If you enjoy online shopping for Christmas gifts and other special occasions, the helpful guide below offers tips to make the experience go smoother than ever. Use these to get the gifts you need when you need them.
Make an Online Shopping List
It might sound silly, but online shopping is no different than store shopping when it comes to shopping lists. Lists can save you time when surfing the Net for items and they can save you money on shipping. You might need to buy gifts for several people. Make a list of the gift recipients and the possible gift items for each person. Visit an online shopping mall that carries a variety of merchandise. If you can buy multiple gifts at one online mall, you might save on shipping and possibly get a package discount.
Shop with Those You Trust
Choose companies that you feel you can trust to send your package on time at a reasonable retail price. Some online companies will inflate their prices around the holidays or charge very high shipping and handling rates. If you want to try out a new online mall or store, buy an inexpensive item when there’s no holiday to check out their customer service, promptness in delivery, and quality of products. This is a good way to test the site before ordering multiple gifts for the holidays.
Online shopping for any type of gift, such as clothes, DVDs, toys, shoes, music, or games, requires a certain amount of time for shipping. During the holidays, it’s especially important to shop early so you’ll receive the items on time. For Christmas gifts, do your online shopping around mid-November or earlier so you’ll receive the gifts on time.
Though most online packages arrive safely and on time, there are occasions when the wrong item is received, is very late arriving, or a package gets damaged. Allow time for receiving the gift and for returning any items that might be damaged as well as items that were not what you expected.
Don’t Forget Receipts and Return Policies
When ordering from any online store or mall, be sure to print and keep your receipts. You never know when you might need to return something. Also, be sure you understand the return policies of the companies where you buy the gifts. Some companies may offer a refund while others only allow exchanges. Some will refund shipping with your purchase, some will not. Check for restocking fees and whether you or the store will pay for the shipment for returns.
Read the Fine Print – Beware of Survey Giveaways
With any major purchase, always read the fine print. Software, music, video games, books, and magazines might be offered at extremely low prices or even free in exchange for filling out surveys. There are legitimate surveys where people can get real merchandise free or even earn money. Unfortunately, many surveys will only spam your inbox continually and never send you the free items promised.
Advertisements that offer free $250+ gift cards, free vacations, free software, and so forth are often masks for spammers though there may be some legitimate offers online. Beware before agreeing to fill out any survey or giving away your email address to a company you’re not familiar with.
Shopping for gift items such as books, DVDs, clothes, shoes, electronics, music, software, and other products can be a breeze with the convenience of online shopping. The tips above can help you shop wisely and avoid pitfalls while getting the holiday gifts you need at a fair price.