7 Christmas Shopping Tips

/ by

We all love Christmas. For many of us, it’s the favorite time of the year. Most like to treat their loved ones and themselves with gifts. It’s easy getting swept up by the holiday mood and ending up spending way more money than planned.

There is nothing wrong with being careful with your money, making plans and avoid spending needless amounts. Here are some Christmas shopping tips that will help you do that:

1) Use a cashback credit card

 

When using this type of card, with every purchase you make, you’ll get a percentage back, usually around 5%. This immediately makes shopping cheaper and on top of the already available discounts, however make sure you have a debit card to repay the debts at the end of every month as you may end up paying big interest.

 

2) Buy online

 

Going to the store during Christmas is a great experience for a lot of people. Everything is decorated, the displays are packed and you can feel that Christmas mood in the air. But if saving money is your priority, check out amazon and other online retailers as they’ll probably offer similar if not better deals on the items you want.

 

3) Be humble

 

Buying a present for a loved one, family member or a friend is very gratifying, but there is no need to spend insane amounts of money on each present. Remember, it’s the attention that counts.

 

4) Use loyalty cards

 

Many stores have loyalty cards. If you’re smart, you can save them throughout the year and score a nice discount when it counts the most.

 

5) Stay organized

 

Make a list with all your family members and friends, dedicate an approximate amount of money for each of them and list possible gifts.

 

6) Black Friday and Cyber Monday

 

Whether you are brave enough to hit the stores on Friday, or you prefer online shopping and Cyber Monday, these two days offer significant discounts and are definitely a valuable pit stop for a lot of shoppers.

 

7) Start early

 

Don’t wait a few days before Christmas to start your shopping. Starting early will give you enough time to wage prices and find the exact items you want without having to resort to last minute purchases.

 

READ MORE

In Store Shopping vs Online Shopping

/ by

While online shopping has seen a massive surge in the past few years, in store shopping still remains dominant in profits and a lot of people prefer to have a more hands on approach to their shopping.

Whatever your preferred method of shopping is, with the holiday season approaching, it’s good to get informed about the pros and cons of both.

 

Online Shopping

 

Pros:

It’s easy and convenient: You can do your shopping from the comfort of your home, you can compare prices between different stores, and find more deals faster.

It saves time: Going to the store requires you invest certain amount of time, you have to consider the working hours of the store, gas money, and your working hours.

It saves money: Even though it may seem you’ll be tempted to spend more money online because of the convenience, you might be surprised. Stores use different marketing techniques that are created to make you spend more money, like lightning, music, salespeople…

Cons:

Shipping prices: Depending on your location, shipping something can be far too costly to be worth buying, not to mention having to return the product if it doesn’t meet your requirements.

Can’t physically evaluate product: Sometimes looking at a picture is just not good enough. Even though you can find many reviews and information, it’s still better to actually see or test some of the items in person before buying.

Privacy issues: Online shopping requires you to share your private information with the store, giving them your email and then being spammed with their marketing. Also, if you’re using an insecure connection your data might get hacked or compromised.

 

In Store Shopping

 

Pros:

You can see and try the product before buying: This is especially relevant to items like clothes or furniture, but it’s generally better to see what you’re buying.

Salespeople: You have a real person you can talk to, get more detailed information or even try to haggle and get a better price. You get relevant first hand recommendation and advice.

No waiting: While online shopping is more convenient, you still have to wait for your item to get shipped. When you buy in store, you leave with your desired product immediately.

 

Cons:

You need to travel to the store: This can sometimes mean dense traffic, gas money and wasted time and nerves. With online shopping you never have to leave your home.

You end up spending more than you planned: Marketing techniques used by stores can sometimes make you buy stuff you haven’t even planned to. You see something, you want it but know you don’t need it, but you can’t help it. That’s the goal of their in store marketing.

Crowds: Sometimes going to the store can mean long lines and dense crowds especially when you’re shopping during the holidays and days like Black Friday.

 

READ MORE

Biggest Shopping Days Of The Year

/ by

If you’re an avid, conscious shopper that aims to find the best deals and save the most money, you might wonder when it’s best to do your shopping. Traditionally, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year, both by the amount of money spent, and the number of shoppers.

For years, Black Friday has been the biggest, most important shopping day of the year, but recently, its throne has been rocked. Known for its crazy discounts, doorbusters and sometimes not so friendly crowds, the importance of this day has been diluted in the past few years.

The main reason for it is the competition. In order to gain edge over competition, retailers are offering massive discounts earlier and earlier each year in the never-ending combat for customers. These days, you don’t need to wait for the Black Friday to get those juicy deals. Most retailers are offering them throughout the whole Thanksgiving week.

Not only that, but retailers are trying to offer lucrative deals all year long, reducing the importance the Black Friday once had. According to ShopperTrak, Black Friday sales saw a decrease of 12% compared to the previous year and the biggest shopping day this year is expected to fall on December 23rd.

Don’t count Black Friday out just yet though, it will still draws massive crowds and offers some pretty sweet deals that are hard to pass.

