Reporter: Madeleine Kennard

"You can save hundreds of dollars," said Tim Shaw, "You can save anywhere from fifty percent."

With just 17 days left until to Christmas, it's a dash for those last minute gifts and budgets are being stretched as much as Santa's suit.

"I was really surprised about the amount of cash savings that we saw," said Tim Shaw.

"I am a little bit surprised that the price is a little bit more but it does give you free shipping" said Alex Wilson.

Fingers or feet, we are putting online versus in-store retail to the test everything from toys to electronics, which will come out on top for convenience and price.

"Well we have done the online research we know our prices we know our product can we beat the prices in store I will find out." Tim Shaw

Shopping guru Tim Shaw was the original TV sales spruiker, now the shoes on the other foot, he's our feet doing the walking and talking as our undercover shopper.

"When I saw best price I thought come on there has got to be a better deal when I asked I got a better deal I got 20 percent off." Said Tim Shaw

"Today I am going to be putting online to the test and my goal is to show shoppers how they can save a good amount of money this Christmas." said Alex Wilson.

Our fingers will be Alex Wilson from savings guide he sticks to budgets for a living and the gen y is quietly confident that shopping online has already given him a head start against his on foot competitor.

"So we have done three websites in three minutes we have looked at a range of products you couldn't do that if you were in the car driving to the store could you?" asked Madeleine Kennard.

"In terms of the time saving and level of effort it cannot be compared to in-store retail," said Alex Wilson.

With retail sales at record lows our most popular department stores are offering irresistible incentives

. Andrew Cooper from dstore.com.au says that with shoppers estimated to spend up to $3000 this year on Christmas presents online sales are up by 10 % and that number is expected to rise.

"Research shows that there is an enormous percentage of even in-store purchases are researched online and when you research online you are only a couple of clicks away from actually" said Alex Wilson.

So back to the shopping tests the first item on the Christmas list the Microsoft XBox 360.

"You are not going to believe this I just bought it for one hundred and fifty eight dollars." Tim Shaw said.

"We found the XBox 360 on Dstore it is slightly more I would say when it comes to instore retail we know it is a hot gift, Harvey Norman knows it is a hot gift and as a result they are using it to get people in to see what they can buy." Alex Wilson said.

By shopping in-store Tim saved $91 as he did with the Harry Potter DVD collection saving more than 30% than it was listed for online.

"Harry Potter, How much?" asked Madeleine.

"106 bucks online went instore 92 and it said best price and thought we have got to be able to do better than that, 20% of seventy three dollars sixty" Tim Shaw.

"So Alex I hate to break it to you at this stage you are two down to in-store it is not looking good." said Madeleine.

"So next up we are going to have a little look for the Nintendo 3DS so it is going to be quite a hot Christmas present this year so straight off the bat the first thing that comes to mind is game.com.au." Alex Wilson said.

"Do you think you will beat Harvey Norman?" Madeline asked.

"I do I think when we compare a number of different sites we will definitely beat that price," said Alex Wilson.

Nintendo 3ds was $189 dollars in-store and online $215 with free shipping, instore wins again with a saving of $26.

Asus EEE Slate Tablet was cheaper on the net a saving of 236.

For the kids the Dora the explorer play laptop cheaper in target with a saving of almost $9.

"Big W, Target, What did you find?" asked Madeline.

"Well we did really well, online the perfume 12 dollars, in store 7 dollars 48 but wait there is more. Masterchef thirty four bucks, twenty four bucks instore so ten bucks saving by shopping in store."

By shopping online Alex only saved in two out of the ten items purchased. But says it's important to look to international websites for better prices.

"If the Australian websites aren't stacking up you can definitely turn to the US and take advantage of the strong Australian dollar at the moment looking to sites like amazon and ebay in the US."

"When you asked me to do this story online versus instore retail I thought online would win and I tell you what, for what i have been able to see in the shops we have been to the online myth has been busted. I have got better value. Saved more cash and that means the whole family is going to benefit