Christmas is one of the most festive times of the year. No matter where you go, you’ll see people celebrating the season in their own unique ways. And while people may have different backgrounds, they still look forward to the same thing during the holidays: the gifts.
Although it isn’t what the celebration is all about, it goes without saying that gift-giving is a holiday tradition that has thrived through countless generations. In fact, it is widely practiced by many people in their homes and even at work.
But while it is an exciting part of the Yuletide season, it can also come with a lot of pressure and may require a lot of effort. It can even leave your bank account empty from unplanned gift purchases.
Fortunately, completing your holiday gift list can be done in the comfort of your home, and with less expense and effort, thanks to e-commerce. Heck, you can even buy an air conditioner in Lebanon at its best price and have it delivered to wherever you are without changing out of your pajamas.
Wondering how? All you need is to do is follow these holiday shopping hacks and be on your merry way to a debt-free new year:
1. Create a List and a Budget and Follow Them Strictly
This is probably the oldest and most obvious trick in shopping that is, sadly, often neglected. Your shopping strategy, which entails a list of items to be bought and the budget allotted for each, will make or break your holiday shopping spree (and your bank).
Just imagine going grocery shopping on an empty stomach – chances are that you’ll feel the gnawing desire to buy everything around you because of your hunger. Shopping without a list feels very much like this.
Because you haven’t decided on what to buy, you tend to look for what’s available around you and base your shopping decision solely on what you see. This can lead to a situation where, instead of picking the gift for a person, you select anyone for the gift you impulsively bought, which is often the cause of unappreciated gifts.
Aside from planning for the items, you should also decide on a price range or allotted amount for every person on your holiday gift list. This can help narrow down the choices to only those items that you can afford.
In short, when creating a holiday shopping list, make sure you have decided on the following information beforehand:
- The receiver
- Type of item to buy
- Price range
Doing so will help you avoid reckless spending and impulsive buying when going gift shopping online.
2. Start Early
Considering your holiday shopping list as early as August or September may seem like overkill, but it is actually an excellent practice that can help you avoid overspending. In fact, finance experts recommend starting early with your research to determine what gifts to get your loved ones.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to buy gifts during this time. You just need to start looking at giftable items and their prices to know which ones can fit your budget while ensuring that the receiver appreciates the gift you buy.
3. Time Your Shopping Spree Wisely
Aside from the “what” and “where,” you also need to think about “when” you shop. When holiday gift shopping, you have to think about the right timing of your purchase as some items have lower prices at specific times of the year.
To be more specific, you can expect price drops when one of two situations are met: when the demand is lowest and when the demand is highest.
For example, when shopping for toys online, be sure to do it right before Christmas. This is because many people shop for toys during the holiday season when the demand is at its highest.
Alternatively, holiday decorations are most affordable after the season has passed, and candies are a dime a dozen post-Halloween. These are the times when the demand for such products are at their lowest, which explains the lower pricing.
4. Use Apps to Look for Better Deals
Like in brick-and-mortar stores, you can also find promo deals when shopping online. Use your smartphone to browse prices for the same item more quickly with the help of specific apps that scour the Internet for better deals. Simply scan the product’s QR code or barcode and wait for the results.
5. Seek Free Shipping
Aside from coupons and discounts, you can also try to proactively ask for free shipping from the online store or merchant through their live chat service.
More often than not, merchants give potential customers a taste of how good their customer service is through a welcome gift in the form of a discount voucher or free shipping.
Be Merry by Saving Money
Shopping for the holidays doesn’t need to cost you your life savings. Follow these tricks and start saving money even when shopping online.