Christmas shopping is no longer confined to the local mall or an annual catalog that happens to find it‘s way into your mailbox. Thanks to advanced technology, there is literally a whole world of shopping at your fingertips. The internet has revolutionized the way people shop and, besides, what better way to do your Christmas shopping than from the comfort of your own home. No longer must we suit up and weather the harsh winter days in the hopes of checking a few names off of our Christmas list. The store aisles, as we know them, are crowded and hectic.
But now, many store aisles are becoming virtual, a shopping cart is something you fill with images of a product and a checkout is something that you click on to confirm your order. Things have changed a lot in the past years and I wonder how many of us couldn’t even imagine what life would be like without the convenience of shopping on the internet. There are several tips for online Christmas shopping, which can make the experience a smooth and pleasant one.
- Be prepared – It’s a good idea to start your shopping with a complete list. This will save you both time and money with having to go back and place a separate order later on. With most online stores, you pay a flat shipping fee. In some cases, if you spend a certain amount of money on your order, the shipping and handling fee is waived. It’s always best to get everything you want, all at once, to save on shipping. Before you commit to buying from one store, shop around and compare prices on both the product and shipping.
- The early bird gets the gift – If you want to get the best selection, begin your holiday shopping early. Internet stores generally carry large quantities of every item, but even they can sell out. As Christmas draws near, it becomes more difficult to find the exact item that you’re looking for. There’s nothing like finding the perfect item and seeing the words, ‘Sold Out’ written under the price.
- Shop Safe – When ordering anything online, check product reviews if available. Always shop secured websites because you will be entering your credit card, or banking information, for payment. You don’t want your financial information accessed by anyone else, which is why all secured websites let you know how they protect your data.
- Wrap it up – If you’re like most, there’s not a lot of extra time around the holidays. If you need to save some time on wrapping, most online stores offer a gift wrapping service for a small fee. At some point during the ordering process, you may be asked if you would like to add gift wrap or a name tag. It’s as easy as the click of a button, which is much easier than trying to tie the perfect bow.
- Check Delivery Dates – When placing your order, check to make sure that the item is in stock or will be delivered in time for Christmas. Many times, especially near the holidays, items will go on a backorder status. It’s not uncommon for an advanced order item to have a delivery date of January, so be sure to check the status of the items in your shopping cart, along with their expected delivery dates. Not only that, but it’s also a good idea to check on the company’s shipping policy and delivery time for in-stock items.
- Christmas Cards? – With all the stuff going on in December it’s easy to forget to send out Christmas cards to family and friends. But if you forget to send traditional Christmas cards in time all is not lost. In fact, there are some great sites and services online that will send your Christmas cards out for you (saving you precious time). You can find services that are both free and paid, and services that send both digital and tradition paper Christmas cards.