7 Reasons Online Holiday Shopping Is the Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

woman shopping online

Shopping. Most of the year, it’s a treat – a fun and indulgent way to spend a weekend afternoon. But holiday shopping? That’s a different beast entirely – one that has the potential to deplete our wallets, energy, and even our sanity and good will. This year, here's why you deserve to stay out of the stores, and find all your gifts online. 

(This post is part of a special project produced by CafeMedia's branded content team. We hope it helps you find something for everyone on your gift list!)

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Better Selection
Visit a single store, and you might find two or three versions of a certain product. But buy online, and you’ll find every model on the market in just a couple clicks.

Easier Comparison Shopping
Online shopping websites (and even basic search engines) will give you side-by side comparisons of different product models, making their prices and features easy to discern at a glance. And don’t forget to check out the product reviews. If an item is frequently rated with just one or two stars, quickly remove it from your list of options, and move on to more highly rated picks.

Deeper Discounts
Online prices are often cheaper than you’ll find at brick-and-mortar stores to begin with. Plus, your chances of getting a paper coupon in the mail for something you want to buy (and then actually remembering to bring that coupon with you to the store before it expires!) are pretty slim. But plug an online store name and “promo code” into a search engine, and presto! Chances are good you’ll turn up some savings. Coupon web sites are chock full of deals. And for big purchases, you can also check to see if a web site offers savings if you subscribe to their email list – most will give you 10% off or more for signing up.

It’s Easier to Stay On Budget
Beyond better prices and online-only discounts, shopping online can save you money in a few ways. You won’t end up buying something pricier than you intended just because you already trekked out to the store, or from pressure from an over-aggressive sales person.

You can also avoid spending too much with one simple strategy: Add the item to your shopping cart, but instead of buying it right away, wait until the next day. Sleeping on a purchase overnight will often give you the clarity you need to curtail overspending.

Convenience & Comfort
Of all the benefits online shopping offers, no doubt one of the most appealing reasons is that you can do it at anytime, from the comfort of your own home. That means you can check a gift off your list early in the morning while sipping coffee in your pajamas, or in sweats with a glass of wine as you conquer your TV queue.

It Preserves Your Holiday Cheer
You social calendar is way too full, and you’ve got a mountain of gifts to wrap. The grocery store is ransacked – they’re out of half the things on your list. And…your in-laws are about to descend on your house.

As special as the holiday season is, it’s no secret that it can also be the most stressful time of the year. For all the perks of online shopping, perhaps the biggest benefit is that by allowing you to avoid full parking lots, frantic shoppers, and crazy lines at the post office, it allows you to maintain your sanity and good cheer, so you can spend the season creating lasting memories with your family. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

How do you do most of your holiday shopping?

 

Elizabeth Brownfield is a food and lifestyle writer who has been on the staffs of Metropolitan Home, Martha Stewart, Domino, and Every Day with Rachael Ray magazines.

Image © iStock.com/DragonImagesY
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