Are you ready for the holidays this year? Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday– there’s a ceaseless blur of sales and promotions all season long! It can be overwhelming, so rather than drop another sale into your overflowing inbox (although, we are having sales through the month), we wanted to give you a few practical ideas on efficient gift shopping to help wade through the fluff.
This time of year is often a shopper’s dream! With an abundance of new merchandise and special holiday gifts popping up each day, there’s always something new. We all know gifting couldn’t be easier with the popularity of online shopping. There seems to be infinite gifts right at your fingertips—from around the world, a nearby department store, or even a local artist—so how do you make the most of the opportunity?
The first thing to do for a successful season of shopping is to set a budget and stick to it. With kids, their spouses, grandkids, friends, teachers, and more it can feel impossible to keep gifting even and fair. If buying that one extra thing means you have to buy six more add-ons to even everything out, skip it and give cash or gift cards in an amount that keeps your budget intact.
Get a gift tracking app before you start making purchases. There are several available, so do a little research to see which one fits your style. Most track by person, budget, and status (when the gift has been ordered, shipped, delivered, etc). Also helpful is an archive feature so you can review last year’s list to avoid repeats—no one wants the same pair of goofy cat socks two years in a row.
If you’re old school, make a written list, a simple document on your computer, or try the notes app on your phone. Regardless of your strategy, don’t try to keep track of everything in your head!
Consider Combined Gifts
Focus on one larger family gift and individual stocking stuffers. From travel experiences to memberships, this is a great way to build family memories and know that a gift will be used. Look for local attractions like activity venues (trampoline parks or skating rinks), zoos, museums, or community theater memberships that can be used for a whole year, then fill in the gaps with small personal finishing touches for each family member.
Order Items Together
Be sure to bundle your orders. Most of us know what a waste of time it can be to drive all over town from one shop to the next, searching for a specific gift—you can have similar difficulties with online shopping. Plan your online shopping ahead of time and order multiple items from the same shop to batch ship.
Plan time to research and note where the item is offered for the best price, then set a time to designate to your online “shopping trip.” Online shopping on the fly—similarly to tossing impulse items near the register into your cart—can turn into a big mess of returns in a hurry. Take your time and plan your gift giving to avoid the after holiday let down of having to return something that turned out not to be exactly what you wanted.
Timing is everything! While the supply shortages seem to be lessening a bit, it’s still important to know when ordering deadlines are. Make sure to get your orders in early to avoid disappointed faces at your holiday gatherings this year.