Advice for Online Christmas Shopping

Let us face it! The stores’ customers are getting way too negative when it comes to the so-called “Christmas Spirit.” I have seen fights break out over the popular, low stocked and under distributed video game system.

Now, stores are virtual and on your desktop, laptop, touch-screen, mobile phone, etc. Wherever your are, you can shop. When an idea hits you, you can search for it without having to call from store to store or drive all over town. If these guys fighting over the video game ordered or even pre-ordered their system online, they would not have had to spend some of their time in jail. Of course there is no promise of the item being in stock, even online but most site allow you to put your information in and be charged only when the item comes in stock and is being sent to you. In this case, you should get an e-mail confirmation. We have provided some tips to help make your MORE pleasant shopping season stay pleasant AND SAFE.

1. Preparation; Even though you are not going shopping out in the real world, you still need to take a few of the same preparations. LISTS! Make sure you have a list of the people you want to buy for. It will help by jotting down ideas of the items they would like. This will help you build your complete “shopping cart” in each online store before completing your purchase. Make sure you have everything that store offers so that you can keep yoour shipping cost(s) as low as possible. Many times, a shipping fee is waived if your purchase total exceeds a certain amount.

2. Be Early; Again, some of the traditions stay whether you shop in a physical or a virtual store. You should begin early, and being at home (after the kids have gone to bed) makes it a little easier. Although online stores generally keep a large stock of merchandise, they can still sell out. As mentioned earlier, no store can have and endless stock of the most popular and brand new video game system. As Christmas comes closer and closer, the shopping volume of both physical and virtual stores increase.

3. Security; Just as physical stores’ Christmas shopping draws out thieves and pick-pockets, virtual shopping bring out identity thieves. If you have to type in much information in a store or create an account, make sure your information is entered in on a secure page. Another precaution you can take is not to enter in credit card or bank information on a Wi-Fi connection. All it takes is a laptop near your computer (whether in your house, or at the coffee shop) who has a program locked on your computer’s activity. They can read everything you do. Do your purchase on a computer connected to a hard line. Check to see if the particular store you are shopping has been reviewed.

4. Wrapping Services; Wrapping takes a lot of time and although you may save time by shopping online, lets face it, we find other things to occupy us. Besides, when a package is delivered, it can be impossible to sneak it by the kids. So look for a wrapping service. Most stores will have them around Christmas. Some even have them year round.

5. Delivery Date; This is a reason to start early. Sometimes, a few items (popular items especially) will go on backorder status. Not only are they out of stock, but they already have a list of purchases to be sent when it is available. Normally, they can calculate when the item will be in stock and when it can be delivered.

6. Card Services; It is easy to forget a select few people to send a card to. There are services available to prevent this situation. Just type in the name and address of the people you want to send to, choose a theme and they will take care of the rest.

There you have it. Otherwise, just shop around and compare prices as you would in a physical store.