Holiday shopping: You either love it or hate it, and there’s usually no in-between. For most of us, despite all of the seasonal cheer, it’s a complete nightmare. From the money you’re spending to the crowds you’re tackling in the stores, searching for presents can seem like a huge pain.
If you’re the type who feels like Scrooge when holiday shopping (you’re not alone), it’s time you learned a few tips that will make your holiday shopping experience much smoother and way less stressful. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even start to – dare we say it – love holiday shopping after trying these tricks!
1. Track sales & organize lists with Shoptagr
Okay, so let’s say you’ve already found the perfect presents for everyone on your list (or even for yourself). You don’t want to pay the full price, but checking back every day for discounts totally doesn’t work for you (or your final exam study schedule, TBH). And what happens if you forget to check, it goes on sale and you miss the promotion? When it comes to these online shopping woes, Shoptagr is your #1 girl.
The free online browser extension allows you to “tag” the items you’re eyeing so you can be notified the second the price changes! Thanks to Shoptagr, you’ll also be the first to know before the size or color you need goes out of stock. Plus, you can keep track of all the items you tag in organized lists – so you won’t ever forget to buy a present for your little brother or Auntie Sue ever again. It’s a holiday shopping miracle!
2. Make a list and stick to it
With all of the deals stores put out around the holidays, it’s easy to get carried away by buying more than you planned. Before you head out, make a specific list of your recipients, the items you’re looking for and how much you plan on spending per person. Only buy what you have written down, otherwise your $200 budget could quickly become $400. Goodbye savings, hello part-time job!
3. Beware of timing
If you intend on buying any gifts online and want to receive them before major holidays like Christmas, be sure to factor enough time in for shipping. Many stores’ websites will list the date by which you need to order for your goodies to arrive on time. Also remember that the business shipping days they list don’t include weekends, so plan, plan, plan! Basically, if you haven’t started making online orders yet, get on it this week!
4. Be prepared to shop ’til you drop
If you hate holiday shopping when you’re in a good mood, you definitely don’t want to try it when you’re in a bad mood – which means you need to avoid getting hangry (hungry-angry) or feeling uncomfortable. Make sure your stomach is full before embarking on a long day at the mall, so eat before and pack a snack in your purse. Also, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes —all that waiting on line and browsing will get tiring, not to mention potentially blister-inducing!
5. Compare in-store prices to online prices
If you’re in-store at Madewell and you spot that wool sweater you love but saw at a lower price online (thanks, Shoptagr!), bring it up with a sales associate. Depending on where you are, the store will look up the online price and will match it. Policies differ from company to company, but many will honor the difference because that individual store wants your business.
6. Ship gifts directly to recipients
Buying and sending a present for someone who lives across the country can be a bit of a hassle; you end up having to make a trip to the post office and paying a lot for shipping. Instead, ship the gift right from the vendor. For instance, if your cousin across the country loves Urban Outfitters, just send her that cozy sweater directly rather than shipping it to yourself, wrapping it and shipping it out again – trust us, she’ll survive without the bows and handwritten note. It’ll save you some time and may even save you some money, since many stores have a flat shipping fee as opposed to the weight-based rate at the post office!
7. Ask if there are any coupons
Typically, stores don’t overtly advertise current coupons, but they may have some at the register! When you’re about to check out, ask if there are any coupon promotions going on. The answer may be no, but it’s always worth asking. Usually it’s department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s that are more likely to have coupons at the counter since they have sales more regularly.
With tips like these, you’ll realize that holiday shopping isn’t all that bad. In fact, it can be pretty darn jolly. So now that you’re in the know, it’s time get out there and get your gifting on!
This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.