With Thanksgiving running a bit later in the calendar this year, fewer days are left for traditional shoppers this year. That means you might be doing some of your holiday shopping right up to the last minute. The good news is, you can still take advantage of special deals and coupons and save money while crossing everyone off your list.
Shopping online will help you find all those last-minute gifts you still need. You can glean ideas through online searches, and then find those gifts in multiple stores without having to leave your house. Here are some tips to make online shopping work for you:
* Ideas aplenty: If you have a teenager on your list, try searching for “technology for teens” to help you find unique tech toys that will fit your budget and put a smile on the recipient’s face. Do the same kind of searches for everyone on your list, using phrases like “gift ideas for,” “senior,” “mother,” “youth,” “hands on,” or “crafty.” If the recipient has a specific hobby, search for gift ideas related to that hobby and you might discover the perfect gift.
* Compare and save: Once you have an idea, there’s a good chance several vendors will have it available for sale. It’s much easier to view several websites giving product details at once than to drive from store to store in the winter weather and take copious notes. Things to check out when making comparisons: price, shipping cost, speed of shipping, gift wrapping availability and the company’s return policy.
* Coupons and discounts: Once you find the store that offers you the best deals on the gifts you’ve chosen, get further discounts through Ebates.com, which gives you cash back on your purchases. For example, if you decide to purchase an outdoor adventure gift from REI for your camping-enthusiast brother, you will receive a check at the end of the quarter for 4 percent of your purchase. That’s in addition to any coupons or discount codes for free shipping Ebates.com can give you for your purchase. And if you’re on the go, apps like the Ebates mobile app help you do your shopping wherever you want and still get the gifts in time for the holiday.
* Shipped in the nick of time: Online retailers will advise you the last recommended date to ship to have your gift arrive in time for the holiday and also advise you on any additional charges that may be required for next-day delivery. As mentioned before, some retailers provide gift-wrapping services, so you only need to complete the purchase transaction, lean back, relax, and know that your gift will arrive in time for Santa to come down the chimney.
Don’t let your last minute timing have you in the gift-giving dog house this holiday season. But don’t delay any longer. Boot up your computer, lean back in your chair and start checking off the people on your gift-giving list.