When to Start Christmas Shopping? Top Tips for Internet Shopping

Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year for many people, from parents to siblings, friends to colleagues.  The pressure of what gift to choose for a loved one. When is the right time to start Christmas shopping? Is it safe to buy off the internet? What if my goods come damaged?

For those who don’t have time to Christmas shop, or just prefer to beat the hustle, bustle, and mayhem of high street shopping, there are several tips you can follow! Online shopping can now be done with mug of tea or a glass of wine, rather than out in the winter cold. And the best part? It’s often cheaper!

Do Your Research!christmas-objects-1443958

When buying online, it is important to research to see if the gift is right for the person you intend to give it to. Reading reviews about the product can provide a great idea of what the product is like, especially if it is an independent review by Joe Public who may have already bought one.

Most websites and products have reviews posted on their site to help give a real feel for your product. Like talking to friends in a Café or in the street, this can help determine the gift you choose, as there is really so much choice out there!

Just remember, one person’s cup of tea may not be someone else’s. So be sure not to always dive in and read a negative product review in a bad way, as what one person may criticise about a feature of a product may be something you actually prefer.

Price Compare!

Now you have chosen your perfect gift, and although you may have seen a good price on an item, it may be available for even less on another site. Compare, compare, compare! The same product can be available for less on a different website. Remember to check the delivery costs too, as although something may appear cheaper at first, excessive delivery costs may push to price up.

Always read reviews of the website you are looking to buy from. Sometimes it is worth paying more to purchase through a reputable website with good, well established reviews, than a website which does not. A key indicator of a reputable website is the ‘Google Certified Shop’ badge, which appears in the bottom corner of the website and offers up to £1,000 of free protection offered by Google on purchases.

Order Early!

The internet can be a real goldmine for amazing gifts that aren’t available on the high street. Many are conveniently delivered directly to your home, making it easier than ever to make your Christmas arrangements early. By ordering online you often make a saving on high street prices – really helping to stretch that festive budget even further.

Find out the delivery arrangements when ordering off the internet. If you order early, this can give it plenty of time to arrive with you. Many larger items, or those imported into the UK, may require around a 6 week wait, so be sure to plan in advance to avoid disappointment! Plan in advance.

Check for Any Issues or Damages

It should not be expected, but there would be nothing worse than giving someone a gift that has arrived broken. Although many do not like taking something out of the original packaging when giving a gift, you should check the goods you have received (switch it on, inspect the quality etc.). This way, in the unfortunate case that there are any issues, this gives you more of a chance to resolve this in time for the big day! You are protected by the distance selling regulations in the UK by buying online, and have protection if you receive goods damaged.

Another important point of checking when you receive the goods is that identifying damages earlier can also help to protect your consumer rights. Should you receive your goods in say October, and you are unaware that these are damaged, by the time Christmas has come it may be too late to claim against the carrier. This would slant more towards user damage, even though this was not the case, and many retailers may have their hands tied on offering a replacement.

Now you’ve read about it and been eased through these simple steps, the fun starts – you can begin shopping!

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