Using Smart Phones, Social Media for Digital Deals

(NECN/CNN) - And they're off. The holiday shopping season is officially underway.

Hear that jingle? That's the sound of shoppers using smartphones to ring up deals, from comparing prices to finding must-have items, Santa has elves, but you have a mobile phone.

Start simple. Find your favorite retailers on Twitter and Facebook for exclusive discounts for fans and followers. Then make sure you're checking in, on GPS apps like Foursquare.

JC Penney and Toys R Us are among those with special perks for holiday shoppers.

Ditch store circulars and skip the clip. The Shopkick app delivers rewards to your phone when you walk into stores like Target and Best Buy, while Yowza sends exclusive deals based on your geographic area.

Meanwhile, Amazon's price check app and Shopsavvy let you scan barcodes in-store and compare prices from different retailers. You can also get deep daily discounts from group buying sites sent to your mobile device every morning.

Groupon has already kicked off a festival of holiday deals in hundreds of local markets. Living Social starts 12 days of gift-able items on December 13.

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