The days are flying quickly past, and the holiday season will be over before you know it. If you haven’t completed – or even started – your holiday gift shopping yet, don’t worry; there’s still plenty of time to get everything accomplished.
First, be sure to find an idea for everyone on your list before you even think about shopping. With your ideas written down on a piece of paper, you’ll be efficient in checking each and every name off your list. If the ideas are causing you the most problems, try an Internet search. Keywords to use can include “gifts for mom” or “musical gifts for a teenage boy.” And if your list includes people with hobbies, be sure to try an Internet search using those keywords as well.
Since you’re already at the computer looking for ideas, you might as well continue using it to make your purchase. There’s a good chance you can find the same item for sale on several different vendor sites. A quick online search will help you find the item for the best price, and you might also discover you can get the present gift wrapped as well. When comparing prices, be sure to confirm that the vendor can ship your gift on time, what the cost is for shipping, and whether the company has a return policy.
You also can go online to find excellent discounts and coupons for the items on your list. For example, Ebates.com provides discounts and coupons for vendors, and also rewards you with cash back on your purchases once you’ve finished your shopping. So not only are you able to find the item you wish to purchase with a free shipping offer or at a discounted price, but you’ll also receive a percentage of your purchase as cash back to be used however you want.
Before you finalize your purchase, make certain it will arrive before the holiday. Online retailers will provide you with last-minute shipping information so you will know when it’s too late. You’ll also know if you need to pay more for a faster shipping service. Websites like Ebates often have discounts on expedited shipping. The good news is, if you ship the present online while sitting at your computer at home or at the office, you can avoid the long holiday lines at the post office.
If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, your secret is safe. With these tips, you can check every name off your list with minimal effort and know that every gift will be delivered in time for Christmas day.
Bargain hunting is practically a sport, especially during the holiday shopping season. Deloitte‘s 2014 annual holiday survey predicts the average American will drop nearly $1,300 this holiday season. With that level of spending in mind, planning to save real money elsewhere is crucial to managing a household’s bottom line.
Promotions such as standard Black Friday deals or free holiday shipping are nice but often don’t add up very quickly. Huge value can be found on big-ticket items since their need can be anticipated months ahead. Purchasing them seasonally or via year-end clearance sales can provide savvy consumers with hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings. Here are a few examples of products that fall into each category:
* Cars. With the next year’s models already on lots for a number of months, dealers are anxious to move cars from the previous year. Moreover, December is their last chance to improve year-end sales numbers – whether at the dealer or individual salesperson level.
* Flooring. The end of the year is a great time to buy new hardwood flooring. Suppliers and mills often assess their inventory at this time and clear out product lines before the end of the year. Stores such as Lumber Liquidators purchase these products at discounted rates and pass the options and savings directly to consumers, resulting in a great deal that can also increase the value of a home.
* Gas grills and air conditioners. Stores may offer deep discounts on off-season products such as air conditioners and gas grills. This rule of thumb is particularly valuable for people who live in cold weather climates, where summer goods become especially obsolete during the long winter months.
* Furniture. The holiday season brings sales and promotions at many furniture stores on living and dining room items as people are preparing for holiday entertaining. In addition, outdoor furniture is generally at its best price due to it being out of season.
No matter a consumer’s methodology, a little planning goes a long way in finding bargains. There are very helpful websites – such as www.dealnews.com – that do a great job staying on top of deals both large and small. Online forums and traditional word of mouth can also assist in the hunt.
The holidays are stressful. Add in the time and money demands of holiday shopping, and you may be tempted to keep a therapist on speed dial. Traveling, surviving holiday office parties, and managing relatives can make the holidays stressful. But last minute shopping doesn’t have to be. Discover how to accomplish stress free holiday shopping below!
You have no idea where to start or what to buy: Whether it is toys, apparel or electronics, major retailers and brand-specific websites are publishing “hot holiday lists” and top picks for almost anything. There are plenty of top picks by Amazon, Toys R Us, and PC Magazine for electronics, plus there are even top pick lists for cosmetics and best buys for kitchen ware. Boutiques offer great gift-giving options as well! Since people really respond to unique gifts, think outside the box, anything from personalized yoga mats to craft jewelry could be just the gift to wow them this season. Check out your local small business boutique for last-minute novelty gifts that your friends and family would love.
