With Christmas Day 9 days away, it is time to get serious about holiday shopping. If you are ahead of the crowd and are already finished, kudos to you! However, if you are like myself, there are at least a few items that remain on a loved one’s wish list. Here are the top ten holiday shopping tips from the National Retail Federation:
1. Shop after 6:00 pm the evening before a sale is advertised to begin. Many retailers program the registers the night before, so the sale may already come up in the system despite there being promotional advertisements displayed around the sales floor.
2. Prepare a list to use while you are shopping, be sure to include alternative choices in case of stock-outs.
3. Take advantage of stores’ extended hours and shop during these times. This helps avoid crowds.
4. If you are looking for a specific advertised item, bring the advertisement with you. That way you do not end up with the wrong item or in the wrong store.
5. Always use gift receipts in the case the merchandise needs to be returned or exchanged.
6. Remember when gift shopping you are buying for someone else’s wants and needs, not your own.
7. Shop safely! Watch your personal belongings including handbags and purchases. Stores are not responsible for any lost items.
8. Save yourself some time for other to-d0′s on your holiday agenda, let the charity group at the mall wrap your gifts.
9. When shopping online, have your credit card and address book available at your fingertips. Many websites have timed windows to complete shipping and billing information.
10. Wear comfortable shoes! You will be walking a lot on tile and marble flooring.
Hope these tips are found to be helpful!
Crystal VanZandt (Linda Miller’s winter break intern)
Check out Williams Sonoma for lizard -looking embossed leather trays. The gray blue color is perfect for year round entertaining.
Internet and Catalog Exclusive.
Helen Ford Wallace, Social columnist
I bought my first laptop computer through an online auction at eBay. It was used and the price was right. That was four years ago.
There is a thrill to online auctions that is not unlike, say, a fishing expedition. You get a big one on your hook and then fight to reel it in. When it’s yours, there is a real sense of accomplishment. Same for outbidding the competition for a used computer.
The difference is that when you are bidding online for an item that you’ve never seen from a person you’ve never met, there is a tremendous amount of trust involved. The used computer was the biggest item I’ve ever bid on.
I had heard the horror stories of online fraud, but still had faith to plunge into the auction. I read and re-read the auction page and looked at the photos, including one that showed a slight flaw in the top of the computer case.
So I bid and won. Four days later my faith was rewarded when the computer arrived by UPS. It lived up to its promises.
That old Powerbook traveled the state and nation with me until last year when technology passed it by and it began to have problems of its own. I sold it for parts to a new buyer who put his faith and trust in an online auction.
I hope it was all he envisioned.
Woot is one of the great online bargain sites. For the uninitiated, Woot offers one and only one item for sale each day. The deals can be remarkable. However, Woot also features occasional Woot-offs, when multiple items are offered one at a time. As each item sells out, a new item is offered. Today is a Woot-off day. For more information, check the official Woot faq.
There also is a shirt Woot site, and a wine Woot site that each follow the one-daily-deal business model from the company based in suburban Dallas. So start clicking and start saving.