‘Tis the season for some last minute shopping. I know I always have the best of intentions about buying gifts year round when I find just the right thing or at least being done by Christmas, but this year just didn’t pan out like that.
This year has been the year of chaos. I messed up most of my regular, organized list and everything devolved into a panicked, how am I going to get this done, free for all. And some of that free for all included online shopping.
The good thing about online shopping though, is that there is a bunch of ways to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Step #1: Make a List
What can I say other than, this year, do as I say and not as I do. Though, I can be an example of what happens when you don’t make a list – who got her two best friends an extra gift she completely forgot about because she had no list and the shipping on it was slow and by the time it had gotten here, I’d already gotten another gift – and both were personalized. So there we are, this year they get a little extra love. I’m not heartbroken or anything, but it was definitely a ‘doh moment when I opened the package with their first gift in it.
Usually I’ve got a list of each person I’m buying for and I note next to the list what I’ve gotten. Solves that particular problem.
Step #2: Brainstorm
If you’ve got a rough idea of what you’d like to get each person, that makes it easier to find the best deal – as opposed to wandering websites without a clue. It’s far easier to find the best deals on a warm pair of pj’s versus aimless checking out sales items on Modcloth or ThinkGeek while trying to figure out what the person you’re shopping for might like.
On the flip side, you may be really stuck without a clue, in which case, set a budget for that person and browse away. But aimless browsing without a clue or a budget can be really dangerous. Websites like Deal Go! Go! Go! can help you find the best current deals on a wide variety of items.
Step #3: Shop Around
Before actually checking out anywhere, scope out a few different sites to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal for an item. Once you’ve settled on a site to buy from, double back to eBates and see if they offer rebates from that site. All you have to do is click through to the site through eBates and you’ll start saving. It’s a really awesome site!
Step #4: Protect Your Deals
Sign up for Paribus to make sure that the awesome deal you got was actually as awesome as they get! Paribus continues to scout websites and if there’s a price drop, it will try to get you the difference. You do this by linking your email account that your receipts go to and the credit card you use – and that’s all the work it takes.
Waiting till the last minute usually isn’t the best way to get things done, but at least online shopping minimizes some of that pain – and these great deal websites really take the sting out of holiday procrastination!