Outsmarting the Holiday Rush! (part 1)
Have you noticed the date on the calendar? Unless you are dedicated to being Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, you need to start shopping. Unfortunately, the malls are packed; parking slots are slim to none and navigating the crowds for holiday sale bargains can drive anyone crazy.
Shopping online can help you get past the “mall madness” and get the shopping done. You might not save any money, but you will certainly will save yourself frustration and gasoline looking for that elusive parking slot. Before you click that mouse, get water, pencil, paper, calculator and that most necessary piece of plastic–your credit card. Make notes of the sites you visit and the items and cost so you can find them again.
Depending on what you want to buy and who you are buying it for, visiting sites like Nordstrom.com (spend $100 + and get free ship with NORDSHIP1 code ), Macys.com, Saks.com ( free shipping upgrade code through 12/21 at 1 PM GIFTRUSHB ) Target.com, OldNavy.com, Gap.com, LandsEnd.com and Sears.com can knock off most of your shopping list at one online retailer. With a little bit of speedy shopping, you can get gifts shipped to your home for the “personal touch” or you can have them shipped to the recipient in time for the big day– for a price. Check out the website’s shipping policies before completing your purchase to save yourself some surprises. Particularly be careful about sale merchandise and when it’s available. If there is that option to speak to a LIVE BODY over the phone or webchat, do so. It can save a lot of headaches.
Gift cards aren’t exactly romantic, but they are easy to buy and can be sent directly to the recipient. There may be shipping fees when purchasing a gift card, but it certainly beats the hassle of wrapping paper and ribbon. Try any of the department stores, music stores (towerrecords.com and bookstores online like barnesandnoble.com and borders.com
If you are the gambling sort, head over to Smartbargains.com— the Loehmans online location– or Sierratraders.com for a chance at scoring some bargain prices on fashions, accessories, home furnishings, books, home entertainment and even gifts for the pet. It’s a bit of a search, but you can score major bargains. Don’t forget Amazon for great gifts– often times at a bargain.. For the ultimate bargain hunter, ebay is the way to go. It’s crazy at this time of year but some sellers will ship directly to your recipient –for a price! DeepDiscountDVD.com is a great place to find gifts for that TV or movie junkie you know at a bargain!! They don’t have everything but they have a lot so you can find something that’s sure to please
An innovative gift that keeps on giving all year is the Entertainment Book. This book provides numerous discounts and 2 for 1 offers to restaurants, theaters, hotels and more.–all local to the recipient for about $25-45.00 depending on the book’s area. http://www.entertainment.com .
If you are shopping for the “Gen-X” crowd, check out Urban Outfitters You can find affordable clothing and accessories for him or her and maybe benefit from the mark-downs already in progress. Unsure about sizes? Urban Outfitters sells home furnishings and accessories that are fun and funky gifts. . www.urbanoutfitters.com
Is the person on your list more upscale, perhaps a more "downtown doll’ than rock punk? Anthropologie.com might be more her style.
For the "manly man", here’s a gift that’s sure to please– HOME DEPOT! The selection of gadgets and tools is amazing and now they even sell home fitness equipment. What more could a guy want?
Is the person on your list is stuck in the sixties, seventies or eighties? Check out Trunk Ltd authorized vintage rocker tees to find someone’s favorite band emblazoned on the front. There are also authorized tees with lolos from Warner Bros (DC, Looney Tunes,Hanna Barbera) Harley Davidson, and Paramount Pictures. They have the coolest assortment of tees and there is sure to be at least one to please even the most selective person–girl or guy! It’s a bit pricy, but this is a gift they won’t give away! http://www.trunkltd.com/shoppe.aspx
If there’s a woman on your list–and when isn’t there– you tred on dangerous ground. Select the wrong gift and you could be banned (or berated) for life!
When the fashionista on your list has you down, nothing brings smile to her face like a gift from Beautyhabit.com whether it’s a cool candles or fragrance diffuser, bath and body products ( be by Becker. Eshaya anyone?), an adorable Lucy B hatbox of cosmetics or a gift certificate, she will love you for realizing that’s she’s truly a girly girl. www.beautyhabit.com . Other girly girl spots include Bath&bodyworks.com and Sephora.com
Women love their jewelry, get inspired by Inspired Silver’s jewelry featuring beautiful cubic zirconias set in silver that are “inspired” by much pricier jewelry. From classical designs to the very contemporary, the price tag on these sparkling pieces ranges from $20-$300.00 . Featured is a great layered necklace in sterling with multi colored CZ’s. I saw all this jewelry and it looks so much better in real life. There’s sparkle and flash and gorgeous pieces! Now you can afford to give her that gigantic ring she has been sighing over. Or you can gift HIM with that cool ring you saw on a famous celeb who remains nameless! www.inspiredsilver.com
After5catalog.com has an array of items for those who “believe in the art of celebrating”. Featuring wine, martini, tiki, and cigar motifs, After5catalog.com has gifts for personal or home use for those people who have everything. www.after5catalog.com
Buying something for someone and you just aren’t sure what to get? Check out Chiasso.com for a fab assortment of indoor/outdoor items, furniture, bed/bath, rugs, decorative accessories, seasonal pieces (get them a great holiday decoration), kitchen and entertaining pieces (martinis anyone?)as well as fun gadgets and toys perfect for both the little and big kids (AKA adults). The selection is excellent and it’s not items that are easily found. Other places to check out include Potterybarn.com, HoldEverything.com, WilliamsSonoma.com for excellent home entertainment and use gifts. They have everything including some wicked good food items–specifically at Williams Sonoma!
The “tech” junkie is one of the hardest to buy for since typically he/she has everything. Head over to Staples.com to run through their online gift section where you can pick up a scanner, memory key, or digital camera upgrade that’s sure to light up their face like a flash. www.staples.com
For those who love fragrance–whether for themselves, the bath or just candles burning at home like D.L & Company Mandrake fragranced candle, there is a tiny boutique online that sells only the most unique scents, bath products and candles. Luckyscent.com has an generous selection of fragrances from pricy to very affordable for men and women. Their new bath & body products section has some lush products that even the most manly man will love to use. Make sure you tell them I sent you. They are a nice bunch of people and for you LA crowd, head over to Beverly Blvd between Crescent Heights and La Cienega for the SCENT BAR, the new brick and mortar location for luckyscent. It’s a way cool place to hang out. www.luckyscent.com
Ok.. now some of these places will give you free shipping if you order no later than 12/19–so UPGRADE to faster service and it won’t cost you nearly as much than if you wait. You could easily get all your shopping done TOMORROW! So buckle down, dig out the plastic and the cup of java or bottle of water and just do it!
that’s the LA Story — part 1 of gift giving!