The 411 On Gift Giving Savings

So Much To Do So Little Time

Multi-level mall complete with Christmas decorations and full of shoppers.Procrastinators get a bad rap this time of year and I for one would like to set the record straight. As a self-proclaimed Christmas shopping procrastinator I believe we are simply misunderstood.

Counting today, there are still 17 shopping days left until Christmas. 17 days is plenty of time to map out a strategy to act upon for a successful shopping excursion outcome.

It all begins with the research to develop the all important list. The list is a comprehensive account that outlines the who, what, where, when, and how much we are willing to part with at a particular store.

You might be thinking “but what if the item(s) you are trying to buy have sold out?” This is not an issue for the true procrastinator because we’ve thought of this and have documented gifts that aren’t high ticket items. Remember the Cabbage Patch Kids fiasco back in the 80s? Well no authentic procrastinator would be caught dead in such a brouhaha. We cannot be bought with sneaky marketing ploys geared to suck us into a vacuum of “must-haves, needs, today only” type gimmicks.

Multi-level mall decorated with Christmas lights on the railings with different sizes of transparent balls encased in lights dangling from the ceiling.

Nope, nah, uh, the genuine procrastinator, waits until the wee hours of Christmas Eve morning to begin and finish their shopping. During this time there are no crowds which lends itself to a pleasant, leisurely, productive experience.

The internet has been a real game changer for the procrastinator but it has also ushered in more clever ways to save money. Allow me to elaborate:

  • Ebates allows you to purchase items from your favorite stores while at the same time you earn real money each quarter based on the agreed upon percentage between the retailer and Ebates. All you have to do is log into Ebates and purchase from the retailer through the Ebates site to get cash back.
  • ShopSavvy is an app that lists sales from online and brick & mortar stores. It does price matching, daily and weekly deals, sale alerts, and you can scan UPC bar codes to find the lowest price on a particular product. The app is compatible with iPhone and Android devices.
  • Slice is another app that provides price drop alerts. Once you sign up for the service and order online the app scans your inbox for receipts and monitor’s the retailer’s website for a price drop. When a drop in price is found the app sends you and email notification. You can then contact the retailer through Slice‘s prepopulated email to request a refund. This app is also compatible with iPhone and Android devices.
  • RedLaser Bar code & QR Scanner is a price comparison app. Simply scan the bar code or QR code on a specific item to compare prices. The app can be used online and in retail stores and is compatible with iPhone and Android.
  • Shopkick allows you to earn points for redemption on gift cards or other products just from walking in the store.
  • RetailMeNot is an online coupon service that allows you to search for the top deals and coupons from over 50,000 retailers like Kohl’s, Bed Bath and Beyond and Macy’s.
  • ibotta similar to Ebates is an app where you can shop online, submit receipts, and add your favorite store loyalty account. Unlocking additional rebates occurs when completing simple online tasks.

Upper level of a empty mall with Christmas Trees and curtains of lights and stars hanging from the ceiling.

In addition to the above apps you can also save money online simply by adding products to your shopping cart and then log off the site. This is called cart abandonment and typically what happens is within 24 hours the retailer will send you an email reminder indicating that you have items waiting to be checked out. Many times the reminder will come with an additional discount or as I’ve found, on a few occasions the item(s) has already been marked down when I go back to check the status of my cart.

Also, when online or in the store don’t forget to ask if there are additional deals. When you’re shopping online just open a chat prior to checking out, likewise when in the store check with customer service.

I hope this information is helpful to fellow and non-fellow procrastinators. Now go forth and conquer!!

 

Author: Steph McCoy

Hi, I'm Steph, a businesswoman, style setter, blogger, and abilities crusader who breaks the myth that “blind people can’t be fashionable.”

20 thoughts on “The 411 On Gift Giving Savings”

  1. Great post! I leave stuff in my shopping cart, and go back later and check out, too. I throw everything in there that appeals to me and then maybe a few days later sort through it, narrow down my choices, and proceed to check out. 🙂

    1. It’s true what they say Theresa, that great minds think alike. I found out about cart abandonment completely by accident and once I figured it out it became a good habit. I do like you and select things that hit my fancy then go back later and sift through it only for those things I really want/need.

  2. Stephanae, you mean to tell me that you use a list? OMG, so that’s where I went wrong! But, seriously though, because I am a classic procrastinator (and an even slower gift-wrapper), right now I’m just hoping I finish by New Years. :O)

    1. Paul, you’re doing it all wrong, don’t do gift wrap when you can do gift bags with tissue. I used to love wrapping gifts but then I gave in to the ease of using gift bags whenever I can. If you wait til New Years you’ll catch all the great sales 😉

      1. Now there’s an idea I never thought about. That would be easier. Thank you for that suggestion, Stephanae. I wonder if I might not be able to convince my family to wait till New Years in order for me to gobble up a few deals? Thanks Steph.

  3. Steph, I think as one gets older they hopefully gain some perspective on all this perceived procrastination. I totally agree no one is “late” on anything. The psychological torture some folks voluntarily inflict on themselves when the calendar flips to December is unnecessary. A little planning and a little patience is all that is required to get what needs to be done done and I think as we get older we start to better appreciate time and understand how we should manipulate it to our advantage …instead of letting it manipulate us. It’s all in how you look at the tasks at hand and know how little time they actually take to enact. Some wonderful tips here for folks to take advantage of!

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