may be counterfeit, have less value than what you pay for, or may have been stolen.

Check for Tampering

Make sure no protective stickers have been removed and the codes on the back of the card haven’t been scratched off. Many large retailers have taken steps to remove any opportunity for criminals, putting cards in a plastic case. If the card is not in a plastic case, make sure the PIN hasn’t been scratched off. Then make sure the cashier scans and activates the card so you know it is valid and has the correct balance.