by Stacey Schifferdecker
My son and I usually get up early the day after Thanksgiving and spend a couple hours hitting the Black Friday sales. And you know what? That is about all the “bricks and mortar” shopping I do. Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving is the start of the online shopping frenzy. I have discovered the joy of online shopping, and it sure does make Christmas a whole lot easier and more fun –
- I get my shopping done from the comfort of home after the kids are in bed. No schlepping through the mall, trying to find a parking place, waiting in line to check out, and then trying to sneak packages into the house.
- We get mail! What is more exciting for kids than the UPS truck stopping in front of their house and delivering a mysterious brown box? But I can leave the box securely taped shut until I am ready to open it far away from prying eyes.
- I can find more unusual gifts. My daughter collects Statue of Liberty items and one of sons collects owls. I have been able to find cool items for their collections that I would never find on a store shelf at the mall.
Online shopping tips
To get the best deals on online shopping, look for sites that offer free shipping – otherwise, the shipping costs can be as much as the product you are ordering. Also look for online coupon codes that give you additional discounts. Websites like http://www.currentcodes.com/
list coupon codes for online retailers. And if you find yourself doing a lot of online shopping, sign up for shopping rebates through sites such as www.mypoints.com
As you shop online, be sure to check the store’s delivery and return policies. You should also have a back-up plan just in case something isn’t delivered on time
Websites to try
When you’re ready to start your online shopping excursion, check out some of these websites:
Amazon isn’t just for books anymore! You can find just about anything on Amazon, including clothes, music, household items, electronics, and more. Inventory from stores like Toys ‘R Us and Target are available through Amazon. It is a great place to start your shopping and get an idea of how much things will cost. You may still want to comparison shop and see if you can find items cheaper elsewhere.
Another helpful feature of Amazon is the customer reviews. If you are considering a toy but aren’t sure how sturdy or fun it will be, the customer reviews can often give you a clue.
These stores have good deals on electronics such as MP3 players and computers.
These are the websites I check first for books, video games, and music. You can usually get good prices and prompt shipping.
These are great sites for unique art supplies for your budding artist.
This website specializes in personalized Children's Gifts
such as books and music. These are the types of items where your child’s name is inserted into the story or song – a lot of fun for the kids. This website also features baby gifts such as handmade blankets and personalized bibs.
So many choices when shopping for toys, games, and puzzles! Along with more traditional toys, these sites have unique offerings, such as live butterfly kits, remote control submarines, and dancing robots or chickens.
You can find everything from expensive designer clothes to everyday outfits on the internet. These are a few websites with reasonable prices for kids’ clothing.
Stacey Schifferdecker is the happy but harried mother of three school-aged children—two boys and a girl. She is also a freelance writer, a Children’s Minister, a PTA volunteer, and a Scout leader. Stacey has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and French and a Master’s degree in English. She has written extensively about parenting and education as well as business, technology, travel, and hobbies.
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