Last week on Black Friday I went to a mall for the first time in a long time. For years I’ve been doing most of my shopping online and whenever I mention this to certain people I am met with remarks like “ugh, how do you do that?” or “I get so overwhelmed” or “things never fit me when I shop online” or “I don’t know where to begin” and I always find this interesting! Maybe because so much of wit & whimsy is surfing the web to find unique pieces, I have honed my skills but especially at this time of year I do see how all the options and offers can be a bit daunting. Today’s post is aimed at bringing you some tips + tricks to holiday shopping in the hopes that it’ll ease the gift selection process and hey, it’ll help you avoid lines, too!
When it comes to holiday shopping, since I’ve been traveling home to Colorado to celebrate Christmas the past few years, I have started to buy 90% of my gifts online and gotten pretty savvy at doing so. I definitely hit the stores here and there and keep an eye out while I am traveling for any gifts that strike me for those on my list but mostly I do the majority of my holiday shopping online. And let’s be real, is there anything better than shopping in your PJs from bed? I think not! (And at the bottom of the post is a bunch of cute Holiday PJs!)
So without further delay, here are my best holiday online shopping tips:
Narrow your search. Be sure to use websites’ search functionality to your benefit. I always narrow by category, then by price and by size (when applicable). Narrowing by price means I won’t get tempted by things that are out of my budget. Narrowing by size means I won’t get disappointed if the size I need isn’t available once I click through.
Check out a retailer’s “Best Sellers” or “Back in Stock”. I always use this functionality on sites because I’m curious as to what products are trending and what people are buying. If lots of people are buying it, chances are one of the items might be great for someone on your list this holiday season.
Use a cash-back app like Ibotta. I grew up with a very budget-friendly mother who has always been good at scoring deals. Her thoughtful, patient and price-conscious approach to shopping has begun rubbing off on me the older I get. Ibotta is an easy shopping app that gives you cash back as you purchase in-app at popular retailers you’re probably already shopping at like Amazon, Sephora and Target. I personally just used it to score additional money back when I shopped the recent Sephora VIB sale! For the money I make back I’m putting it into my savings account and going to treat myself to something after Christmas. (Longtime readers know I usually do a “For Yourself” gift guide after Christmas ;)). You can download the Ibotta app via this link. It’s so easy to use and made for seamless yet rewarding shopping. Also FYI that Target is doing free 2 day shipping this holiday season!
Keep a list. I outline in an email draft everyone I need to get a gift for and then, as I find items and buy them, I drop them in there under the person’s name. Because I send most gifts directly to Colorado I have been guilty of forgetting what I’ve bought and buying a family member two gifts – ha! Hence the list system where I now jot down what I bought or what I plan to buy. This is helpful throughout the year, too as you think of a good gift idea.
Don’t store your credit card info. I used to do this with select retailers but have since realized it makes it WAY too easy to shop (and overspend). If you have to get up to get your credit card you’ll be more apt to think more carefully about your purchase. It also is safer for you in the long run when it comes to the possibility of fraud.
Keep an eye out for special promotions. If I’m on a site I’ve never shopped on before I always look to see if they have a discount code available for signing up for their email newsletter. Often this small discount off can help cover the cost of taxes or shipping.
Request a price match. Did you know a lot of retailers will price match? If you prefer to shop at, say Target, but you see the item you want for cheaper at Walmart, show proof of the price difference and they may match it. I’ve done this with Shopbop a lot.
Keep the tab open. Have something you really want but are hoping goes on sale? Keep the tab open on your browser so you can continue to keep an eye out of it. (I do this often as at my age I’m very “out of sight, out of mind.” The amount of browser tabs I have open at once stresses my brother Kevin out without fail every year when he sees my computer in Colorado – ha!) Keep popping in on the tab and refreshing it to see if the price has gone down.
Do you guys have any online shopping tips? Would love to hear them!
Holiday PJs to Wear While You Shop at Home:
Thanks to Ibotta for sponsoring this post. All Ibotta offers were valid as of publish date. I appreciate you supporting brands that wit & whimsy partners with!