Holiday Shopping in a Hurry
Holiday Shopping in a Hurry – Don’t Shop ’til You Drop!
By Ashley Kromrey
Is it too late? Black Friday might be over, but for some of us (procrastinators), we may have only just begun holiday shopping. You might’ve dodged an ugly (and crowded) bullet by not partaking in the biggest shopping day sale of the year, but now suddenly things seem to have sped up over night. The countdown has started and you need to get your shopping done quickly, no one wants to be on that line at Target on the evening of December 24th. If you missed Cyber Monday, here are some quick tips and tricks for holiday shopping in a hurry.
- Do not underestimate the convenience of convenience stores. The same store that you run to for cough syrup at 10 p.m., has the remedy for your holiday shopping blues. From gift bags and wrapping paper, generic gifts for unexpected guests, to buying a Christmas stocking and filling it with little gifts. These gifts can include body scrubs, nifty socks, cologne, snacks, chap stick, hand warmers, candy, gas/restaurant gift cards, games and more. This is a golden makeshift opportunity to reminisce of your particular friend or family members childhood “favorites.” Bonus- most stores are open late.
- Online shopping is easy, and most comfortable while wearing sweatpants. If you’ve never capitalized on online shopping, welcome to 2015. Investing in Amazon Prime, instead of Amazon for crunch shopping, will speed up the process of sending gifts to your home to wrap, or in less time, directly send to the person’s home. Amazon Prime gives you the benefits of free two-day shipping on eligible items, and free shipping to addresses in eligible zip codes, and drones that fly faster then eight Reindeer. It costs $99 for an entire year, consider this an investment and gift in itself for you, the procrastinator. With holiday shopping in a hurry, be careful that your gift does not arrive after Christmas, to be safe it’s best to have online orders in no later then 2 weeks ahead of time, or you could pay a fortune in next day or two-day shipping fees.
- Malls are open earlier and close later nearing the holiday. Early morning is prime time to find parking and worth getting up early, most malls open by 10 a.m. and close as late as midnight even on Christmas Eve. You may have to battle a herd of strollers or mall walkers, but it’s less likely that you’ll have to battle people hustling to find gifts during their lunch break from work. Bonus- remember New Jersey malls do not have sales tax on clothing.
- The gift in the gift receipt. Tuck this little piece of paper into the collar of that wool-knit sweater or tape it under the lid of a gift box, either way this act shows you really do care that your gift receiver will be ultimately happy with their present, or a paper cut will be the least of your problems. Online retailers have really polished their customer service with offering free returns and retailers now may even include adhesive return labels with the original purchase. The stores considered to have perfect returns are Nordstroms and Saks. Be sure to research in advance whether stores add a costly restocking and return shipping fees. Time from return to refund has also shortened, by offering “instant returns” in under seven days, some retailers have your purchase credited before the item has reached the warehouse.
5. Where there’s a will, there’s an App. Help is on the way to keep you on the edge of every sale and stay organized with holiday apps. PeeqPeeq collects promotional ads in your email and puts them out in a colorful, categorized catalog. You can bookmark an ad or send it to friends by email or text message. Pounce lets shoppers scan images they spot in print ads with their iPhone, so you don’t have pieces of paper floating around your car when you get to the mall. Even better, purchase the item online from the retailer who ran the ad. Fancy, is a your app for hard to find collector items and products, to more classic luxury goods and apparel. Part store, blog, magazine and wish list, Fancy showcases it all in a “crowd-curated” catalog. Don’t rack your nerves calling a million stores or driving to a store, only to find out that whatever you planned to buy is out of stock. Instead, TalkTo gets you fast answers to questions you text to local businesses. Bonus- compare prices and check product inventory.
Now, go forth and God speed on your Holiday shopping spree!
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