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Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Shopping Online For The Holidays

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Shopping online is the easiest way to prepare for the holidays. The internet makes it possible to shop from the comfort of your house.  You can research gifts and comparison shop saving time and effort.  As you prepare to start shopping online, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Start early to avoid rush shipping fees, especially with personalized or custom items
  • Make a list of everything you need to buy and try to combine orders to avoid increased shipping costs
  • Comparison shop on several websites before making a decision
  • Check the company’s return/exchange policy
  • Check the shipping and handling time frame
  • Ship gifts directly to the recipient if time or distance is an issue
  • If you have never ordered from a site before, look for customer testimonials, reviews, and privacy policy
  • Sign up for a website’s newsletter and facebook group to receive coupons and sale notifications
  • Choose a site that has a payment option you are comfortable with
  • Double check the order before confirming
  • Save all e-mail receipts until after you know the item does not need to be returned or exchanged
  • Keep track of how much you have  spent on your original list

Shopping can be overwhelming, but being organized and starting early can make it much easier!

Holiday Shopping Deadlines

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

I’ll admit that usually I am a last minute shopper.  Most years I am just starting my shopping at this time, but this year I am already done!  This is mostly due to on line shopping.  It has been great getting most of it done from the comfort of my home and watching as the packages arrive.  The last of the shopping was some photo ornaments I finished up today.

If you still have some gifts to buy on your list, here are a few deadlines for getting those online gifts in time using standard shipping (most have later dates which you can order by and pay for expedited shipping).

Shutterfly:   December 10-19
Snapfish:  December 14-17
Amazon:  Free super saver shipping – December 16; Standard shipping – December 20
Apple Store:  December 18
Barnes & Noble:  Decemeber 17
Borders:  Decemeber 16
Cafe Press:  Decemeber 15
Disney Store: Decemeber 17
Gamestop: December 21
Red Envelope:  December 16
Target:  Decemeber 20
ToysRUs: December 20
VistaPrint: December 10
PuddlesCollection:  December 10

Happy Shopping!

Planning For Holiday Shopping

Friday, October 8th, 2010

In a very unlike me fashion I have already started planning for the holiday shopping and have even purchased a few items already!  I used to only be able to take life one holiday at a time, but that made Christmas shopping both expensive and stressful.  So this year I am getting a jump on things.

I started by updating my recipients in the Google Docs spreadsheet list and removing all the gifts from last year.  This way I have a good number of what I need to get.  I decided to start with the kids on the list (because let’s face it, they are the easiest to buy for).  A few years ago we made a deal with both my brother and my husband’s sister:  instead of getting each other gifts, we go out for a dinner together after the holidays and we just buy for each others kids.  Works great.  I also started a tradition with my aunt and uncle where we each make a donation to charity in lieu of giving each other gifts.  I highly recommend doing whatever you can to reduce the number of gifts you need to purchase.

Here is my strategy for my kids and the other kids on the list:

  • Check Woot, Mamabargains, and KidSteals every day to see what the deals are.  Yesterday I stocked up on science kits that I can use for both Christmas and Birthday gifts
  • Read my Amazon e-mails.  I was able to order two Blue-Ray/DVD combo packs with a $10 off coupon and free shipping
  • Check the sales anytime I am in Target and buy (no waiting)
  • Order my Pillow Pets now!  Ok, I still need to do this, but my kids both really want them and I don’t want to risk stores running out.
  • If I see it at Costco, get it! They had a good price on the Leapster Explorer the other day so I grabbed it.
  • The Scholastic Book Fair at our school next week will be a great place to stock up on books for gifts.  I find books to be a great way to round out smaller gifts.

At the end of the day, we go to enough birthday parties that if I have gifts left over it will not be a big deal. It is much better to take advantage of the sales and free shipping offers now.

Then comes the hard part, shopping for the adults.  The grandma’s love the photo gifts, especially the calendars.  That is another one that needs to be done early if you want avoid expedited shipping fees so I will be checking Shutterfly and Snapfish for their current deals and get started next week.

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