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Christmas 2015 - Not Long Now

Tuesday, 8 December 2015  |  Essili

Online shopping is the ideal solution for time poor people and their Christmas shopping. Not having to battle through the crowds in and out of over heated shops is a major benefit of doing the Christmas gift buying online. Having access to the greatest choice without even moving from your chair is also a big plus but there are a few things to remember to ensure that the shopping is a success.

Delivery

The nearer we get to Christmas the more important it is that delivery is quick and reliable. Check that the online shop you are using makes it clear when they will despatch your order. It is only too easy to overlook such information when you are in a hurry to complete the purchase and some websites don't even provide that information in the first place. So before you click the buy button make sure you know when the shop will ship your order.

Courier or Post

Couriers are a very variable group. Some are particularly good both in on time delivery and keeping you informed. Others are not so good. The Royal Mail has its critics but overall they do a pretty good job, delivering to every address in the UK and providing good information on last posting dates etc. 

Not all websites tell you who they use to ship your order but if they do then this is a factor to consider when you decide to purchase.

Low Stock

If you are browsing and notice something you think will make a good gift make sure to note if stock is low. You may come back later to buy and find it has sold out. Stock sells out faster at this time of year than any other time and it is just too easy to miss that ideal gift. So don't be undecided. If you have found something that you think will make a great gift - buy it!

Gift Wrap

Some online shops offer gift wrapping as we do. Other's don't and most of the time this is not really an important feature but the closer we get to Christmas the more important the gift wrap option becomes. If you have no pretty paper and ribbon at home, what can be better than getting someone else to do that chore for you.

Returns

Sadly the gift may not work. It may not fit or may not be liked and will need to be returned. Check the returns policy of the shop before you press the buy button.

Safe Shopping

At this time of year it is really easy to fall into the trap of buying from a less reputable company. You are in a hurry and you have found the perfect present. You have not bought from the site before but you go ahead anyway and purchase just because you are in a hurry. STOP! Just take a moment to be sure that you are on a safe site.

There are some things you can check which will help keep you and your money safe.

  • Is there a little padlock in the URL bar when you enter the checkout?
  • Has the website provided full contact details, including a phone number and their physical address?

If these things are missing then beware. You might be safer shopping elsewhere.

Even if the site does provide this information with a secure check out, if you don't know them and you are thinking of spending a lot of money with them it is worthwhile just checking for a limited company name on the site and then running that through a reputable third party information site such as Companies House website or Endole. On Endole you will be able to see how old the business is and whether they are financial weak or strong.

You might think checking out a business like this is going to an extreme but remember that there is more pressure on an online retail business at Christmas than most times of the year and if they are financially vulnerable they may crack under the pressure and take your money but not supply the goods.

 

 

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