Google Just Made It Even Easier to Get the Best Deals on Holiday Presents

published Oct 22, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Ruth Black/Stocksy

Maybe you put a holiday trip home on pause, or perhaps you’re feeling the financial strain brought on by the upheavals of the past year. Whatever the case, it’s no understatement to say that the holidays are going to look more than a little different for many people. According to a recent survey by Fullscreen, a social content company, 64 percent of millennial and Generation Z respondents said gifts would not be a major priority for them this year.

Even so, you might have a small list of nearest and dearest to whom you’d like to send gifts before holiday shipping deadlines set in. You could already be a pro at zipping around websites to complete your shopping online—but are you as confident in making sure you’re getting the best possible deal on that cozy blanket you picked out for your BFF?

To help you in your quest for the perfect holiday present at the perfect price, Google is launching a few new options. By October 23, using the Google Shopping page will allow you to access a tool that contextualizes the price of an item at one store against prices for that same product at other retailers. You will also be able to check to see if a product is in stock at a local store, and if that store offers either curbside pickup or some other kind of in-store pickup for online purchases. That’s particularly key for the 67 percent of respondents to a recent Google/Ipsos survey who said they are going to add a new step to their holiday shopping: confirming that an item is in stock before masking up and going to buy it or pick it up.

Credit: Google

Another key feature for holiday shoppers looking to plan out their shopping but not hit the “buy now” button just yet? You can enable a “track price” feature, which will automatically subscribe your Gmail account to alerts if the price drops at a given retailer, to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

According to Holly Trantham, head of content at money-literacy site The Financial Diet, not planning ahead is the number one mistake she thinks people make when it comes to holiday shopping. “There are plenty of people who end up buying gifts at the last minute and definitely overspend because of lack of planning, and there are also those of us who plan out the gifts we’re buying well ahead of time, but fail to consider other costs that come with giving gifts,” such as the cost of shipping, gift wrapping, holiday cards, and stocking stuffers, she notes.

To combat that, Trantham suggests making a holiday budget early—”like, now,” she stresses—and ensuring that it’s specific, but still allows for some flexibility. “I think any good holiday budget needs to have some wiggle room,” she says. “You don’t want to deprive yourself of an impulse holiday candle purchase because you’ve already gone overboard on gift spending.” This way, you can allow for the possibility that the Dutch oven you’re eying for your culinary-minded bestie won’t end up marked down as much as you hope, while also saving some money for the other people on your list… including yourself.