Well the parcels have started arriving. I love online shopping and have been doing a mix of online and in store shopping this year. With 8 people in the family and others to think about I thought I’d share a few tips and great places to shop this Christmas. Not sponsored just what I’ve learnt and what I love.
1. eBay for the hard to find, sold out and for fast delivery
Of course my big kids want Lego that is the most popular and I couldn’t find at the shops. Went to eBay and found an authorised Lego seller, great price, the speediest free delivery (ordered friday and arrived interstate on monday). 10 out of 10. I used Toy Bricks Online. Bricks to the World are also fabulous.
2. Plain box deliveries
nothing worse than little people discovering what is in the box. Check to see if the online store will do a plain box delivery. Often the seller will have details or let you know that the box contains the description
3. Jigsaw puzzles make the best presents
Every Christmas I buy puzzles as the kids love them, gives you some peace and quiet and also tv off time. I love jigsaws delivered and some of the disney ones are firm favourites in this house. Love the store and always had great service and fast delivery.
4 sometimes it’s better to go in store
I found a great outdoor toy on sale but once delivery was factored in it was just as expensive as finding it somewhere else with free delivery or visiting the store to collect. Check out the price plus postage to decide whether you’ll order or not and also where the nearest store is.
5. get to the shops early
I do school drop offs then hit the shops. I avoid weekends if I can and if I have to then I go early. I don’t like shopping carparks at this time of year.
6. make sure you are using the latest Christmas wishlist
some of my kids are up to version 4.1 of their Christmas list so keep up to date with the list to avoid disappointment. My kids are realistic and know they won’t get everything on their list
7. check the returns policy
if you’ve been good at shopping early then check that returns after Christmas will be allowed. Keep all receipts and dockets in the one place together to make for easy returns as well.
8. check the courier company being used
not all couriers and delivery companies are equal. I have excellent service from some and shocking experiences with others. This coming from someone who does lots of online orders. Check which courier company is being used and if you know you’ll have a problem leave clear instructions and keep tracking the parcel.
9. read reviews
I love how several online stores will have reviews of the product so you can see sizing, quality, delivery, do people love it. That’s how I picked my foundation by going to the clinique website and reading all the great reviews. If a clothing review says the sizing is off then be guided by it. If you’re buying on ebay read the most recent reviews and avoid anyone with more than a few negative reviews. It’s not worth it.
10. Check where the item is coming from
Often ordering online the company might be in australia but your goods are coming from overseas. You don’t want to be chasing it up on Christmas eve. Read where the goods are located especially on eBay and the estimated delivery time. If there is an option to purchase express postage or another type of delivery method then use that.
11. Remember gumtree is not like ebay
Don’t send money to anyone on gumtree. I often receive a comment on a post I did for gumtree but remember it is not to be used like ebay and is not linked with paypal etc. Don’t be scammed. Buy from people with good ratings on eBay or inspect the goods first before handing over any of your money.
12. Remember not all online stores are created equal.
Just because a store has a big name and lots of shops doesn’t mean their online store matches the same service. Some stores are very new to online ordering and take an old school approach or have teething problems. Country Road, Big W, Target I can all give 10 out of 10 for great delivery, fast processing, delivery options and reasonable costs.
13. Don’t forget to support small businesses.
Now is a great time to support mums in business and your local businesses who are family owned and run. Spend your money locally to keep your businesses near you. It’s also a great time to visit Christmas handmade markets and support people who make items.
14. Don’t forget you can make presents yourself
Last year every teacher and therapist got a handmade quilt. It just about killed me but I loved it. My best advice is start early………I left it too late this year so have bought presents but will do a few handmade presents for family this year.
15. Keep track of your spending.
We set a budget per child in our family and stick to it, no matter what. With 6 little ones we have to. Hubby and I get a present each and last year’s radio for the kitchen is still going strong and a real favourite of mine.
16. Don’t forget to give to others
Giving trees, Vinnies, the Salvos, Give & Take, Dandelion Support Network, local charities, homeless shelters, the RSPCA, everyone will warmly receive your donations this year. It truly is better to give than to receive so give when you can even if it’s some food. If you need help this Christmas then reach out and ask for it. There are some wonderful charities helping families in need and all it takes is one call to them.
oh and two last tips! Lock wherever you are hiding presents and keep the big boxes for little kids to play in! Mine love them!