October 04, 2017
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There are those people who are so organized and able to plan in advance that they have their Christmas shopping done by Labor Day. There are others who do all their shopping online, so they never have to set foot inside a store and face angry mobs and mile-long checkout lines. Then there are the rest of us who don’t even think about buying presents until Black Friday and beyond.
What if you’re one of those people who’s frantically running around the mall at the last minute? Sure, you tried to shop early, but with holiday parties and work, you got delayed. As long as it’s not yet December 25th or beyond, you can still make up for lost time. Christmas shopping doesn’t have to mean a frantic rush into crowded stores. We can’t guarantee that your shopping trip will be totally stress-free, but you can still head to the mall and keep your sanity in check with these tips for making your shopping trip more bearable.
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8 Holiday Shopping Tips You Should Positively Follow This Year
- Start early.
Do you already have your shopping done? If so, you’ve completed a major step toward avoiding crowds. If it’s December and you haven’t even started thinking about shopping, well you have some major work to do. You may have waited until the last minute this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for next year now. Shop throughout the year instead of waiting until December. You’ll be more relaxed and who knows, you might find better prices. Start present shopping as soon as the holidays are over, but make sure to keep everything in a safe place so you don’t forget about them.
- Avoid Black Friday shopping in-stores but splurge online.
Many people swear by Black Friday deals, but does it really sound appealing to eat Thanksgiving dinner and spend the rest of the night camping outside a store just to save a few bucks? Crowds, long lines – it’s an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Avoid this unnecessary stress by sleeping in, staying home and visiting the websites of your favorite stores. More and more retailers are offering Black Friday deals online, so you can save big while you’re wearing your pajamas and slippers. Look to sites like BlackFriday.fm for all things Black Friday, including ad scans, retail news, and more.
- Try Cyber Monday.
If you’re not finding any deals on Black Friday, wait a few more days. The Monday after Black Friday is designated as Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday offers deals that are strictly online.
- Make a list.
Santa’s not the only one who needs to make lists. Make your shopping list and check it twice before leaving home so you can make sure you get everything you need in one fell swoop. Write down the names of everyone you need to buy for. Include friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers and anyone else you typically buy for. You should also include gift ideas and budgets for each so you can stay on track. Don’t rush through this step. Spend some time truly thinking about this because nothing says stress like having to make several trips to the mall because you weren’t organized the first time around. Try the Wunderlist: To Do List & Tasks app to help keep all your holiday planning and purchases in order!
- Do a price comparison.
Another thing you should do before leaving the house is to compare prices. This is definitely important if you’re buying a high-ticket item like a computer, camera or piece of furniture. Prices can fluctuate dramatically from store to store. You may think you’re getting a great deal, only to see the same item 50% off at a different store down the road. Don’t take chances with your money. Use a price comparison website such as ShopLocal.com or PriceGrabber so you can be sure to get the best deals without having to shuttle around town. You can also head over to leading Black Friday retailers news and ad scans site BlackFriday.fm for details on all upcoming holiday sales online and in-stores.
- Avoid the crowds.
The best days for shopping at the mall are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Foot traffic is down dramatically because everyone is back to work after shopping on the weekend. Better yet, shop early – right when the mall opens – to avoid crowds and long lines. If you wait too long, you might hit crowds at lunch time and late afternoon when people are getting off work to shop.
- Plan your route.
If you’re doing your shopping at the mall, you should plan your route so you can begin and end where you parked – no easy feat. Malls have multiple entrances and exits, so plan well. Take note of where you parked, the closest entrance and the stores near that entrance. When you leave, look for one of those stores so you know that you’re near your car – unless you’d like to spend 30 minutes traversing the parking lot as you look for your car.
- Take advantage of Free Shipping Day.
Got 10 days left until Christmas? You can still shop online and get your gifts by December 25th – for free even! This magical event happens on Free Shipping Day, a day when many retailers ship items for free. This year, it’s on December 15th. Mark that date on your calendar and spend the day shopping online. You’ll beat the crowds and get your presents on time. It’s a win-win. Check back on DealsPlus for free shipping day deals!
Christmas should be a time to relax and spend time with loved ones. Although preparation for the festivities can be more than a bit stress-inducing, you can make it work without wanting to pull your hair out. Try the tips above and you’ll feel more organized and less stressed.