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All I Want for Christmas is Probably at Amazon.com…

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The following is a guest post by Stella Louise. She is the editor of Savings.com Blog and Save, a lifestyle blog for the savvy consumer featuring an eclectic mix of shopping advice, money saving tips, personal finance and frugal living stories.

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas...

So go the lyrics of "Silver Bells," a tune that definitely helps me get into the holiday mood. Unfortunately, the reality of gift shopping isn't "children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile..." but instead is usually jostling crowds of cranky people ready to come to blows over the last pair of cashmere gloves.

I think I'll pass...

You can stand outside in the pre-dawn cold to snag your Black Friday bounty--I'll sit snug and safe in front of my computer and do the majority of my shopping online, thank you very much. I don't even have to waste time doing Google searches and price comparisons, because quite frankly I can find most everything at Amazon.

Like this Die Cast model of "The BluesMobile" that my sibling David and I are going in on together for our brother who's a big Blues Brothers fan. We're also getting him this 3 DVD set celebrating The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts.

David and I are also debating the possibility of giving our Mom a Kindle this year. I introduced my parents to the wondrous gadgetry of the Apple iPod Nano last Christmas. It was like presenting fire to cavemen. My Mom loves the iPod and she's a big reader, so giving her a way to access hundreds of thousands of books digitally seems like a perfect gift. We haven't decided whether to go with the Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook -- but either way it doesn't matter because Amazon even carries the competition's e-Reader!

In addition to an unbeatable selection, I like Amazon's Wishlist feature. It's really helped me determine what to get my sister-in-law and nephew--especially since it's really hard to keep track of the ever changing whims of a four and a half year-old! Thanks to his Mom keeping his Amazon wishlist updated, I know that just about anything Iron Man or Spiderman will be appreciated -- although his astronaut obsession still remains strong.

Speaking of obsessions--for those of you consumed with getting the best deals, Amazon is no slacker in that department. The KitchenAid Food Processor on my sister-in-law's wishlist has a list price of $249.99. At Best Buy it retails for $199.99, but is currently on sale for $179.99. At Amazon, however, I could snag it for less than $156 (with free shipping and no sales tax!) plus get a $20 rebate which would make my final price under $136.

Not too shabby.

The Super Saver shipping for most orders of $25 and over makes shopping the online superstore as affordable as scouting your local Target or Walmart for deals. More so, since often you don't have to pay sales tax on Amazon orders.  Even better is the fact that I can ship orders to any address--in the case of my brother's presents, I sent them to my Mom's house where he will likely make an appearance over the holidays.

Extra bonus: Mom wraps the gifts for me. Win!

So Amazon with its massive inventory, free shipping and competitive pricing appeals to the curmudgeonly Grinch in me when it comes to Christmas shopping. You may say that pointing and clicking my way through my holiday gift list robs me of the experience of "Christmas time in the city," but I'll see your silver bells and raise you one DVR'd episode of "It's a Wonderful Life" paired with a plate of Christmas cookies minus the hassles of traffic, parking, crowds and checkout lines.

How much of your holiday shopping do you do online vs. in-store? Which do you prefer?

Last updated on December 9, 2010.

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9 Responses to “All I Want for Christmas is Probably at Amazon.com…”

  1. I bet at least 50% of our Christmas shopping is done online. It would be much higher if not for toys for the kids – my wife wants to check out the play-ability before buying any :)

    Having your mom wrap the gifts is great. My wife thinks that I’m better wrapper than her, so I end up wrapping a lot of stuff, esp the harder items. My basic trick is to just get the darned thing secured with paper first, and then executes some folds on the crappy ends until they look presentable (i.e. tuck the awkward ends inward).