Looking to save time and money: If you’re constantly on the go and prefer to rely on some preliminary shopping via your cellphone or mobile tablet, many apps can make shopping a bit more organized and convenient. There are apps for apparel such as Wanelo and Wish, and major retailers or brands also have their own apps such as Pink Nation for Victoria’s Secret. Need to keep track of all your online purchases? There’s an app for that! The larger shipping services like UPS and FedEx have their own apps, but you can also try the Slice app or the Posted app depending on your needs. Online and app shopping will save you the hassle and time, but you need to plan for shipping delays, some of your items could easily be coming from China and take a whole month to arrive.
Complete your shopping in one place or in one day: Pick and choose where you think you may spend the majority of your holiday budget, and join the loyalty programs for coupons and reductions. Be choosy and make sure you register with the loyalty programs that will really deliver savings and unique purchases as opposed to spam mail. The key to holiday shopping is to avoid impulse buying. Make a list, and start early. Go online or ask your loved ones and friends about their hobbies. Stress relief and savings are the result of doing the homework. If you don’t, the worst will happen – you’ll force yourself to buy out of desperation.
How do you avoid stress while getting your last minute shopping completed this holiday season? Share your tips below!
PRIVATE WiFi has teamed up with the National Cyber Security Alliance to help holiday shoppers stay cyber secure when using their mobile devices this holiday season. The infographic illustrates that while mobile shopping is good for online commerce it is potentially risky for consumers who increasingly rely on public WiFi for holiday shopping:
- 40% of online shopping for last year’s Black Friday occurred on a mobile device
- 52% of online shoppers used their mobile devices to make holiday purchases in 2013
- 88% of people know that identity theft is a potential issue when using public WiFi; however, 39% of public WiFi users have accessed sensitive information and 25% have logged into their online bank accounts while on public WiFi
“The holiday season is a busy time for both online retailers and identity thieves alike, and we want to arm consumers with the tips they need to shop safely,” said Kent Lawson, CEO of PRIVATE WiFi. “With only a few simple changes, consumers can really protect themselves as they shop.”
“Online and mobile shoppers should protect themselves against cyber threats, scams and identity theft during the holiday season, as well as all year long,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “But as shopping volumes increase this time of year, so do potential threats. The tips make consumers aware that it is important for them not to let their guard down.”
Check out the infographic below and discover 5 ways to stay safe while online shopping (on Cyber Monday and anytime) below…
Now that you know what steps to take to maintain a safe and secure online shopping experience, which Cyber Monday deals are you ready to click on first? Share you Cyber Monday shopping tips below!
Ready or not, the holi-daze have arrived! But – never fear, we’re here to tell you that this year’s shopping doesn’t have to be SO stressful. That’s right! The handy navigational shopping website and app, ShopTrotter, will make your gift-hunting a WHOLE lot easier by finding you the stores you’re most interested in, and these quick tips for stress free holiday shopping below.
And to further keep you on track this season, founder and CEO, Bogumila Sobiczewska, shares essential tips for stress-free holiday shopping. Check them out below:
1. Check out holiday markets. Holiday markets in December are the perfect place to spot something beautiful and unexpected. Usually it’s something handmade. I found tiered serving plates decorated with decoupage in New York’s Grand Central Holiday Fair a couple of years ago. It made a cute gift for my friends!
2. Search pre-holiday sales. When shopping for myself – i.e. holiday and party outfits – I look for sales and promotions that start before Christmas. I have quite a bit of experience when it comes to sale shopping. To save time, I go to department stores because of their wide selection of products and brands. It’s easier to match shoes with dresses under one roof!
3. Chat with salespeople. I try to be open and talk to sales associates – not only because the right person can make me choose the right things, but also to score better prices. A nice chat sometimes gives me an additional discount, or inside information about when I should come back.
4. Create a shopping route. Since I started ShopTrotter.com, I ALWAYS make my own shopping route. Now it’s even easier because of the mobile app – I can look for the stores in my area anytime. Sometimes instead of running to a remote boutique in search of a particular piece, I open the information card on the ShopTrotter App, and make a call asking if they still carry it. It saves me a lot of time and frustration!
