Of course everyone is talking about Christmas shopping, and I am no different.
Looking back several years, I spent a ton of time in stores that I didn't really want to be in. For example, I spent an hour in line just to check out at a Best Buy a few years ago, for some random Black Friday deal. Bleh. Looking back, I can't believe I wasted that time.
Seeing as how today is "Cyber Monday," maybe it is fair to talk about the difference between standing in line, and having your items shipped right to your place.
My preference, overwhelmingly, is to get whatever the heck it is I want to buy shipped straight to my place, rather than drive to the store. I save the commute, the hassle of standing in line, and the stress.
The cost of said simplicity? Usually it results in a savings, as opposed to an increased cost.
When shopping online, I use Amazon.com quite a bit. They offer free shipping over $25 on a bunch of items, and their variety makes it easy to get what I need, at a good price. I also peruse the forums at Fatwallet and Slickdeals, as they enable me to find the best deals. Fatwallet is a favorite of mine as well, because they offer a bunch of cash back offers through their "Fatcash" which rewards you for using their shopping portal. Many times, I have combined Fatcash with a coupon or other offer and saved a ton of money compared to MSRP. True to form, many of the longtime members of the sites call anyone paying MSRP "suckers," as there is always a deal somewhere!
I also use Google's portal for comparison shopping, and often compare prices (with shipping and fees) to Ebay as well.
With all of the online resources, why pay retail anymore? With coupon codes, and free shipping offers, it makes more sense to have everything delivered while you have a cup of coffee!
I hope this helps you with your holiday shopping!