Black Friday’s only three days away and the start of the holiday shopping season so for this post I thought I’d include some tips I’ve learned over the years and the first of the BSG Gift Guide
These days you don’t have to wait to get the newspaper on Thursday to see what stores are offering on Friday you can go online and check them out at-
Some stores even have sales going on right now which I think means it’s more competitive than ever which is always a good sign for shoppers.
Do Your Research and Homework
This is a tip for all year long and not just at the holidays, check items and prices before you leave the house. Unless you know what the going price is for something, you don’t know if the store is actually offering you a good price on that item. Make sure you compare like sizes, etc. What can seem like a good buy isn’t because the one on sale is half the size or gigabytes etc.
Know The Return Policy
Some stores have signs that say all sales are final so if someone doesn’t like something or it’s too big or too small, you’re stuck with it.
He Who Hesitates
You know the saying about he who hesitates is lost? Sometimes waiting until closer to Dec 25th pays off, especially when stores what to make that final push to turn a profit. However, if something is very popular I say buy it when you can because the chances that the price is going to be slashed even more is slim.
Some stores offer additional gift cards if you buy a certain amount. For example, buy $100 worth of gift cards and get a free $25 gift card etc. Either use the free once as a gift or keep it for yourself. Another good thing about gift cards, after Christmas lots of items go on sale so you or the recipient can get more for your money.
Don’t Just Think The Holidays
I often look ahead to next year with birthday and weddings in mind. If you know something’s on sale and it would be perfect for a certain someone, buy it now.
Stay Within Budget
If you have a tendency to overspend buy a prepaid credit card and when it’s used up, that’s it. It’s a great way for you to own the holidays rather them owning you.
Keep Sizes Handy
I can’t remember how many times I was in a store saw a great deal on an item of clothing and didn’t have everyone’s size so I had to pass. My remedy-notebook containing measurements that’s carried year round.
Don’t Toss Those Receipts
Lots of stores now give you gift receipts where the person doesn’t see the price so make sure you include them with the gift. Without it and if they need to return the item to the store, they’ll only be given the current price which could be a lot less than what you paid for it.
Okay now to some gift ideas-
Tea for Two
I wouldn’t be without my cup of tea and if someone on your list loves it too, check out this gift on the Barnes and Noble site-
Water Bottle with a Plus
Just about everyone has a water bottle but with this one you can add some flavoring-
Not sure what to get someone but know they’ve been eager to learn to knit or paint? Check out this site where you can buy a gift card for an online class http://www.craftsy.com/classes?
Animal Related Gifts
I wouldn’t be without my furry companion and I know lots of people include pets on their shopping list. I found this site that makes a donation with each purchase you make and they have deals called door crashers each day-
And speaking of ‘best friends’ if you want to learn the story of the Utah based animal sanctuary they have a book that I think should be a hit with all animal lovers
And finally in the animal category, if you have a daughter that’s always wanted a pony check out this UK
And as always two sites that make it to the guide every year,
ELF, not only great for main gifts but stocking stuffers for $1 www.eyeslipsface.com
And www.nothingbutsoftware.com . I always seem to find something on their site, and many items have free shipping too. And check out their sister site, Price Plunge where they’ll e-mail you the deal of the day.
More gift ideas coming soon…
Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers in the US.