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Holiday shopping sometimes doesn’t feel like a joyful experience. You’re rushing around town, finding parking, and fighting the crowds if you shop at your local stores. Online shopping can make it easier to find the right gifts for the folks on your list, but you might be worried about shipping fees and whether your gifts will arrive on time. Make your holiday shopping experience a bit less stressful and more joyful with these shopping tips, plus a few gift ideas from the AT&T Holiday Gift Guide.
Top 3 Tips
We’d all like to find the best gifts at the lowest prices in the shortest amount of time. While reaching all 3 of those goals might be a sugar-plum dream, here are a few ideas to get you started down a smooth holiday shopping path.
- Shop early. They say that location is everything in real estate, but for holiday shopping, timing is the key. Want to eliminate stress over running out of time? Start shopping now. According to the National Retail Federation, 40 percent of consumers start their holiday shopping before Halloween.1 That means your competition already started shopping—especially for this holiday season’s hottest and most sought-after gifts. So save yourself the headache and avoid a Jingle All the Way
- Stick to your list. You’ll stress yourself out even more if you don’t stick to a budget and over-spend on gifts. Sometimes our eyes (and best intentions) are bigger than our bank accounts, and it’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of gift giving when we find those must-have items. Making a list, checking it twice, and then buying only what is on the list can help curb those budget-busting impulse purchases. Don’t put a coal in your stocking; the least-liked gift of all are credit card bills.
- Save your receipts. We all want to find the perfect gifts for everyone on our list—but it doesn’t always work out that way. Most stores and online retailers require a receipt to make an exchange or receive a refund. However, many will provide a gift receipt that shows proof of purchase but leaves off the price, and that’s all they need. Be sure to ask for one.
For some gifts, you just have to get out there and face the crowds. We have a few tips for making those trips to the malls and local shops a bit more bearable.
- Avoid peak shopping times. The most popular times to shop are: weekday lunch hour, early evenings after work, and weekend afternoons. Many retailers offer extended hours during the holidays. This gives you the flexibility to slip around the big crowds earlier or later in the day. The store staff will also thank you as they’re better able to dedicate their full attention to assisting you.
- Use your technology. A smartphone is a great shopping tool, not only for online shopping, but for making you more efficient in stores. Use your phone to check stock availability before you go. Then you’ll save yourself the trip if the item you wanted is sold out. And when you do find the perfect gift in a store, compare pricing among retailers make sure you are getting the best deal. Our little secret: Every dollar saved is one that can go towards a gift for yourself!
- Do your research. The best preparation for shopping at stores starts before you even leave the house. Research the product details for the gifts you are looking for to make sure you buy exactly what you need. For example, if you’ve picked out a new laptop, make sure you know the correct model number. Be sure to develop a back-up plan in case your first option is not available.
Shopping on your phone, tablet, or computer certainly helps you avoid the crowds at the mall. But there are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your online shopping potential.
- Buy several items on the same order. Free shipping is a great feature provided by many online retailers. But sometimes there are strings attached, like minimum order totals. Be organized when you buy multiple items on the same order. You can avoid paying too many shipping fees, particularly if you are ordering lower-priced items.
- Take note of the guaranteed shipping deadlines. Have gifts delivered directly to your door to make your holiday less stressful. Or, send them straight to your friends and family, already wrapped. But tis only works if they arrive when you need them. Many online retailers post info about the last dates they will guarantee to deliver in time for a holiday, so factor that into your shopping timing.
- Order online, pick up in the store. If you really want to streamline your holiday shopping, make your purchases online with your computer or mobile device. Then, pick up the items at a local store—sometimes on the same day you ordered them.
AT&T Holiday Gift Ideas
In addition to these holiday shopping tips, AT&T has gift ideas that might check off some of the presents on your list and make your shopping easier. Our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide includes the hottest cell phones, tablets, and accessories, as well as unlimited data plans plus TV and internet service offers.
You need gifts for him, her, or them. You want presents for Mom, Dad, and the grandkids. Get the coolest gadgets and tech essentials to make this the best holiday ever for everyone on your list.
And don’t forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 2 of the biggest shopping days of the year. For 2018, Black Friday will be on November 23, and Cyber Monday will be on November 26. Be sure to check the AT&T Black Friday and Cyber Monday pages for holiday deals and offers.
This year AT&T makes holiday online shopping easier than ever: Order online and get your device today. You can pick it up in store or we’ll bring it to you (in select ZIP Codes)2. Any delivery method you choose is free3.
This article was written by an AT&T employee. The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.
The Legal Stuff
2 Same Day Delivery details: Online orders only. Orders must be placed by 4 p.m. local time. Must purchase and activate eligible device online with wireless service agreement and qualifying voice and/or data plan. Requires account holder present, at least 18 years of age with government-issued photo ID. Limited to select zip codes in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Fresno, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Long Island, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New York City, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Providence, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle, St. Louis, Tulsa, and Washington, DC. Other geographic and service restrictions apply. ENJOY will contact customer to schedule up to 60 minutes to deliver and set up eligible device (ENJOY delivery). No charge to customer for ENJOY delivery. ENJOY delivery is non-transferable, has no cash value, and cannot be redeemed for cash or applied as payment to an AT&T account. AT&T not responsible for lost or damaged software or data. Subject to wireless service agreement. Activation/upgrade, early termination and other fees, and restrictions may apply. Offer subject to change.
3 Free Shipping details: Free express shipping is available for connected devices with AT&T wireless service. Free standard shipping is available for accessories. Orders will be processed and shipped subject to credit approval, inventory availability, and validation of a proper shipping address and other information. Orders received after 4 p.m. CST will be processed the next business day. Inventory, credit, or other issues may delay shipment. No holiday, Saturday, or Sunday processing or delivery. Shipping policy is subject to change. Please note: It may take up to 24 hours to process your order if there are any issues with the credit approval process and/or the shipping address validation process. This 24 hours is not included in the delivery time and should be taken into account in your order placement timing. Delivery signatures may be required. Express shipments to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands may take more than 2 business days. Actual delivery date may also be affected by government processing, unforeseen weather and shipping carrier delays.