As you'll probably already be aware, Christmas shopping online is going to take a huge amount of time and stress out of the run up to Christmas for you. It will make sure you not only get everything you want, it'll also mean you can have it delivered to you in the comfort of your own home; now what could be more convenient than that?
In this article we're going to look at 6 top tips when it comes to doing your Christmas shopping online.
Christmas Shopping Online Tip 1: making a list, checking it twice …
… Ok, you may not have to check it twice, but having some idea of what you want to buy, and making a note of it, is going to save you a lot of time and money online.
The reason for having a list is the fact that you can do so many cost comparisons on the internet. If you see the thing you're after on one site it always makes sense to check for it on other sites too; it's amazing just how much prices can vary from one company to another.
When comparing the costs you should also bear in mind the cost of postage. Some of the prices you see may be a lot cheaper than at a competitor's site, but, by the time you add in the postage on the two sites the actual difference may be minimal.
Christmas Shopping Online Tip 2: buy early.
Most people will already know that the earlier you buy the more likely you are to avoid the dreaded 'sold out' message; it applies to any method you choose to buy that highly in demand gift this Christmas.
If you've made your list, as mentioned in tip one, then you should have been able to get a head of the crowd, if not, you may find it difficult because online retailers often carry more stock of an item than the high street equivalent.
If this happens to you then you should keep checking to see who else stocks it, or, if you don't mind paying a premium, have a look at some online auction sites to see if it's being sold on there.
Christmas Shopping Online Tip 3: Shop smart, shop safe.
If you're buying from a small website ie not an online extension of a big high street company, then you should always check to make sure that they are using a secure server.
If the website is secure then you should have no worries about using your credit card, and giving them your delivery details, because those details won't be accessible by any person not involved in the transaction of the product.
Christmas Shopping Online Tip 4: wrapping up the purchase.
Often, especially over the Christmas period, the online retailer will give you the option to have the product wrapped – depending on what you've bought, of course – and it will generally only add a small charge to the overall price.
Wrapping can be one of the most time consuming and frustrating things to do, especially if you aren't very good at wrapping gifts, don't have much time, or just don't want to, and someone else is prepared to do it for you, then this is an option that's well worth taking up.
Christmas Shopping Online Tip 5: make sure they will deliver before Christmas.
There is nothing worse than finding the right gift, getting the best price, and then discovering that they won't be able to deliver before Christmas, right? Well no, the worst thing is discovering after buying it that they won't be able to deliver before Christmas.
Most of the best online retailers will tell you if the product is in stock; if it isn't they'll indicate when it should be available, as well as when it can be sent when they do get it in stock. If they already have it they will have some indication on the website of when they expect the last day to be to send it to you and still make the Christmas deadline.
If none of these dates are obvious then they may have them in a section on postage, if not, you could either contact them by phone, or email or just look for some other company that has it in stock.
Christmas Shopping Online Tip 6: digital Christmas cards.
One of the great innovations of the last few years – for people of a slightly forgetful nature – is the eCard. There are a number of websites that let you send virtual Christmas cards to a person's inbox, so, if it's Christmas Eve and you've realized that you haven't sent a card to Aunt Sophie overseas, the eCard will come to your rescue.
A lot of these Christmas cards are interactive so they can be great fun for kids that receive them, but one warning, sending them too often to the same people just makes you start to look as though you only remember them at the last minute – whether that's the case or not.
There we have it; 6 top tips for Christmas shopping online.
Make a list so you can do better comparisons. Buy early to avoid disappointment, and to make sure that the item is delivered before Christmas. Always make sure that the site you buy from is protected and gives their terms and conditions etc. Save some time and money by getting them to gift wrap it. Finally, if you discover that you've missed someone off of your Christmas card list, an eCard may just save the situation.
While there's still time, make the most of these tips for doing your Christmas shopping online.