Some people like to get out and shop. They enjoy walking through the mall and browsing through various stores. To them, the shopping experience is a part of the holidays, and they wouldn’t skip it for anything. Others, however, have decided the hustle and bustle of the holidays just isn’t for them, and they’ve started buying their holiday gifts online.
It’s not difficult to buy holiday gifts online. All you need is an internet connect and a credit or debit card. Actually, you don’t even need plastic—you can use your checking account to purchase items from many online businesses.
There are many advantages to shopping online, but many people want to know about the bottom line: is shopping online a better deal than braving the cold and the crowds? After all, you do have to pay for shipping. The good news is that online stores rarely charge more for items than their physical counterparts. In fact, online stores are often cheaper. The reason for this is that they don’t have as much overhead or operating expenses. They don’t have to pay to have their inventory transported from warehouses to stores, for example. They don’t have to employ as many people, and they don’t have to pay utility expenses for all of their physical stores. This means they can charge less per item and still make a profit.
What about shipping costs? Well, yes, you do have to pay for shipping in some cases. However, many stores have specials where they offer free shipping if you purchase a specific amount of products. Amazon, for example, gives free shipping on orders over $25. If you plan on purchasing a lot of gifts from the same store, check their shipping costs first. Just like shopping in physical stores, it never hurts to shop around to see who has the best deals. Also remember that shopping online early will save you on costs—if you want until the last minute, you will have to pay for the expensive express shipping or risk not having your gifts in time for the holidays.
So is it cheaper to shop online? The answer is that is often depends. Sometimes, you can find the same deals in stores, and sometimes you can’t. Shipping is sometimes a factor, but then again, when shopping in physical stores, you have to consider gas costs and taxes (many online purchases aren’t taxed, but some are). Some people don’t mind paying a bit extra to avoid the crowds during the holiday season. If you do a little comparison shopping, order early so you don’t have to pay for expedited shipping, and are comfortable using the internet to make purchases, buying your holiday gifts online can be a great way to do your shopping.