It was Saturday, December 11 and all through the house not a creature was stirring except for a mouse… well, besides me and my laptop.
My challenge was to make sure things arrived within plenty of time to write about them and donate them by Dec. 22 – and prior to Dec. 16 – if I wanted to donate them to HoHoTO.
The folks from Media Profile made some suggestions that I initially disregarded. Heck, I’m a shopper I like choosing what to buy and from where. However, after a bit of pre-shopping online snooping and learning some of my favourite online stores didn’t accept PayPal, I at a bit of humble pie and used some of their suggestions.
First off, I started with some online browsing. LUSH was first on my list as I looked for a gift for a “Grandma”, yes, she’s a hip grandma. The had lots of great gift ideas and even had a page of gift ideas for people who celebrate other holidays than Christmas this time of year.
Next I spent some time browsing through SonyStyle and Newegg. I knew I’d buy a teen the same item I bought my own sons, Sony’s iPod + iPhone Speaker Dock/Clock Radio. Since eReaders are one of this year’s hot new gift items, I wanted to buy one for “Dad” but I was somewhat open-minded and looked at digital video recorders and camera too. As an alternative to bath products, I researched digital photo frames for grandma so she could enjoy it for viewing family photos.
I saved things in my shopping cart and moved on to Newegg for some comparison shopping. The prices were a bit lower but I’m a stickler for value, which doesn’t always mean the least expensive. They didn’t have any brand name eReaders but I was tempted to buy a digital frame and memory card from for Grandma at a fraction of the SonyStyle price. I really liked how both stores clearly identified the types of payment they accepted. It took away the guesswork and the digging I’m often used to with other online stores.
Deciding not to waste any more time, it was time to return to SonyStyle. I didn’t love having to register with the site first and I found it slow but I did appreciate them telling me which items were out of stock or backordered and the estimated shipping dates. I also thought their shipping and delivery options somewhat confusing. I settled on an eReader and case for Dad, and the iPod dock for a teen but decided to skip the digital frame for Grandma, opting for bath products instead.
Next, it was time to buy something for a little one. I shopped with a little four-year-old fried in mind. I checked out a few different Canadian-owned smaller online stores. There were some wonderful handcrafted toys and other goodies you just don’t see at the mall. Problem is, some of them really ding you on shipping costs. I settled on a doll with a matching outfit from honeybunch. Their shipping was the least expensive.
As for Grandma, I settled on a pre-wrapped gift box of bathtime goodies from LUSH.
The BFF gift: purchased Friday night…
I bought an awesome scarf and mitt set from Preloved on eBay.
So there you have it – after just less than two hours of online shopping – I spent $500.
Wanna know what I actually received on time, what I spent, what I saved the scoop on delivery charges and how online shopping with PayPal compared to my trip to the mall? Stay tuned for part 3 and don’t forget to vote where you’d like to see the remaining gifts donated.