With Christmas just around the corner, gift shopping is high on the agenda for most of us. One of the trickiest parts of Christmas shopping is figuring out what to buy for our nearest and dearest – there is always one person who either has everything or wants nothing. This means we have to figure out not only what to buy for our partners, families, friends and secret Santas but to do it without causing a meltdown in our plastic or bring on texts from the bank warning of impending overdraft catastrophe.
What we need is inspiration for our gift buying but without breaking the bank. Finding the best deals is essential. So, how do you do it?
Q: Don’t know what to buy?
A: Experience websites:
If you are unsure what to buy your nearest and dearest then experience sites are a great resource. Not only do they offer great savings on everything from spa weekends to balloon rides, they also have gifts that you would never have thought of on your own. There are classes in knife skills for the amateur chef and pet photo shoots for the animal lover. Or how about an Aston Martin driving experience for the 007 in your life? Discount websites like Red Letter Days and Virgin Experience Days run offers on lots of unique ideas that may give you the lightbulb moment you are looking for. A downside of some discount websites can be that offers expire quickly. However, one popular site, The Fusion Boutique, manages to avoid this by using technology that ensures offers are always up to date. The experiences above are featured on that site.
Q: Just want something affordable?
A: Daily deals:
Another good option is the daily deal sites that offer heavily discounted products. These have become part of the mainstream shopping experience over the last four to five years and look like they are here to stay. On the plus side the deals are genuine and there are substantial savings to be had and they can be very useful for giving you ideas for gift experiences. However, they tend to be limited in the range of offers they publish every day so it can be a bit hit and miss and you will probably not want to rely on them for all of your Christmas shopping. Some of the more well known daily deal sites are Groupon, Living Social and Hot UK Deals.
Q: Know what you want?
A: Price Comparison sites
If you have a gift in mind then price comparison sites (PCWs) are a great option. These search on the products you select and come back with a list of retailers that you can then sort by price. This can mean big savings but remember that PCWs get paid based on referrals and they often produce results from a set list of retailers meaning you cannot be guaranteed that the results are the best on the whole market. To get around this a good strategy is to use a few PCWs to widen your search net. Some popular sites are Google Shopping, Price Checker and Price Runner.