A sure-fire winner among seasonal blogs: Last Minute Shopping Tips For the Desperate Last Minute Shopper
Regular readers over the years will have appreciated how little this blogger actually likes shopping. It’s not just a natural reluctance to stretch the arm into the pocket, it’s a revulsion against wasting time buying things.
The retail therapy aspect of the retail experience has passed me by.
Nonetheless, this is the season to splash the cash and to give away lots of valuable personal data so MBF Blogs brings some hints to the still shopping hungry.
If you are an eleventh-hour kind of Christmas person, then to save time even searching online, we bring you a single page of hints and advice.
Bricks May Be Cheaper Than Clicks
For the past several years, the fact has been that almost everything is cheaper online with Amazon and a few others. That may not be the case now.
Last August, faced with an Office of Fair Trading investigation, Amazon dropped its demand that companies selling through Amazon were obliged to offer their goods at the same price on their own sites as on Amazon.
The result of this little noticed but significant change is that, as a Sunday Times check found (10 November 2013) that one of the top selling toys is actually cheaper bought direct than through Amazon.
The Furby Boom talking robot was at £74.61 including delivery from Toy Shop London through Amazon, but only £59.99 when purchased direct.
What Else Is In the Goodies Sack?
Other bargains noted included:
- Apple iPad Mini wi-fi 16GB white at £302.60 on Amazon; but £262.83 from Okobe
- TomTom XXL Classic western Europe at £114.73 on Amazon; but £101.99 from Burrows GPS
- Samsung 42in TV UE42F5000AK at £527.87 on Amazon; but £478.88 from JR Linton
- Asus X550CA-XX275H 15.6in notebook at £541.23 on Amazon; but £493.41 from Lamda Tek
There are others. The price differences ranged from 8% to 48%. A big incentive to actually shop around, even at the last minute. This turns on its head the term ‘show-rooming’ where shoppers looked instore but bought online.
Other Ideas to Finish With
There are several sites around to soothe the brow of the troubled shopper with a rather empty basket.
Thinkmoney has some sound and sensible pointers from Daniel Culpan. Even though published in 2011, it is still relvant and useful on many fronts.
From the same year (must have been a bumper one for last minute people) there are Tips for Last Minute Christmas Shopping which urges you to wait till Christmas Eve or ‘make it yourself.’
Another helpful tick list is offered at World of Christmas even though some of the tips are self-evident, such as ‘During the final days before Christmas, the crowd gets pretty unruly. If you don’t want to become the target of pickpockets, leave excess cash, credit cards, etc, at home.’
Another one from two years ago but still quite handy is Christmas Shopping: 10 Last Minute Tips which includes the advice to:
‘Budget with apps – iDelux’s Christmas Shopping List app – 59p from the App Store – helps you craft a perfect list tailored to each member of your family, categorise each item as “bought” or “pending” and add up your total spend, comparing it to your preset budget.’
One from even further back (2008) is Easy Online Coupons which is self evident but finishes with the touching advice: ‘Keep in mind the best presents are the ones that have some thought behind it.’
Up to the minute suggestions about cashback credit and spending cards come from Jessica Winch at the Daily Telegraph.
And finally, Snappy Living takes a ‘calm down and keep sane’ sort of approach which could be helpful if you are in the headless chicken category of shopper.
We hope that is helpful, at least for next Christmas if not this one. Happy days.
And if you’ve still got any energy, suss out:
Christmas Present Ideas If You’re Still Struggling About What to Get, 11 December 2013
Counting This Year’s Christmas Costs and Days Till the Next One, 26 December 2012
Have Yourself a Merry, Green Christmas If You Can, 25 December 2012
Amazon Delivers Jobs, New Technology and Efficiency Besides Parcels, 11 December 2012
Image: David Carroll