5 Savvy Online Shopping Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress

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Learn to enjoy holiday shopping by following 5 easy steps.

Let’s face it, I love holiday shopping about as much as I enjoy the extra 15lbs I’m currently carrying. The stores are too crowded, the lines are long and tensions are high. That’s why I mostly shop online for everyone in my family. Aside from great deals, you can often receive online exclusives and, of course, all from the comfort of your home/office. I’ve put together a few online shopping tips to help you breeze through the holiday season. 

1. Budget: This may seem elementary but tons of people go into the holidays without a budget and end up starting the new year off short. Don’t do it. Write out who you are buying gifts for and then assign a number to your entire gift buying process. From there you can smarter decisions to keep you aligned as you shop.

2. Secret Santa: When you have a big family like ours, it can really be a financial stressor to buy for everyone. That’s why we put all adult names in a bowl and pick one. Everyone gets a gift and you can focus the bulk of your budget on that one person. It can also help to put a cap on the amount a family member is allowed to spend.

3. List Servs: Having your kids make lists ‘serves’ a few purposes. It eliminates guesswork, allows you to be super focused in the shopping process and forces children to self edit on what they really want. 

4. Coupon Code Search: Before I checkout at any store, I search that store’s website for current promotions, or Google for deals. You would be surprised how often you will find savings, sometimes as much at 15%, free shipping or more!

a. Sometimes stores have outlets or factories within their websites, you can get super clearance items here. Don’t forget to check these areas before checking out

5. Return policies: Avoid a big online shopping pitfall and always check the fine print. Read the policy before clicking that ‘Submit’ button. Oftentimes flash sale sites or smaller sites offer restrictive return policies like store credit or final sale on their merchandise. Obviously, you can’t try things on or touch them when buying from your computer/phone so being able to return will be key.

Feature Finder Bonus: Utilize online tools to help you get a better sense of what you are buying. For example:

1. Sizing Guides: These will tell you how that brand or store’s product run

2. Videos & Zoom: are helpful when buying clothes and toys. You can see how the fabric flows or hangs as well as how the toy looks set up.

3. Store reviews: read the actual reviews to see what works and doesn’t

4. YouTube the product off the store website to see how to wear/apply or hear reviews. Do you know about Unboxing? Google it—a lot of toys can be found in these unboxing videos which can save you time in the long run.

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Filed under: Lifestyle, Parenting