Black Friday: Three Ways to Use Your Computer to Save

present with a red ribbonEnjoy the festivities this gift-buying season by keeping some green in your wallet. Several websites offer customers new approaches to traditional holiday shopping. Use the computer to hunt down the best-suited presents and save cash. As Black Friday draws near, every little tip on comparison shopping, deals and organization helps and here at Black Friday Insider, we share them as we get them ...

1. Compare prices on unique gifts: We all have those special people in our lives who are truly a mystery when it comes to giving gifts. is an online source of countless ideas. Search for presents by occasion, gender, age, interest and even relationship. The easy-to-use site lets shoppers customize searches to be as specific or broad as desired. The simple layout makes it easy to spot prices and select the best buy that fits both your budget and the recipient's desires.

2. Swap old items for new gifts: Pine needles won't be the only green shoppers see this holiday season. Online bargaining site,, is one way to both save cash and be kind to the environment. The website allows users to trade current items for desired ones. Type any item into the "swapulator," and calculates what the trader can receive in return. Swap within the same or different categories, some of which include movies, books, music and games. So far in 2010, members have saved $11.1 million by exchanging instead of buying brand new products.

In addition to saving money, swappers are recycling items they no longer need and creating a positive impact on the environment. The site says it has already reduced the carbon footprint by 10.2 million pounds. "After all, do we really need 20 million printed copies of the latest Harry Potter on this earth?" said CEO Jeff Bennett. "Can't we just share and leave the trees for the forest?"

3. Chip in to save cash
: Holiday shoppers can purchase gifts at another website devoted to bargaining. The classic online auction site, eBay, has a new approach to present purchasing. Group Gifts allows multiple customers to chip in on set-priced items. Individual shoppers can pitch in the desired amount by logging into PayPal, but the sum won't be deducted until the entire gift is paid for. Set payment deadlines and let fellow payers know via email, Facebook or Twitter. After the buy is final, eBay sends the customers an e-card with room for personalized messages to send to the gift recipient.
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