7 Last-Minute Christmas Shopping TipsPosted: 17th of December 2014 by
You’ve done it again! Every year you make a pact to get your Christmas shopping sorted early, yet each year you find yourself scrambling to finish all your gift-buying before Christmas Day. Maybe you have already got a few items, or perhaps you are yet to make a start on shopping at all. But don’t start panicking and end up in a frenzy of desperate shopping. Instead, take a look at our tips for last-minute shoppers and nobody need know that you left things until the last minute (again!).
1. Make a List - It may seem odd to say, considering you are only just getting started on your Christmas shopping, but preparation is key. Before you even start buying gifts, make a list of everybody that you have to buy a present for. This will make sure you don’t forget anybody, while allowing you to track your progress as you shop. If you have any ideas of what you might want to buy for any particular person, write this down too, as well as where you may be able to buy it from.
2. Set Your Budget – Spending too much is one of the biggest pitfalls of last-minute shopping, so work out how much money you have to spend in total, and then work out how much you want to spend on each person. Once you have worked out what you can afford, stick to it! Of course, if you find a bargain here and there, then all to the good, but don’t spend more than you wanted to.
3. Online? – Rather than waste time running around different shops, check to see if you have time to order online and guarantee delivery in time for Christmas. You may even be able to have the gifts wrapped and sent directly to your recipients, saving you even more time! Online shopping is also a good way of finding a bargain so is always worth checking before you head out to the shops.
4. Keep Moving – If you have to go out to buy your gifts make sure you don’t get distracted. This shopping trip is not about you, so avoid the temptation to start browsing. Also, don’t let yourself be tempted by the tricks that shops use to get you to spend more with them. Avoid impulse buys and just stick to your list. Once you have crossed people off the list, just leave the shop and go to the next one. Just because your gift was bought late, it doesn’t mean it isn’t good enough. To keep you on track, you may even want to decide how much time you want to spend in each shop, avoiding the temptation to stand and browse.
5. Gift Cards? – Yeah, we know, you hate the idea of sending gift cards. They’re so impersonal, right? That said, if in doubt, they can stop you from making any mistakes – especially if you are thinking of buying clothes. Clothes can be a tricky thing to buy for someone else, so a gift card to a favourite shop can be just the answer. Make the gift a little more special by tucking the card into something smaller, like a hat and scarf from the same place. Alternatively, you could pop a gift card for a book-shop inside a book you know someone will like, or a coffee shop gift card in a mug! Dressing up the gift card with something from a relevant shop gives your quick gift the personal touch.
6. Regift – As a last resort you might want to consider ‘regifting.’ That’s right, wrapping up that book, CD, or DVD that you no longer want for someone else. Be careful if you do this – make sure the gift looks like it is still new, and of course, never give a gift back to the same person who bought it for you!
7. Christmas Eve? – It’s a high-risk strategy, but if you like living life on the edge you may want to do all your shopping on Christmas Eve. While this sounds like a nightmare, you may be surprised! As long as you are prepared before you head out, you may well find that the shops are a lot quieter than you would imagine. Most people are finished with their shopping by Christmas Eve, meaning that the shops will be less crowded, plus you may even be able to dig out some last-minute reductions on particularly ‘Festive’ items!
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