Holiday Shopping Tips
By Marisa, age 19, Indiana
With the commercial presence reminding us that the holiday season is growing closer and closer, the urge to find the perfect gift for everyone on our lists is growing stronger with each day. Of course, holiday shopping can be difficult when you want to purchase things your friends and relatives will enjoy without going over your spending limit. Even though the Black Friday rush is over, there are still plenty of great buys that can allow you to please everyone on your list ... and your wallet too.
When preparing to go on a holiday shopping run, have a general idea of what each of your friends or family members would like. If you go out with an intention to get something very specific, it is more likely that a higher price will not detract your buying interest. Browse the ads before you go and have a plan to avoid expensive stores where more money buys fewer gifts.
The mall is not always the best place for holiday shopping. There are way too many overpriced stores and plenty of places to get sidetracked spending money on yourself. Of course, the mall offers a great selection of stores, so it's easy to find something for everyone in one stop if you are willing to spend a little extra cash.
Ebay is a great mall alternative if you have access to a debit or credit card through a Paypal account. Ebay has even more options than the mall, and you don't even have to leave your house to go shopping. Be careful when bidding. Make sure you know if the item you are buying is in new or used condition, and check that the shipping time will allow for you to receive your item by Christmas. Not only does Ebay have a huge selection, but their prices nearly always beat those of retailers.
One great low-cost gift option is making something on your own. Everyone loves getting a homemade gift because it shows that you cared to take the time to make something rather than just go buy it. Cookies are a great option, especially for dads and boyfriends. What guy doesn't love a batch of homemade goodness? If you're the artistic type, there are even more options available. Why not put together a scrapbook of your favorite memories with your closest friends. It's cheap to get duplicates of photos made, so you can make a similar gift for all of your closest friends and personalize it to fit each of your friends' personalities.
Christmas right around the corner and you still haven't found the perfect gift for one of your girlfriends or ever your mom? I suggest endless.com, a great collection of shoes and purses that offers overnight shipping for the unbeatable price of negative five dollars. Unbelievable. Some of their items are a bit on the pricey side, but endless is a great option if you find yourself in a pinch for time.
No matter what you need to get for someone on your list, you're sure to be able to get it at an affordable price if you look hard enough. Have a great holiday, and happy shopping!