Online Christmas Shopping Do’s and Don’ts

Online Christmas Shopping Do’s and Don’ts

Avoiding The Nightmares!

Everyone experiences the last-minute guilt gift buying as well as being the guilt gift recipient at some point in our lives. With smaller budgets, busier lives and so many more options to review, online shopping has become the popular vehicle for attacking the Christmas challenges of 2010. Stretching the almighty American Dollar has become the major hurdle for now, however, there are some dos and don’ts that never change.

Dos

Do start a list before November 1stbut accept that this list will continue to increase until December 24that midnight.

Do establish a budget and include wrapping supplies, shipping calculations and thank you notes but accept that your budget will decrease until December 24that midnight.

Do prioritize your gift giving list and have it semi-completed by December 5th.

Do research your recipient’s age, birth date, sex, diet preferences, hobbies, personality, marital status, social behavior, etc, (take careful notes and keep them for future gift giving occasions).

Do give extra time for shipping issues, damaged product returns and exchanges.

Don’t try to buy gifts for everyone.

Don’ts

Don’t use your credit card to buy gifts unless you can pay the entire balance by the end of the month. Minimum payments on a credit card can take up to 52 years to pay off a balance of $5,000. (If you don’t have it, don’t spend it!)

Don’t purchase gifts that require expensive maintenance that the recipients cannot afford, remember that old saying, “it’s the thought that counts”?

Don’t throw away the receipts until January 15th of the following year.

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Don’t give a gift without a gift card attached.

Don’t over analyze the gift giving process; keep it simple, the holidays are stressful enough.

Below are gifts that are extremely difficult and some things to think about if have made the decision to purchase this type of item:

The Ring – As a jewelry wholesaler I know that often this is the most impulsive purchase and the one that gets the most returns. If you are remotely thinking of a ring, these tips are a must! Ring Size, Ring Size, Ring Size! You can get this information on the sly by finding another ring that is worn on the same finger. Charts for determining ring size and can be found in many of the online jewelry stores.

Clothing – Unless this item has been tried and true, it is better to get a gift card at his/her favorite clothing or shoe store. However, a woman never complains when given a designer hobo bag.

Pets – This purchase can NEVER be a surprise unless you are reuniting an old lost friend. It is not only unfair to the recipient but to the animal as well. This is a gift that is best not given in surprise form. Entire households and significant partners must be part of the process from start to finish and it must be a life-long commitment.

Junk – that’s right, junk which is anything that was not preplanned. Last minute gifts are the notorious culprits for items that will be thrown in the basement and never see the light of day. The more planning, the better. If you didn’t have time to do your homework, it’s better to just give a card and call it a day rather than have your loved one exposed to that unopened bread machine that stares back at them every time they have to check out their circuit breaker.

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Listed below are some smart gifts or stocking-stuffers for friends that I have purchased in the past:

Gift cards to local coffee shops or internet cafes – Homemade chocolate dipped strawberries in boxes from the Dollar Store (must be delivered immediately) – Gift card for a car wash or oil change

You can never go wrong in purchasing jewelry for “her”. Here are some smart gifts or stocking-stuffers for the girl you love, women love jewelry, even if they say that they do not:

Sterling Silver Onyx Bracelet (Be sure to take into consideration the wrist measurements of 8″ or 7″) – 10K rose Gold Morganite Stud Earrings – Diamond Dust “Time in a Bottle” Necklace

I sincerely hope that I have helped take some of the stress of shopping for Christmas gifts out of your life so that you can enjoy that hot buttered rum drink whilst wrapping your gifts and placing them under the tree in plenty of precious time. Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!