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.Â 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?
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