5. Do a closet check. When it comes to shopping for myself, I try to remember to check out my own closet. It’s a good idea to review it once or twice a year, just to make sure if there’s anything missing, and – of course (!) – what is forgotten. Sometimes, it turns out that I just need something small to complete an outfit, rather than spending a fortune on a new one.
And, of course:
6. Remember the essentials. Last, but not least: I wear comfy shoes, pack some water and snacks and make sure my cell is charged in case I need to take some pictures and send them to a friend for quick advice!
About ShopTrotter: ShopTrotter (www.shoptrotter.com) is a navigational shopping website and app that makes shopping trips stress-free by finding users the stores they’re most interested in (based on product type, price and brand), and then providing them with a customized route to their destinations. ShopTrotter currently features route-planning capabilities for over 80 cities worldwide. Download the app on both Android and iPhone.
These are just a few tips for stress free holiday shopping – but there are plenty of tips and tricks to make the most out of your holiday shopping this season (stress free). Do you have your favorite tips for stress free holiday shopping? If so, share your favorite tips below.
The biggest holiday shopping day of the year is right around the corner and we’ve the top tech deals for your shopping lists and your wallet! Get a sneak peek of the latest Black Friday deals (as they’re updated) online and get a jump on your Black Friday shopping spree before anyone else.
10. Verizon Wireless – Where can you score the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows tablet for less than $400? Verizon Wireless of course! The newest Windows tablet can be found on Black Friday for $399 – that’s $100 less than the pre-Black Friday retail price of $499. Check out the deal online here.
9. Kmart – Shop Your Way members get Doorbuster Deals all morning long, including a 60″ Westinghouse LCD HDTV for only $588. Check out the entire Black Friday circular filled with deals here.
8. Target – Discover plenty of HDTVs, gaming consoles, smartphones and tablet deals at Target. The entire 36-page circular filled with deals can be found here.
7. Walmart – As one of my favorite Black Friday stops (in years past, I have found a bounty of Black Friday deals at Walmart) – once again Walmart DELIVERS! If you’re an early bird, you can find a 32″ HDTV for $98 or an LG Blu ray player for only $38. Get all the details inside of the Walmart Black Friday circular here.
6. Office Depot – With Cannon all-in-one printers starting at $29.99 and Lenovo tablets starting at $69.99, you can find the best office needs and accessories for less at the Office Depot Black Friday sale. Get all the details here.
5. Game Stop – Looking for the latest PS4 or Xbox One consoles? You can find this season’s hottest systems and games at Game Stop. Discover the latest deals and details here.
4. Radio Shack – Online deals start early at RadioShack.com! Black Friday deals are available on Thursday, November 28th and with plenty of deals on electronics and accessories – you can find gifts for the entire family. Get all the details inside the Radio Shack Black Friday circular here.
3. Samsung - From smartphones, computers, smart cameras, home appliances and more – discover all of the Samsung Black Friday deals here.
2. Best Buy – With a back-to-back deal offers starting Thursday at 6pm, Best Buy offers the best variety of doorbuster deals and savings Thursday and Friday. Check out all the Black Friday deals inside the Best Buy circular here and don’t forget to check out BestBuy.com for mystery midnight door buster deals next week.
1. Sam’s Club - Starting at 7am, you can score a Samsung Galaxy S4 for $0.96, a 55″ Vizio Smart HDTV for $548 and more in store at Sam’s Club. As one of the most consistent retailers to offer great Black Friday tech deals – you definitely want to take a sneak peak inside at all of the Sam’s Club Black Friday deals here.
Now that you have a preview of some of the best Black Friday deals early – which shops do you plan on getting to first? Will you brave the crowds in store or opt for shopping Black Friday deals online?
Looking for a reason to engage in a little retail-therapy? Check out the top 10 NYC Designer Sample sales taking place in May below.
Top NYC Designer Sample sales Top NYC Designer Sample sales Top NYC Designer Sample sales Top NYC Designer Sample sales
Why: Ready-to-wear for men and women and accessories from Maison Martin Margiela, DSquared2, MM6, and Viktor & Rolf.