  2. Jaime says:

    I didn’t like the post. Looks like an amazon add :)
    I know in some aspects Amazon is great but they other alternatives in the web. Why not try other Google Shopping to compare prices before buying? Where is that research spirit of LM? Just getting into amazon and buy everything from there is Lazy and if you have been reading this blog the last 3 years, LM is everything but Lazy.
    Also, if you are going to shop online, why not make an extra effort and go to http://www.cashreporter.com and see which store has a better cashback (There is no Amazon cashback)? The cashback is paid after 90 days but it takes little effort, you only need to basic organization.
    So far, it is one of the worst posts in this blog, I hope people not evaluate this good blog for this post, there are great reading material here including a passionate blogger that faces big scams no matter what they try to do to discourage him.
    Keep the good work,


  3. Lazy Man says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t like the post Jaime. I will admit that random products from Amazon do not make for the most awesome post you’ve ever read (here or elsewhere), but I thought there were at least two awesome points. One was the wishlist feature. It is great to have a registry of sorts and just let family go off of that. Around Thanksgiving family used to get together and make a dozen lists of things that they wanted. Then people had to meet and make sure people weren’t getting duplicates for others. It was chaos for two hours. The other thing that I liked about the article was savings on the KitchenAid food processor in the end. It shows that there are some pretty good deals at Amazon.

    I’ll have to checkout CashReporter. In the past, I’ve found that these cash back programs, or ones like FatWallet, are a lot of research. I usually don’t buy enough from the supported retailers to make it worth it.

  4. One thing about Google Shopping is that some of the sites listed seem a little sketchy. I’ll use it every now and then (generally when I’m in search of filters for humifidier, furnace, or fridge) but I rarely buy from the lowest price provider.

    With that caveat, there are some great small companies listed in Google Shopping.

  5. Jaime says:

    I am agree and respect both of you, I just want to make my point clear with the following example:
    Let use Google Shopping to buy the KitchenAid food processor:
    1. Query Google Shopping: http://bit.ly/gscUox
    2. The list display 2 stores on first place: Amazon and Newegg.com. Is new egg a good store? According to Google shopping users feedback, it is.
    3. Go to cashreporter.com and compare both stores cash back options: For newegg.com this is the report: http://bit.ly/i0ZDrK
    4. Create an account or use previous account with the one you consider a best option, I purchase the product.
    5. Return back in 90 days to get your cashback.

    It takes around 5 minutes to save 3 dollars and the more you use it, the faster it gets until you get in automatic mode.

    I am happy to be able to discuss this topic with great financial gurus and that you respect my point.

  6. Stella says:

    I did research Google Shopping for the KitchenAid food processor and lo and behold Amazon had the lowest price. That’s not always the case, but you also need to weigh the time invested in searching and researching against the $5 you might save at another vendor.

  7. Lazy Man says:

    I didn’t quite understand how CashReporter worked when I looked at it. Your description helps a lot. I thought it was like Ebates rather than something that sits on top of Ebates. I can now see the value that CashReporter brings. Thanks!

    It looks like NewEgg does charge state sales tax (Google Shopping realizes that I’m in CA and NewEgg has a presence there), so it wouldn’t be my best option. [I’m going to gloss over the whether it is legal/ethical in paying taxes on Internet purchases… I think we need we need a federal standard there and let that be that.]

  8. Jaime says:

    Oh wow, I feel good, I helped LM. You have helped me a lot, like sports, investment and including the time you publish a guest post from Pat Flynn from smartpassiveincome.com. You both are great.

    I also like Stella reply, but I cannot agree with you, Stella, :(

    IMHO, an informed costumer is a good costumer, and probably it would take time at the beginning and comparing this inconvenient with the opportunity to get a better prices some times, cash back rewards, and the most important, to promote stores competence for a healthy business environment.

    I like amazon, they are the best for many items, but if I were buying the KitchenAid food processor right now, they wouldn’t be the first option, since they have the same price that newegg, and I can even get cash back.

    I will defend education and information against convenience all the time. :)

  9. Lazy Man says:

    That would be the first time I successfully helped someone with sports in any capacity. However, it is especially true on this site ;-).

    I surprised Pat with that post… it was all my words about his great website, not his :-)

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