Sunday, December 7, 2008

Last-minute shopping tips

You may be too busy to shop or you have no choice but to wait for your December bonus before doing Christmas shopping. Whatever your reason for procrastinating, you need not worry about missing out on the good stuff. Malls will never run out of bargains even if you shop on the 24th, and there are ways to buy gifts without working up a sweat.

Stop panicking and check out these helpful tips for last-minute shopping. Not only can they help you avoid crowds, some of these can even save you money and effort.

1. Make time for shopping. If you can’t afford to spend a whole day buying gifts, try to fit shopping little by little into your daily schedule. Drop by a nearby mall after work or during the remaining minutes of lunch hour. Take advantage of midnight sales.

2. Give convenient gifts. Scouring shops for unique gifts is thoughtful, but if you don’t have time to find the items in your friends’ wish lists, be practical--give gift certificates! After all, they’re not cheap and are especially convenient when given to people who still don’t know what they want for Christmas.

3. Shop on the 24th. It sounds like a crazy idea, but Laura Coffey of doesn’t think so. “Most non-procrastinating types relax on Christmas Eve day--meaning traffic at the malls should be thinner then,” she says.

4. Avail of subscription promos. Why not give your family and friends a gift that will last for a whole year (or maybe even more)? Subscribe them to magazines that fit their personalities or hobbies. December is the best time to avail of subscription promos, since publishing companies mark down their subscription rates this time of year.

5. Choose stores that have a wide selection of gift ideas. Visiting one store to shop for several items saves you time and effort that you otherwise waste shuffling between malls. Department stores are there for the sole purpose of giving you everything you need in one stop, so give them a chance. Or you can always try specialty stores like Papemelroti or Echostore for more unique finds. and

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