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7 Online Gift Shopping Tips

8 November 2008 29 views No Comment

The internet has revolutionized the way we shop. No longer are we confined to the local mall or catalogs that happen to find their way into our mailbox. The internet literally provides a whole world of shopping at our fingertips. And, what better way to do your Gift Shopping than from the comfort of your own home.

With today’s technology, many store aisles are becoming virtual, a shopping cart is something you fill with images of a product and a checkout is something that you click on to confirm your order. With these changes in how we shop, a few tips on how to make the online experience a smooth and pleasant one are provided below.

Online Gift Shopping Tip #1: Start Shopping Early

For the best selections, begin your Gift Shopping early. Internet stores generally carry large quantities of every item, but even they can sell out. As the holidays draw near, it becomes more difficult to find the exact item that you’re looking for. There’s nothing like finding the perfect item and seeing the words, “Sold Out” written under the price.

Online Gift Shopping Tip #2: Comparison Shop

Comparison shopping is a must, just like in regular stores. Don’t just think you are getting a good deal - know you are!

Online Gift Shopping Tip #3: Look for Shipping Offers

It’s a good idea to start your shopping with a complete list. This can result in cost savings on shipping. With most online stores, you pay a flat shipping fee. In some cases, if you spend a certain amount of money on your order, the shipping is free. So, if there are several items on your list from the same store, you have an opportunity to save on shipping.

Online Gift Shopping Tip #4: Shop Safe

Make sure the online store is reputable and provides complete contact information, including a phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address. Also look for a return policy and a privacy statement that you can live with. And, most importantly, make sure they offer secure purchases. You should only make online purchases through a site that offers secure purchases. Most sites that offer secure purchases will display it. For those that do not, look for the http: in the address bar to change to https: on the store’s shopping cart or the page where you put in your credit card number.

Online Gift Shopping Tip #5: Use a Credit Card

It’s best to make your online purchases with a credit card. A credit card offers you an extra level of protection in case something goes awry and the online store is not handling the situation to your satisfaction. Most credit card companies will reverse a charge if you dispute it for good reason and have tried to resolve the problem to no avail.

Online Gift Shopping Tip #6: Consider Gift Wrapping Options

If you’re like most, there’s not a lot of extra time around the holidays. If you need to save some time on wrapping, most online stores offer a gift wrapping service for a small fee. At some point during the ordering process, you may be asked if you would like to add gift wrap or a name tag. It’s as easy as the click of a button, which is much easier than trying to tie the perfect bow.

Online Gift Shopping Tip #7: Check Delivery Dates

When placing your order, check to make sure that your selected item is in stock or will be delivered in time for the holidays. Many times, especially near the holidays, items will go on a backorder status. It’s not uncommon for an advanced order item to have a delivery date of January. So, be sure to check the status of the items in your shopping cart, along with their expected delivery dates. Not only that, but it’s also a good idea to check on the company’s shipping policy and delivery time for in-stock items.

The World Wide Web offers many benefits to online holiday shoppers such as, no lines, great deals and the widest variety of products. Go ahead, give it a try. Keeping the above tips in mind, you may just be pleasantly surprised at how stress free your Gift Shopping can be.

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