Unfortunately, online holiday shopping can sometimes take just as much time as going to the store. Finding exactly what you want and searching for good deals may not always be swiftly completed online. If you are shopping online this holiday season, there are several shortcuts which may save you time...and money.
1. Get Organized
Buying gifts without direction leads to over-spending and over-searching. Before you begin shopping, make a list of everyone you intend to purchase gifts for and what that gift will be. If possible, jot down the websites you think will offer the item. Having an idea of what you need and where to search will cut down the amount of time you spend ordering.
After making your list, check to see if you wrote down one site to search for a gift more than once. Mark these items to remind yourself that they are most likely for sale in one place. This will permit you to order multiple items at once.
2. Go All-or-Nothing
Online retailers offering multiple products will save you ordering time. Use sites that sell gifts for multiple people. Books, music, kitchen gadgets and other home decorating items can usually be purchased from a single site. Even if the item costs a dollar or two more, it's well worth your time to complete your gift list in one click than to purchase each one individually. Buying more than one item will reduce the amount of time you spend online shopping for the holidays and probably reduce shipping costs, too.
3. Keep It Simple
If you are particularly crunched for time this holiday season, give up the idea of being creative with your gifts. Everyone likes gift cards and books; make those your staple gift this year and nobody will be disappointed. You'll be considered generous and you'll be done with your holiday gift buying. Many retailers sell multi-packs of their gift cards online if you intend on giving out the same ones to multiple recipients.
Another idea is to choose a theme for the season. This theme can be carried into each recipient's gift, which for you means fewer sites to shop. Furthermore, narrowing your search to items related to your theme can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend on each site. Similarly, don't guess about gifts. Ask loved ones what they would like this season and order it. Toss in one or two small surprises and they--and you--will walk away happy.
4. Let Someone Else Do the Work
Unless you're passionate about wrapping paper, save yourself time by having the company wrap and label your purchases for you. Using this service allows you to literally open the shipping box and place the gift under the tree. Most companies offer this service for a nominal fee and allow you to choose the option for everything in your order with a single click of your mouse. If you'd prefer not to pay for the service, most companies will print a gift card for free. Your card is then provided in your emailed receipt, allowing you to search your records should you forget if you already purchased a particular gift or are wondering whether you forgot a recipient.