Christmas - 3 Step Guide to Christmas Shopping
You can hide under your little rock of denial. But as the song goes, Santa is coming to town. Whilst I know those feelings of fear, annoyance and melancholy of the year gone by all too well - like anything, early preparation and facing those Christmas feelings head on will result in muy bien family fun-times with mucho presents and many a stuffed bird.
So on this early date of November 25 th I present to you the Christmas Shopping Guide, how to take full advantage of those Christmas sales.
Step 1: The Early Bird Gets the Worm.
This is true for two reasons, the first is if you get stuff done first, there is no rushing, no lines, no annoying Christmas music. It means there will be one less thing to think about those two weeks before St. Nick makes his trip. The second reason is primarily to do with online shopping, though in person retailers may do the same thing - end of season stock goes on sale, usually means there’s not a whole lot of it left. So if you’re seeing something online now, at 60%-70% off its likely stock the retailer is trying to move, which means if you wait too long there will be no stock left. You are early bird, get that worm.
Also, and this is so important, I quite literally cannot stress this enough - if you are purchasing Christmas presents online give yourself a month for it to arrive. Even if they say lead-time of 3 days, or 5 or 10. Delays occur due to the Christmas period, for couriers, warehouses and everyone in between. You have to account for how many orders the site receives during the lead up to Christmas, the order of priority of those orders for the warehouse to then process, then once they do get despatched the delivery company will undoubtedly be inundated with parcels just like yours. Just use common sense - if you order online on the 21st and expect it will arrive by the 25th, you will not get it on time. So be smart - give yourself, the retailer and the delivery guys a month to get it to you.
When ordering make sure the delivery address is correct. And remember these guys make 6 hundred-billion deliveries a day, so if you put “open gate, follow path to secret garden, tell bridge troll magic code, dog is friendly dance with him, then place under magic mushroom for fairy to collect”, they will either chuck it in the vague direction of your house or mark as “no one home, card left”. Make your delivery idiot proof. If it can be left without signing for put “LEAVE AT DOOR”, anything longer than “LEAVE BEHIND POT PLANT NEAR DOOR” and the delivery driver will ignore it. In my honest opinion, if you know you won’t be there to accept it and that no one else will be there send it somewhere else. To work, or a friend, or a family member out of home. The back and forth of re-delivery and ‘Sorry We Missed You’ can add up to 2 weeks to your delivery time – that is both very kind and underestimating. And you’ll be mad you don’t have the Christmas presents for Christmas ☹.
Make sure when ordering that you have it done correctly so you don’t need to add anything or take anything off, that no one is standing over your shoulder, so there is zero reason to rush through it. If you have to change your order, it’ll be pulled out of the queue at the warehouse and put on hold until it’s complete, so don’t expect it to keep to a lead time if it needs to be altered.
Step 2: Subscribe.
Have you ever seen a headline that says “SALE ENDS TONIGHT! QUICK BUY NOW!”? And then the next day get an email that says “SALE EXTENDED!”? Sometimes this is planned, sometimes the sale is going well enough for the business that they extend it. Often enough I get emails saying “30% Off -One Night Only!” then the next day get a “50% Off Sale Extended”. It pays to check the deadlines and conditions of the sale – you will get no sympathy from any Customer Service person if you open with “ There was a sale on yesterday...”; you will get a flat and emotionless “I’m very sorry, it stated in the terms and conditions that the sale ended 5pm yesterday.” But you won’t see any of this unless you are subscribed to the newsletter. I know, I know, email advertising is almost as bad as commercial breaks during a movie, however the fact of the matter is sales are sent through email first and foremost, then to Facebook, then Twitter and Instagram. And if the company doesn’t have a very active social media presence then email sales are their one stop shop. So make sure to subscribe to get the best deals.
Step 3: Organisation.
Stay on top of what you’ve got, both on its way and already purchased. Make an Orders folder and a Received folder in your email. Whenever I have something on the way, the invoice or order confirmation is filed in Orders; once I receive it and I’m happy with it, it goes to Received. NEVER DELETE ANYTHING. (My inner gamer is coming out…“have I saved? better save, but I’m not sure if that saved this time, I’ll save again.” Would you like to save your game before exiting? “Oh yes definitely”). If one of the items has a fault, or you want to re-order the exact same one, or you’re doing your tax return, you will have the invoice to reference. Not just a “I bought this towel one time like either 2 or 5 years ago and it was pink and I’m not sure what I paid, but it was definitely on sale”.
“Order 400018768, from 2015, 3 rose water towels at 75% off - help me out fam.”
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