When: May 9-11. Thurs., 2-7 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m.
Where: 220 W. 19th St., b/t Seventh & Eighth Aves., 10th flr.
Elizabeth and James
Why: Olsen alert. Ready-to-wear, shoes, jewelry, and sunglasses from the latest resort and spring seasons are 65-75 percent off.
When: Thurs. & Fri., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 233 Spring St., b/t Sixth Ave. & Varick St., 10th flr.
#shameless star @emmyrossumcarrying one of our clutches this weekend. How cute is her look?
Why: Ready-to-wear, bags, more bags, shoes, and accessories are all up to 75 percent off.
When: May 6-11. Mon., noon-9 p.m.; Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: 260 Fifth Ave., b/t 28th & 29th Sts.
Why: The latest collection of crisp tops, slinky maxiskirts, flattering dresses, and separates is up to 80 percent off.
When: Today-Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 37 W. 57th St., b/t Fifth & Sixth Aves., 9th flr.
Why: Up to 85 percent off emerging designers from NYC and Paris, including Ace & Jig, Fleabags, The Sway, Upstate, Ivana Helsinki, Ambrym, Cidenzi Mori, and Cobra Society.
When: Today-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 134 W. 29th St., b/t Sixth & Seventh Aves., ste. 807.
J Rosen Showroom
Why: Suit yourself. Bikinis, one-pieces, flip-flops, cover-ups, and jewelry from L Space, PilyQ, Despi, Debbie Katz, and Ipanema are $65-$100. Mix-and-match sizing and dressing rooms are available.
When: Today-May 10. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: 231 W. 39th St., b/t Seventh & Eighth Aves., ste. 1101.
Why: Up to 85 percent off pieces from the last six seasons, including confetti-print dresses ($150, reg. $850), stretch leather dresses ($300, reg. $2,690), and ikat silk jumpsuits ($150, reg. $875).
When: Tues.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: 225 Varick St., at Houston St., ste. 300.
Why: Up to 75 percent off archive pieces as well as recent-collection dresses, leather pants, and tops. Leather jackets, dresses, and scarves from Azrouël’s Cut25 line are $50-$300.
When: Thurs.-Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 129 Grand St., b/t Broadway & Crosby St.
Why: Up to 70 percent off handbags, totes, wallets, clutches, and small leather goods for fly dudes and ladies.
When: May 7-9. Tues.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 150 E. 34th St., b/t Lexington & Third Aves., 3rd flr.
Why: Up to 80 percent off tailored blazers, fancy-comfy pants, dresses, and tops from the latest spring and resort collections, plus a selection from the archives.
When: May 8 & 9. Wed. & Thurs., 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: 26 W. 17th St., b/t Fifth & Sixth Aves., ste. 303.
Top NYC Designer Sample sales Top NYC Designer Sam
ple sales Top NYC Designer Sample sales
As if we needed another reason to love Swedish fashion retailer, H&M. From sleek budget friendly fashions to monster collaborations with leading designers, now H&M is going to help us be ultra fashionable after cleaning out our closets for 2013. We all have items in our closet that would be better off in the trash bin don’t we? Wouldn’t it be great to take those old clothes and recycle them for cold hard cash? Ok, not real cash… but H&M dollars are just as good! Starting this February, 2700 H&M stores in 48 markets will be launching a “Global Clothes Collecting” eco-friendly sustainability initiative. There’s no better time to take those bags of old clothes and make a donation to your local H&M store.
H&M will be the first fashion company to roll out clothes collecting in selected stores worldwide. Through the global initiative H&M’s customers can save natural resources and contribute to reduced environmental impact by avoiding textile waste. Any pieces of clothing, from any brand and in any condition are accepted. In return, the customer will receive a voucher for each bag brought.
H&M meets I:Collect
H&M and I:Collect have collaboratively launched this program which will allow you to bring in old clothes in ANY condition into participating stores in exchange for a voucher for NEW H&M clothes. Based on their condition the articles will either be repurposed into new textile items or converted into a source of energy.
