I’ve decided it’s time for a change. This year, I’m taking a stand. No more malls, big box stores, outlet centers, or after-shopping refueling stops at IHOP (awesome though they may be). Yes, this year I will be doing ALL of my holiday shopping online.
It’s not just because I can find better deals online and I can take the time to do more in-depth product comparisons. It’s not even because I’m nine months pregnant and sick of store attendants coming up to me and saying “how many do you have in there?!” (AAAAAAHA HA HA!!! Ha…ha…ha…)
It’s because in-store shopping is obsolete. At this point, there is virtually nothing that you can buy in a store that you can’t also find online. And chances are, if you find it online, you can find a higher-quality version for a cheaper price.
And in-store shopping is a pain in the ass, but that’s obviously subjective.
So this year I’ve decided to skip the mall parking lot politics and just stay home. There are just too many compelling reasons to do all of your holiday shopping online. The first—obviously—is the price.
Pretty much everything except for veal can be found online for a cheaper price—whether it’s through Amazon, Craigslist (please don’t buy your veal on Craigslist), eBay (which is making a stronger push into mobile shopping these days), or whathaveyou. The fact is that someone is always willing to undercut the next guy, but YOU won’t be as likely to hunt around for the cheapest option if you have to do it all on foot.
For example, you want to buy your in-laws a case of fine wines. Why bother hitting up your local big box wine specialty store (BevMo, in California) when you can find more intriguing options on Lot18 or Yipit? The proliferation of daily deal and flash sale sites out there can open up doors to a whole range of low-priced options.
And this brings me to my next point: you can find NICE things on the cheap online. Sites like Gilt Groupe, One Kings Lane, and Lot18 specialize in fancy pants items for low prices. So you can be a miserable, miserly cheapskate and still get your friends and family nice things—because there’s nothing worse than getting what looks like a box of gourmet chocolates for Christmas, only to find that they’re old, dried out nuts and chews that were grabbed off of a shelf at Ross.
And naturally, shopping online means you can do more research on a product and check out customer reviews. True: you can do this in-store as well with a smartphone, but do you really want to be the jerk that stops in the middle of an aisle and blocks traffic to start fiddling with your phone? No! Everybody hates that person!
Doing all of your shopping online means being able to compare and contrast products in the same amount of time it takes to navigate the parking lot, plow your way through crowds of disheveled shoppers, locate and actually buy the last Kinect on the shelf.
But the best reason for doing all of your shopping online this holiday season—at least my biggest reason—is the fact that you can really get personal with your gifts. If you go to a big box store and get whatever’s on sale, chances are you’re just going to get someone a crappy gift they’re never going to use anyway. But going online actually allows you to put some thought into it. Of course, you can still deal-hunt and cruise around Amazon, but you can also find good deals on specialty sites, like Etsy (which just saw its biggest single-day of sales ever this past Monday), and you can actually take the time to find a one-of-a-kind gift that was clearly made for that one person you know who would totally be into that.
For example, I have two Queensland Heelers, and as a gift recently, a friend of mine actually managed to find a stuffed Queensland Heeler plush toy and some super obscure kid’s novel with a Queensland Heeler as the main character. I have no idea how she managed to find that—but she did, and it was the most awesome gift ever.
Another good reason I’m doing all of my holiday shopping online this year: I can get everything gift-wrapped and shipped directly to the recipient’s house—so no holiday clutter or wrapping paper cuts for me this year! Huzzah!
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