I’ve set it before but I really mean it this year: all of my holiday gifts will be purchased online. While you might be inclined to assume this decree comes from a place of laziness, I assure you that is not the case. Heck, my wife and I go to the mall once if not twice a week and I consider our Saturday morning “sip and stroll” outings to be the highlight of my week, so clearly I have no qualms about brick and mortar commerce. No, the reason for my digital exclusivity this time around is that it’s simply easier to save money and get better gifts at a better price.
The first way in which e-commerce allows us to save is the blessing of free shipping. Considering that our immediate families live in a combined six states, my wife and I have learned that packing and shipping out presents can really cut into our holiday budget. Thankfully, a number of retailers offer free shipping around this time of year, making the process of scattering presents around the country far easier for us and saving us a significant amount of cash.
Speaking of savings, I like to think of myself as a bit of a coupon code expert.
I’ve also found success comparing items across multiple sites and ensuring I’m getting the best price. In that same vein, those frequent visits to the mall have instilled in me a basic knowledge of what certain items go for and the ability to spot a good sale. Between these three skills, I always feel confident when buying online and scoring a deal.
Another bonus that’s new for me this year is that my Uber Visa card offers me 2% cash back on all online purchases. By comparison, I’d only get 1% back if I were to shop in-store. I know 2% might not sound like much, but trust me when I say that it can really add up by the time I finish my shopping list. Furthermore, my Discover card is once again offering 5% back on Amazon purchases through the end of December this year, making it a very Merry Christmas for me.
Look, I feel bad for brick and mortar stores — I really do. But there’s no denying that online shopping just makes more sense for completing my holiday shopping. Between the saved shipping costs, the availability of online coupons along with price comparison tools, and the added perks my reward credit cards offer, rest assured that I’ll be doing my gift giving in the glow of the fireplace and my laptop screen this holiday season.
Also published on Medium.