It’s that time of the season. Christmas trees and wrapping paper are everywhere. Sale signs are in the windows of every shop. Windows are dressed to the hilt with mannequins in their best apparel and accessories to die for. People are shopping and carrying bags with purchases from their favorite stores and all it does is remind you of how you dread shopping and that you haven’t even begun. If you’re just now getting started on your shopping list for the holidays you’re not the only one but before you hit the stores for your purchases keep these “do’s” in mind.
If you held on to last year’s gifts that were given to you now’s the time to re-gift. Although some gift givers don’t believe in this style of gifting; there’s nothing wrong with it. What is the point of keeping an item on the top shelf of the closet only to collect dust? It will save you money and time and may be something your Great Aunt Lucy would love to have. However you choose to give your gift try your best not to re-gift to the person that gave it to you in the first place.
Do Ask for a Gift Receipt
No matter how much you try to please someone on your Christmas list there’s bound to be that person who’s unhappy with their gift. Even if you didn’t pay much for the item it’s still a good reason to give a gift receipt. If you would prefer not to give it to that person keep the gift receipt for yourself. This way, if it is needed, you’ll have it and it will save you and the recipient the hassle of trying to return the gift without a receipt.
Do Ask for a SPA
Although you may be finished with your Christmas shopping prices will always be marked down from the original price soon after the holiday. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask for a sales price adjustment (SPA) for the difference from the original price to the sales price. If the item was on sale when you purchased it the SPA may not be eligible but if you paid full price it’s worth the while to ask. SPA’s must be done within a certain amount of time from the date of purchase but retailers who offer SPA’s will often have the time frame printed on the receipt.
Do Buy Something for Yourself
Throughout the holidays its so common to hear “I’d love to have that but I can’t. I have to get gifts for the kids so it’s just going to have to wait” or something very similar. The fact is it’s not going to hurt you to purchase a small trinket or something you’ve been dieing to have over the holidays. The problems often lies wherein you purchase something for yourself on every single outing.
Do Make a List
Before heading out to the stores on this yearly quest prepare yourself with a list of items or gifts that you need. Whether it’s for the grocery store or a massive toy retailer it’s better to be organized with a list before leaving the house. The stores are overly crowded at this time of year and some people are edgy due to personal circumstances so getting into a showdown at the last minute over some small detail just isn’t necessary.
Do Use Cash
Due to the economic strains it may be a tight Christmas for many families and using cash to purchase gifts may not be feasible. If you can use cash though; use it. It doesn’t accrue interest like credit cards and the relief of not having a credit card bill that’s going to take six months to pay off is another stress reducer.