Holiday shopping season can be a hectic time of year and even more so when you’re tight on cash. Fear not fellow shoppers,this doesn’t mean that your gift giving ideas have to take a hit. There are many ways you can use your monetary limitations to your advantage, becoming more creative and market savvy. Here are four tips to get you started.
Sell Some Stuff!
You might think it is a bit late in the game to sell your things in preparation for your holiday shopping, but it’s never too late to make a future investment in your bank account. Knowing that you’ll have a certain amount coming back to you after the holiday season may make your shopping trips that much simpler. Garage sales are a quick way to collect some cash. An added bonus to garage sales is that it will simultaneously make you go through your household items and evaluate any possible DIY gift ideas! Then, of course, we must mention ourselves, Gone, because with all the stress holiday shopping can put upon a person, how can we not mention that by simply texting us a picture of your item we take over the selling process for you, by comparing market prices and closing deals with buyers. You many not have time this season to set up an online account and monitor an auction like so many selling websites require, but if you have time to send a text, then jump into the selling game with Gone and expand your gift giving options before the season is up!
Do Your Research
Shopping can be difficult when you are faced with too many options. Say your son or daughter wants a portable video game console, how do you know which one to get? Checking sites like Amazon, CNET, or Consumer Reports can help inform you of the best products for your needs. Amazon and CNET offer you a more casual research process, comparing product specs and customer reviews to help you identify the best product for your needs. Consumer Reports, on the other hand, will give you a thorough breakdown of the item, tested by Consumer Report employees, for a subscription fee. This website is ideal when investing in a big expenditure (flat screen tv, sound system, desktop computer) where a detailed expert opinion is highly valued.
If you want to get down to the pennies and cents between your possible holiday purchases, Pricegrabber is there to help. Look up the cost of an iPod Nano mp3 player on Pricegrabber and they will provide you with all the major locations that sell that item as well as highlight the location offering you the best price.
Are shipping costs a crippling expenditure in a sea of overpriced gifts? Fear not, many retailers have anticipated this burden and arranged holiday deals for you this holiday season. Amazon offers you free shipping with Prime or for gifts over $35. More amazingly, they offer this all the way up until the 22nd of December while still promising the gift’s arrival in time for Christmas. Other stores like, Topshop, Theory, and Saks Fifth Avenue are offering free shipping and return. While stores like Uniqlo, Smashbox, Vera Bradley, Lululemon, Free People, Shopbop, Barney’s New York, Betsey Johnson, Steve Madden, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Ralph Lauren, Madewell, J.Crew, Target, Best Buy, Walmart offer free shipping with no minimum. Read on here for the full list of shipping deals.
Do It Yourself
Sometimes when you’re short on cash, the idea of getting multiple gifts for your loved ones seems like an impossible feat. But our homes contain a warehouse full of possible gift material. Now, we aren’t instructing that you grab that vase, that you haven’t used for a year, off your bookshelf and throw it in wrapping paper. The idea is to repurpose something you own into something new and creative. As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts, and if there is thought and craftsmanship put into your gift, then it won’t matter where the materials were found. For example, take a book that you’ve read and make a home decoration out of it. The craft is called book cutting and there are many inspirational design ideas out there to choose from. Another idea, if you’re crafty in the kitchen, is to repurpose some jam jars and make homemade jam. They can be a great gift that adds a personal touch. You can also design the jam jars to add an extra homemade feel.
Location, Location, Location
When shopping for holiday gifts, every shop in town is doing their very best to entice you into their store with holiday deals and new merchandise. While aimlessly wandering through the shopping district you run the risk of ending up anywhere from the expensive brand name stores to the street fairs. As anyone knows, with tired feet and expired patience, when you find that gift that is finally right for your loved one, you’ll buy it no matter what the price tag. This is a black hole for shoppers with a tight holiday budget. That is why it’s best beforehand to evaluate which shopping locations fit your budget and to vehemently stick to them. Wandering off to new locations is your worst enemy in this instance so stay within your shopping location boundaries.