Absolutely Nothing To Buy : A guide to online Christmas shopping, Part IPosted: December 1, 2011
I almost refuse to believe Christmas is so soon. I’ve only just put the heating on and dug out the woolly jumpers. Surely we’ve months to go. But oh no, it’s almost upon us and I’m reminded of the inevitable every morning when my 3 year old looks up the chimney to check Father Christmas isn’t stuck.
And so it begins, the seemingly endless shopping and the desperate thinking of something a bit different to give everyone this year. The apple chutney is made and jarred so that’s ready for the unlucky ones – just kidding, it’s actually quite delicious this year. Last year was a disaster and aptly named Apple Shit Splodge by way of a warning to recipients that it might be just a little bit special and perhaps best left unopened.
I do the majority of my shopping online. Which is something I do all year round but it gets particularly serious in December. I’m not a good present planner. I decide every year that i’ll be more organised and I never ever am. This year is the same although I do have baskets of things saved all over the world wide web. Some will make it in to stockings and others will probably get forgotten and still be there come the New Year. My largest basket is Amazon which is pretty much a one stop shop for the children. It’s full of books, DVDs, racing cars and marble games – the staple boy toys. They have every chance of ending up under the tree but its the more obscure – and quite frankly far more exciting – baskets which I fear may not be so lucky.
It’s a wonderful thing being able to store things in little online pockets until you’ve made up your mind if you like them. Much more cost effective than panic buying in real life shops. But I’ve discovered a terrible downside in my seemingly foolproof plan. These days online is just as competitive, if not more so, than on the high street with new price battles being launched on a daily basis which means bargains are there to be had but only if you’re quick. I’ve only just cottoned on to this and have seen some of the contents of my Amazon basket rising dramatically in price since I rather smuggly put them there weeks ago. And, whilst Amazon do really great deals on shipping their own stock – generally it’s free if you don’t need things super quick – you have to be wise with other retailers selling on there who aren’t quite as generous and seem to have the strangest rates and times. One quoted £8.95 with an estimated delivery time of 1st – 21st December. A rather expensive risk probably not worth taking.
So now I’ve warned of the pitfalls, I’m compiling a list of some of my favourite places to Christmas online shop. It’s taking longer than I thought due to amount of browsing I’m forced to do so I will post in a few parts.
To start off, I thought this was definitely worth sharing. Gift Genies is a brilliant one stop search engine with ideas for the very best presents for all sorts of everyone. You can search by price, type of gift or even relationship and it will direct you to a whole host of ideas from a selection of brands and link you straight through to their shop front.
They also compile gift guides for Grazia amongst others so these ladies know what they’re talking about. The brand list is pretty impressive with some very well known labels rubbing shoulders with some smaller more quirkier offerings. There is literally something for everyone and they’ve done all the hard work for you.
Part 2 will follow shortly…..