Online Shopping Expedition
Posted by Ken | Filed under Ken
As much as I love the thought and creativity behind holiday gift-giving, I cannot stand the whole shopping experience. Christmas shopping tops out as one of my biggest headaches of the year. I despise shopping in the winter, with my big bulky coat, hot and frustrated, lugging shopping bags through a crowded mall.
I decided that this Christmas, I was going to try my damndest not to set one foot inside of a physical store. And to do this, I’ve been Christmas shopping ONLINE as much as humanly possible.
Working with My Christmas List, I’ve been searching out gifts, reading product reviews and consumer feedback, finding the best prices and sales without having to commute from one store to another.
All from the comfort of my couch.
It might sound like a lot of work, but I’ve found the whole process about a zillion times less stressful than the gong-show that is the mall.
Tips for Success
- Start Early. This piece of advice probably isn’t of much use to you now, but online retailers get flooded with orders around the holidays that can delay shipping time. Sites like Amazon will tell you when your purchase should arrive before you click “BUY.” Honestly, I’ve been more than impressed with the expediency of the shipping from some of the bigger retailers.
- Shipping Address. Don’t you hate coming home to a courier notice on your door: “FedEx was here. Sorry we missed you because you work a day job.” If possible, have your purchases shipped to your office. That way there will always be someone to sign for your item and there’s no need to wait in line at the post-office to pick up your loot.
Tips for staying on budget:
- Do the Math. Factor in sales tax and SHIPPING before you click “BUY.” International shipping rates and customs can add an outrageous amount to your bill. Sites like Ebay, Amazon, and even Walmart offer fast free shipping!
- Bidder’s Remorse. For online bidding sites, set your limit and stay within it. There is nothing worse than eBay regret – emotionally bidding because you want to ‘win’ your item. You haven’t won anything. You just overspent on an that electric nostril groomer in your epic bidding battle against username HairyBeast20012. Hope you’re proud (I know I wasn’t).
Safety Tips for Online Shopping:
- Select merchants carefully. Limit your online shopping to merchants you know and trust. Confirm the online seller’s physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. If you have questions about a merchant check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Pay by Credit Card! Credit Cards have more protection and less liability. If your debit card, cheque or money order is compromised, that’s money out of your bank account that you’ll never get back.
- Keep a record. Keep a record of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and copies of every e-mail you send or receive from the seller. Review your credit card and bank statements for unauthorized charges.
- Use Common Sense. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Having gone the online route this year, it’s definitely a system I’m going to employ from now on. It’s been a fun, efficient experience and really cut down on the soul-sucking shopping that has, until recently, harshed my holiday spirit.
Here’s to your sanity!
Follow me on Twitter: @kennethpaul615