This program not only allows H&M to continue to be a leader in textile sustainability, but it also allows you the customer to participate in their global effort and be rewarded! Talk about a triple winfor you, H&M and our environment.
“Our sustainability efforts are rooted in a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. We want to do good for the environment, which is why we are now offering our customers a convenient solution: to be able to leave their worn out or defective garments with H&M, “ Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M.
Learn more about H&M’s sustainability efforts throughout the years by clicking here or watching the video with Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability below.H&M Leads the way in Sustainable Efforts for Earth Day from 3BL Media on Vimeo.
Not to be outdone in the midst of the holiday rush, New York City’s chicest individuals paraded the streets this Christmas Eve in search of last-minute gifts and everyday errands, alike. Check out the haute holiday rush of last minute shopping in NYC below…
The Oversized Sweater (Lucy, NY)
Big sweaters with bright colors and crazy patterns aren’t just for satirical parties anymore. Follow Lucy’s example, shown here on the Lower East Side, and pair a busy sweater with an understated, neutral bottom and accessories in the same color to make a bold, but sartorial, statement this holiday season.
Contrast to Complement (Mizuki & Babu, Brooklyn)
Mizuki and Babu, a couple from Japan now living in Brooklyn, are a fashion statement of their own. By contrasting Babu’s patterns with Mizuki’s minimalist color scheme but bold textures and linking them with the simplest of accessories— a baseball cap— these two form their own bohemian rhapsody. Achieve a similar effect with your significant other by dressing in clashing palettes and choosing one common accessory to make the overall look cohesive.
The Statement Scarf (Kenda, Gainesville, Florida & Claudia, Italy)
The recent deep-freeze may force you to prioritize warmth over glamour, but a statement scarf, as worn here by Kerry (left) and Claudia (right) can add a punch of color to an otherwise-neutral ensemble and allow your personality to warm up the cold weather. Our favorites feature unexpected prints and rich colors.
Feminine Without Freezing (Kerry, Malibu)
Follow Kerry’s lead and layer soft, textured pieces over cold-weather staples like jeans in order to achieve a smart take on classic, feminine pieces. Vary up the color palette, mix up lengths and textures, and accessories intelligently to achieve a measured, yet eclectic aesthetic shown here.
If All Else Fails, Stay True (Leah & Stefan, Australia)
Leah and Stefan made the most of classic style to stand out this winter. If you aren’t one for style experimentation, but still want to have fun, stick to tailored pieces in classic cuts and styles but in unexpected colors (i.e. Leah’s bright yellow tights) to simultaneously pay homage to fashion tradition and take the world by surprise.
Feel like you’re completely breaking the bank with all of your holiday shopping? Is your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday shopping starting to catch up with you, yet there are STILL gifts and/or travel costs left? Here are five simple saving solutions to consider while shopping for the remainder of this holiday season.
Whenever you break bills and receive loose change, put aside the coins.
The amount of money that you will be able to amass this way is indescribable. Watch just how quickly you will fill up your money jar(s)! To make it more fun, save each coin denomination in individual jars.
Whenever you break larger bills, force yourself to save ALL $1 bills.
With this particular method, it might surprise you just how much money you will have even after a week. Allot yourself a designated amount of cash for shopping, and once your larger bills have been broken from your shopping excursion, count up your singles and save!
Force yourself to write down, in a small notebook, EVERYTHING that you spend (not bill money) that has nothing to do with holiday shopping.
Write down everything, including that beverage from your favorite store. If any of your purchases have nothing to do with holiday gifts or bills, write it down. THIS is where a lot of your cash goes without notice.
As the old saying goes, “Brown Bag It”.
Enough said! You save tons of money by preparing your lunch at home, rather than by spending it daily in the cafe at work or at local restaurants. Make an honest attempt to brown bag it four days out of your five-day work week. Then maybe treat yourself once a week at your favorite eatery for your efforts.
Put someone else (SOMEONE THAT YOU TRUST AND SOMEONE GOOD W FINANCES) in charge of your savings.
If you’re deciding that you want to save $50 per paycheck, but you know you will dip into it, give it to someone that you absolutely trust not to spend your money. Think of it as a “bill” that you pay, but towards your savings.