Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Buying Gifts Online

Buying gifts online
I have been buying gifts online since 2001 because I wanted to buy my children unique gifts for Christmas and their birthdays.  I started off with Ebay and I would look at Feedback scores and read comments to see if the sellers seemed trustworthy.  I could learn a lot about a seller this way.   In the beginning I only paid by money order so there was no chance of having my credit information stolen.  I was a victim of identity theft in 1994 and I didn't want to go through that again, so I was extremely cautious.  As Paypal became more popular sellers stopped accepting money orders, so I started using Paypal in 2007.  I have been pretty lucky because I only got ripped off a few times and if the seller wouldn't refund my money I would open a dispute, and Paypal would refund my money.  Paypal has been wonderful because I feel that my credit is secure and if something goes wrong they will work with me.

As my confidence grew with online purchasing, I started branching out and tried buying directly from online merchants.  I poked around on Amazon a few years ago but it was difficult because there weren't many sellers who would ship to Canada without charging exorbitant shipping charges...if they shipped to Canada at all.  I also found that the third party Amazon sellers would often say that they had an item in stock, but when it actually came to shipping the item, they didn't actually have it.   Over the last few years I have purchased directly from several onine retailers, and in general I have had very good experiences.  I make sure to do a bit of research on the companies and read reviews about their customer service.  My preference has been to buy from Canadian retailers because the shipping charges are more reasonable, there are never any extra International charges tacked on, and returns are so much easier.

Buying online can be scary, but if you do your research, and purchase from reputable retailers you should be fine. Keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true...it probably isn't!

Monday, 9 December 2013

I Love Online Christmas Shopping

Online Christmas ShoppingIt's 3 o'clock in the morning and the kids are all in bed.  I am staring at the ceiling in my bedroom and I can't sleep.  If only it was sugar plums that were dancing around in my head.  Sadly my mind is a buzz about homework, what's for dinner tomorrow, how do I get the kids out on time in the morning and thoughts of what to get my kids for Christmas.

I give up!  I can't sleep.  What should I do?  I could read but I am peeved at the current book I am reading.  I could do laundry but the washer and dryer are so loud.  So I head to my good old friend, my computer.  I check my mail and I see that my mailbox is filled with coupons, offers and flyers from retailers.  I start glancing through them when I see that one of them is advertising watches.  I remember that my son had asked me for a wind-up pocket watch for Christmas.  I had been through three whole malls and had no luck at all.  I found pocket watches, but they were all battery operated...and they were all quite expensive.

Online Christmas Shopping
I open up Google and type in "wind-up pocket watch."  Instantly I have a few thousand watches pop up.  I glance through the first two pages and I see that there are several on Amazon and Ebay, but I check the independent retailers first.  As I check these first sites out I see that there are so many options for wind-up watches...antique, steampunk, polished, skeleton, etc.   I get excited.  I never knew that there were so many different types of pocket watches.  I realize that I won't just have to settle for whatever I can find...I will be able to find the perfect pocket watch.  I am so thrilled.  I had spent a whole day futilely searching three shopping malls without any success, and within just a couple of minutes the possibilities grew immensely.

I took me about half an hour to pick out the perfect wind-up pocket watch for my son.  I purchased it for approximately 1/10th of the cost of the battery operated watches that I saw in the mall, that weren't even half as nice.  With that huge feat accomplished I was able to get back to bed and get some well-deserved shut-eye.

I saved time and money and found a present that was far better than anything I could have found in a physical store and I was able to do it all in my pajamas.  Now all I have to do is find a Sonic Screwdriver for my younger son and a sock monkey onesie for my daughter.  I won't waste time looking for those in stores and I will head straight to the internet and I will have my Christmas shopping all done before the beginning of December!