Dec 22,2006 00:00
'Tis the season to go shopping - which means that the "most wonderful time of the year" is likely to bring some additional stress to your already busy life.
To limit your stress and maximize holiday bliss, here are some smart and savvy shopping tips.
* Make your list and check it twice. Decide who you will be buying for and how much you are willing to spend before jumping online. Finding the gifts you want to give without maxing out your credit cards is tough if you aren't organized. Look for an online retailer that offers a gift planner that can help you create a budget and stick to it.
* Get personal and shop smarter. Give something they are sure to love according to their own interests, passions and personal style. Take advantage of PersonalShopper.com, a free online service that allows you to enter the age, gender, unique personality and style preferences of everyone on your list, then works to save you time and money by sifting through millions of products. The site then recommends inspired gift ideas customized for each recipient to fit your gift budget.
* Enjoy some holiday solitude. Turn on your holiday music and spend the day relaxing while you do your online shopping in the comfort of your home. You'll be amazed at how great you'll feel and how much you can accomplish by designating a few hours of "alone time."* Don't procrastinate. Last year, more than 39 percent of consumers surveyed by NPD Group said they will wait until the last minute to complete their holiday shopping. Don't put that extra pressure on yourself and set aside at least 30 minutes each week to shop online for a few gifts. If you still end up in a time crunch, avoid the crowds by taking advantage of express delivery services available online.