By Clarence Walker, NewsBlaze Business Reporter
Last Minute Christmas Shopping Deals: How-to Use Social Media, Smartphones, And Other Tips to Save On Christmas Gifts
Hopefully this not too late but Christmas is just a few days away. And people from all over the globe still may not have gone out to buy gifts for their loved ones. A recent study by American Research Group shows U.S. holiday shoppers this year – 2015 – are planning to spend an average of $882 on holiday gifts, a slight jump up from $866.00 last year, the study reported.
If you’re like most families, holiday shopping can be a strain and you many not able to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts as reported by American Research Group. Despite having a low budget, if you research and plan a course of action to find deals to fit your budget, you can still buy discounted gifts and not look like a total cheapskate.
Here is some advice to find good deals for last minute shopping.
Plan in Advance
Depending which route you take to purchase gifts, whether you shop online or rush out into the midst of chaotic shopping malls or appear in person at heavily trafficked places like Walmart, Macy’s or even less expensive stores, take at least 30 minutes to an hour or more to map out and create a spending plan to list names of those you need to buy for and calculate how much you can afford to spend.
Christmas Shopping Apps
Smartphones are powerful and valuable to use for Christmas Shopping. And even some less expensive cellphones that are adjustable to use Apps can work also. Just think for a moment. Cellphones in our pocket can help us to score great Christmas shopping deals. One popular holiday shopping App is the free ios Santa’s Bag.
How it works. A Santa’s Bag App allows you to create gift lists, import recipients, and most important, the App sets a budget to keep the user’s spending limited to a specific budget. Further, the Santa’s Bag App interface is very intuitive and it rapidly gives you access to gifts already purchased for each person along with the amount of budget you have left for each recipient.
Here is a link from Consumer Reports that lists 7 free shopping Apps capable of grabbing Holiday discounts and other cool deals.
Follow Retailers On Social Media
Go to Facebook and Twitter to find discounted goods offered by brand name retailers. If you don’t have an account with Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, just open one and follow retailers on these sites because they offer followers discounted deals up to 20% or more.
Just to show you how powerful social media is when it comes to ecommerce sales, consider the following, according to Addthis.
- Ecommerce referrals from social media grew near 200% in 2014.
- Facebook drives about 60 percent of all social media traffic referral to retail websites.
- 74% of consumers use social media networks to make purchasing decisions.
Use Discounted Gift Cards
How would you like $150.00 worth of gifts for $125.00 or even $130.00? If so, buy discounted gift cards from online/offline retailers like Sears, Target, Radio Shack, Walmart, Home Depot including other prominent brand name retailers. Discounts usually run from 10% to 30% off the face value of the card. Get in on the action by checking out www.giftcardrescue.com – or click over to www.giftcards.com
Try a Bold Approach
While shopping online, search for a “chat or live help button” to connect with a Customer Service Rep. Once a Rep connects with you, explain to the person you’d love to spend money with them but you need at least 15% or 20% discount on items you’re interested in buying. If the Customer Service Rep sounds reluctant, ask the person to check with the manager about discounts or you will switch away from your shopping cart and click over to the retailer’s competitors. Although this strategy may not always work magic each time, if it does work, you can save money, money for other purposes.
How-to Find Discount Codes
A consumer should never buy items online without first trying to find discounted codes. Online retail customers mentioned in previous news and blog articles that discount codes saved them hundreds of dollars. Overall, this strategy doesn’t take more than a few minutes to accomplish. Just simply go to www.retailmenot.com – or try www.couponfollow.com. Coupon follow.com is a sister site of SecretPrice.com. Another popular ecommerce site to go to is www.freeshipping.org – to find most available discounts for the store you select to buy gifts from. Then use discount code during the checkout process to get 20% discount or more or free shipping.
During this season anyone spending from hundreds and up to a thousand dollars or more on gifts – consider recouping some dollars back. I know this proposal sounds exciting, so check out www.ebates.com
Retail experts assert that proceeds from ebates.com will go to charity including the fact many customers have received many rebate checks.
Saving money this Christmas season in 2015 is the name of the game.
So why not play it to win.
NewsBlaze writers including this reporter and editor Alan Gray wish our readers in the United States and across the Globe a wonderful, blessed Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year.