How To Shop For Christmas
How to Shop for Christmas
Christmas is one of the most exciting times of year for many people all over the world. Although shopping can be a little bit stressful, it’s also a chance to find a meaningful and thoughtful gift for someone in your life. In the world we live in, there are many different techniques and ways that you can shop so having a clearer idea of what style works for you will mean the process goes as smoothly as possible!
Choosing Christmas Gifts
Ask the person’s friends and family about their interests and hobbies.Often, their friends and family will have an idea of the things they’ve been hoping for or have been wanting for a while. Depending on their hobbies and interests, you might be able to find something that aligns with those interests.
- For example, their friends may say they love hiking. Even if you don’t know exactly what the person may want, you can get a hiking related gift and be relatively confident they will like it.
- Asking their friends for advice on gifts is a great starting point if you don’t know the person very well.
Listen to the person for hints that they may be dropping.Often, people will give subtle little hints about what they may be hoping to get for Christmas. This is something that takes a little bit of skill to listen for, but can be really effective when trying to decide what to get.
- For example, while someone is around you they may often say something like “I saw so many cool things in the clothes store down the road yesterday!”
- This isn’t limited to just in-person conversations. Someone may also post things on their social media. For example, someone might post a link to something saying “Wow! How cool is this new electric kettle?”
Use an online wishlist creator so people can tell you what they want.These programs are free and incredibly easy to find with just a simple google search. They let you form a group with people and write out your wishlist. In turn, you have access to other people’s wish lists so you have an idea of what to get them.
- A couple of popular programs are “Wishpot” or “Wishlistr”. You can find these with a simple google search.
- One of the advantages of this system is that you get to keep the anonymity aspect so a person doesn’t know if a gift from their wishlist has been purchased or not.
- There are several of these programs online and they all function in pretty much the same way.
Get an experience for a gift if you’re struggling for ideas.Look for something that you and the person can do together, rather than something they would do just by themselves. Research has shown that experiential gifts often end up being more meaningful than material ones.Some ideas for an experiential gift might be:
- Cheese tasting
- Road trip
- Flights somewhere
- VIP museum tour
Get a gift card if you aren’t sure what else to get them.Try and do a little preliminary research so you know what sorts of gift cards they will enjoy the most. Make sure there is plenty of time before the expiry date on the card (aim for at least 6 months in most cases).
- Gift cards are fantastic because they allow the person receiving the gift to choose exactly what they want so you know that they will get a gift they are going to use.
Check the company’s return policy and give the receipt with the gift.When you are buying the gift, ask the store clerk what the return policy is. Make sure you tell your recipient what the policy is and that they should feel free to exchange it/return it if they don’t like it or it doesn’t fit.
- The main thing to ask the store clerk is how many days before you aren’t allowed to return the gift and what condition it must be in.
Saving Money on Gifts
Set a spending limit for yourself to keep costs down.It doesn’t really matter whether this is high or low, all that matters is that you set it and that you stick to it. You can set one either for your total spending for Christmas, or just individually for each person.
- For example, you might decide that you are only going to spend USD per person or maybe that you’ll spend 0 USD total across all gifts.
- This is a great tactic for limiting the amount of money that you spend. Impulse buying when you’re shopping is sometimes quite difficult to control. Even just having a number that you have mentally set yourself will help you stay in control.
Make a shopping list to help limit your number of impulse buys.Sticking to this list isn’t absolutely mandatory, of course, but it does help you stay in control. Make sure you bring it with you when you actually go to do the shopping.
- Use a physical piece of paper or make one on your computer and print it out.
- Another advantage of having a list is that you can be certain that you have or haven’t purchased gifts for various different people. You can check people off this list as you buy the gifts.
Take advantage of sales you see during the rest of the year.There’s no reason that you need to wait until Christmas to actually start your Christmas shopping!You can save a lot of money by keeping an eye on sales at other times throughout the rest of the year.
- Stores will often raise their prices when it comes to the holiday season because they know that many people need to do their shopping and will pay the extra money. Shopping throughout the year helps you avoid this.
