5-minute guide to buying presents online

Why shop online

Some of the best deals can be found online, plus it’s easy to compare prices between retailers and you don’t have to battle the crowds or the queues.

What are the best sites for online shopping

For quick service and easy returns... JohnLewis, MarksandSpencer, HouseofFraser and Next
Good catalogues sites ... Lakeland, Littlewoods, ASOS (for fashion) and LandsEnd
For gadgetsAmazon

The do's and don'ts of buying online

Do... Grab online gift deals on discounting days Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Do... use price comparison websites Idealo, Pricerunner and Kelkoo to find bargains
Do... check out Offeroftheday which collates retailers' latest price cuts
Do... save on Amazon purchases by copying the item's Amazon link into Flubit. We found a Philips Sonicare Toothbrush for £80.30, saving £7.37
Do... check if the site offers to wrap gifts for a small fee at the checkout, saving you the bother!
Do... sign up to eBay's Daily Deals Newsletter to help you find reduced items, plus check out eBay's collections to get present inspiration
Do... get cashback by signing up at Quidco, FreeFivers and TopCashBack, which pay you to do your Christmas shop
Do... head to Bownty which collates the best deals from discounts sites like Groupon, Living Social and Wowcher.
Don't... Buy without checking delivery charges as some sites default to the most expensive option
Don't... "Forget you have more rights than when you shop on the high street," says Jasmine Birtles at MoneyMagpie. "You can send in it back within 14 days after you receive it, even if it's just you don't like it."

How can I shop safely online?

  • Make sure your payment details are secure by looking for a padlock icon in the bottom right-hand side of the browser or next to the search bar at the top of the page. You can then pay safely
  • Credit cards purchase for items over £100 are protected if your order doesn’t arrive or isn’t what it appeared to be when you bought it
  • Be wary of a site you haven't see before offering fabulous deals, especially if there are spelling mistakes and no contact details. "It may have been designed to steal your credit card details so steer clear, " says Anita Naik at VoucherCodes.

How can I save on postage?

  • Order multiple items in one go to get cheaper or free dispatch
  • If you're a frequent Amazon buyer, consider Prime membership for £79 a year, which gives you unlimited free one-day delivery
  • Wait in for a delivery or can a neighbour take it in? If not, you might have to rearrange at an additional cost
  • Type 'gifts' and your county into the search engine to support local businesses and save on delivery/returns
  • Use click and collect or Collect+ and arrange for items to be delivered often for free to your closest store - eg pick up John Lewis buys at Waitrose stores - or even a newsagent.

There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.