7 on your side and Consumer Reports help you get the best online deals this holiday season

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Feeling ho-hum about holiday shopping at the mall? In a partnership with Consumer Reports, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney can help you get the best digital deals.

The free browser extension, "Invisible Hand," tracks prices at 11,000 online stores, without collecting any of your personal information. It can let you know if an item you're looking at is cheaper somewhere else.

Another free browser extension, "Honey," sweetens your discount at checkout, automatically.

"As long as you're shopping at one of the participating stores, "Honey," goes out, and finds discount codes for you. And enters them automatically, when you check out," said Nikhil Hutheesing, Consumer Reports Money Editor.

"Honey" collects data to help save you money, but does not sell it.

You can also save money by playing hard to get. If you put things in a shopping cart, but don't buy them , you may get an email the next day, offering a discount to complete the purchase.

Hutheesing says, "Sometimes you can even get a better price, just by asking. If there's a live-chat option, you can go in, tell the representative how much you like the product, but you think it's a little pricey , and ask if there are any promotions or discounts."

Use sites like "Raise" and "Card Cash" to create your own discounts; by buying unused gift cards below face value, and using them to purchase gifts for others.

These are strategies that take a little work, but could lead to big savings.

Curious about when you'll get a better deal? Is it Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Consumer Reports says it depends what you are buying. After comparing prices for several, coveted holiday gifts, including televisions, fitness trackers, and smart watches, Consumer Reports found, all came up cheaper on Cyber Monday.

The one thing they say you should pick-up on Black Friday: A laptop. Happy shopping!

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.
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