- Sometimes you’ll be just browsing around for nothing in particular or just walking down the road and you’ll come across something perfect for someone. Don’t be afraid to buy it then and there!
Pay in cash when you’re shopping so you know how much you’ve spent.Before you go shopping, get some cash out of an ATM machine. Take some time to split this cash however you like per person so that you can take that amount when you go shopping for each person/group of people.
- Paying in cash allows you to actually have a visual aid as to how much spending you’re actually doing. Using a credit/debit card doesn’t have the same mental impact on us or hold us as accountable.
- If you feel like being even more accountable, leave your cards at home so you don’t even have the temptation of using them while shopping.
Shop at discount stores to get the best savings.Look around, when you’re in malls, for large department stores that sell high-quality items at heavily discounted rates. Many of these stores even sell designer brands at really reasonable prices.
- Try looking for outlet malls which have huge groups of these stores all located in one place. This makes shopping incredibly straightforward and often much cheaper!
Shop at off-peak hours to avoid large crowds.This can save you a lot of stress and also runs in line with the idea of shopping outside of the holiday season. Normally, Monday and Tuesday evenings are great for shopping. The middle of the day is also a really great option as many people are at work.
- Shopping at off-peak hours also allows you the freedom to take your time and also converse with the shop assistants to get as much information as you need.
Bring headphones and listen to upbeat music to stay on track.Download a playlist from a streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Music. The music's beats per minute should ideally be well above your resting heart rate of around 60 beats per minute.
- Most stores play Christmas themed music around the holiday season. They do this to create a feeling of nostalgia in shoppers which makes them linger longer and potentially spend more.
- Having an upbeat playlist energizes and focuses you in the same way it would if you were working out.
Shop by yourself to stay focused.Many people feel that shopping by themselves allows them to focus more on just doing the shopping they’ve planned. When you shop with friends, it’s easy for them to act as “enablers” by encouraging you to buy something or saying that something would look great on you, when you don’t actually need it.
- It’s possible that if you have really poor self-control, having someone with you may actually help restrict your spending. However, make sure that if you bring someone along for that purpose, they know that you want them to act in that way.
Take breaks to keep stress levels down.Look for a cafe or perhaps a bookstore where you can get away from the crowds and make your shopping experience more enjoyable. Feel free to relax in these places for as long as you need before continuing on with your shopping.
- This is a really healthy thing to do as Christmas shopping can be incredibly stressful and taking just a little bit of time out for yourself can really help you manage this.
Buying Gifts Online
Start your online shopping early to ensure on-time delivery.Everything around the holiday season can get fairly chaotic so ordering early is really important. Allow for at least 5 business days for domestic orders and 10 business days for international orders.
- When you are ordering something from a website, it should have the estimated delivery times when you are choosing your shipping preferences.
Look around for promo codes that can get you discounts.Around the holidays, many companies will put out promotional codes that customers can use to get an additional discount off their order. Look around each website to see if you can find any; they will often be located near the top of the page.
- If you can’t find any on the website, try googling the company’s name followed by “promo code” or “discount” to bag yourself a code.
- Many companies also pay famous people who have a large following on social media, to promote their product. Look around your various social media platforms and see if you can find any promo codes from the famous people you’re connected with.
Try and find stores that offer free shipping.Free shipping is something that many websites offer these days. The competition in the market has made it such that it’s almost a necessity to have. Getting free shipping can often mean a good discount off the total price you end up paying.
- If a website has free shipping, they normally make it very clear that they do by having a banner at the top of the page or somewhere else on their website.
- Many shops offer free shipping for orders above a certain dollar value. If this is the case, it may be advantageous to do a lot of your shopping on these sites.
Open up a web browser and compare as many prices as you can.The way online shopping works nowadays means that one item may be sold by many different stores. Opening up lots of different tabs on your web browser allows you to compare prices directly and get the best deal.
- You can also compare by using a price comparison search engine such as “PriceGrabber” or even “Google”.
- Make sure you factor in shipping costs and other fees when you’re comparing the total price of a product.
Video: HOW TO CHRISTMAS SHOP FOR THE PERSON ON YOUR LIST WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT FOR CHRISTMAS!
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