RetailNext did a research showing 10 most important shopping days of the year and here are the results

 

  • Friday, December 23
  • Super Saturday, December 17
  • Black Friday, November 25
  • Thursday, December 22
  • Wednesday, December 21
  • Sunday, December 18
  • Saturday, December 24
  • Saturday, December 10
  • Friday, December 16
  • Saturday, December 3

 

As expected, holiday season is the hottest time of the year to make those purchases you want and snag the items you’ve been eyeing over the year. But don’t rush, weight your options enjoy the attention and effort the retailers are investing to draw and please their potential customers.

READ MORE

5 Holiday Shopping Tips

/ by

With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us are starting to make plans on finding the best deals on all the fun stuff we want and save as much money as possible. However, for a lot of us, getting organized can be difficult and we end up spending way more money than we planned or buying items we don’t really need.

Here are some tips to follow in order to get the best possible shopping experience:

1) Making a list

 

List all the people you want to get presents for, name the potential present ideas and dedicate the approximate budged. This will help you stay organized and not waste time figuring what to buy on the spot and keeping track of your budget.

 

2) Early bird gets the worm

 

Most people wait for Thanksgiving to start their shopping, but many retailer’s put out great deals throughout the year. If you’re dead certain on the item you want to buy, looking for deals on it regularly can be a good idea as you may end up on a deal you can’t pass.

 

3) Do your research online

 

Nowadays, you can easily find great online deals. Not only that, but you can also compare prices from various retailers and find customer reviews. Reading the reviews can be a good idea because it’s a great way of making an informed purchase and not ending up with a low quality product. If you see that a lot of people tend to be happy with their purchase, that’s a great sign that the product you want to get is actually worth it.

When you decide on a product, be sure to compare the prices for major retailers before you jump the gun. Sometimes, being patient and dedicating time to research can be a great money saver for you.

 

4) Black Friday

 

We all know what it is, it’s the biggest shopping day of the year. If you feel brave enough, you can hit the stores and try to snag one of those doorbuster deals. Due to the amount of interest and profit it generates, a lot of retailers are deciding to offer deals earlier, even before Thanksgiving. So be on the prowl for the whole Thanksgiving week and you’ll be sure to find some pretty sweet deals.

 

5) Cyber Monday

 

If you prefer to do your shopping online, Cyber Monday is your day. Although you can find some great online deals on Black Friday, waiting for Cyber Monday is still the better option if you’re determined to do your shopping online. Cyber Monday gets bigger every year and is now the biggest online shopping day of the year

 

 

 

READ MORE

How To Stay Safe While Shopping Online

/ by

There are many benefits to online shopping. It’s fast, convenient, you can find the best deals and prices and you can do it all at your own comfort from your phone or PC. However, with all the benefits it offers, it’s still important to make sure you follow certain unwritten rules to avoid getting tricked and make sure your shopping goes as planned.

Here are some tips on what to do to stay safe while shopping online:

 

  1. Use a secure computer environment.

 

Use your own PC, your private network and Wi-Fi. Most places nowadays offer free and public access to the internet. While this may seem convenient, it’s best to avoid sharing your sensitive private information over such networks. If you really want to do some online shopping while you’re out or on the road, it’s recommended to use data provided by your own network provider.

 

  1. Be careful about the information you give out.

 

Usually you’ll be asked to give out certain information like the method of payment, email address, shipping address, phone number and that’s perfectly normal. However, if the seller requires additional information like your driver’s license number, social security number or your bank account information, walk away and look for another seller.

 

  1. Use a credit card over a debit one

 

The federal law protects credit card users from fraud and limits individual liability to $50. Another thing you can do is to designate a credit card solely for online purchasing. If the card gets compromised, you can shut it down more quickly and without affecting your other transactions.

 

  1. Check for https

 

On the page that requires you to enter your credit card number make sure it has https in the beginning and not just http. The “s” means the information is encrypted.

 

  1. Stay with trusted retailers

There are many places online where you can shop, but generally it’s better to stick with known brands like Amazon and EBay. These sites are extremely trusted and offer almost 100% chance your purchase will go exactly as planned and that you’ll get the product you bought.

READ MORE

Reasons to Consider Online Shopping

/ by

In recent years, the availability of fast internet, along with smartphones and social media, has made online shopping see a surge. Online stores became highly competitive, not only against online competition, but also traditional brick and mortar stores.

The ability to compare prices, look for deals from the comfort of your home and being able to read other customer reviews also made things easier and more compelling.

Most retailer’s offer no shipping charges and some of them do not pass on sales tax, which can add up to substantial savings.

There are many other advantages to shopping online:

  • You can do your shopping any time you please, the “doors” are open 24/7
  • You can shop in your pajamas and avoid crowded stores
  • You will save on gas
  • You won’t have to deal with aggressive salespeople
  • No hostile crowds or long lines
  • Customer reviews are easily accessible
  • If you’re looking for refurbished products, online shopping offers better deals
  • You can find coupons, gift cards and free shipping
  • Online stores can offer better prices because they save money on overhead

 

But to be fair, there are some disadvantages too:

  • You can’t physically see the product you’re buying
  • You can’t haggle
  • Back ordering issues
  • If a problem arises, you don’t have a person to talk to
  • Getting refunds is often easier locally
  • No seasonal tax free events

 

All things considered we’re living in the golden age of shopping. Many online stores offer numerous deals and the offer is bigger than ever. As a shopper, it’s good to have options and for those looking to save the maximum amount of money, it’s definitely worth checking out various places, both online and in the physical world.

 

READ MORE