Tips for last-minute Christmas shopping

Date Published: 18/12/2019 12:44

Are you one of those people who leaves their Christmas shopping to the last minute? If so – here are some timely tips to save you a bit of money.

Firstly, can you cut down who you buy for? It might be too late this year to reduce the list (they may have already bought for you and that could make it really awkward), but maybe in the New Year you could look at who you are buying for just because you feel obliged to. You may well find they feel the same! You know the sort of people I am talking about, the friends you rarely see, the distant relative or work colleague who is not even a friend. Maybe it is time to put a stop to the novelty socks you never wear and the weird smelling candles you never light.

If stopping giving feels too much, what about some alternatives like secret Santa schemes, where you only have to buy one gift for several people, or a charity alternative, such as a goat or school supplies for villagers in need elsewhere in the world.

Gift cards are an interesting option. The danger is they never get cashed or have a time limit (yes, I admit I have out-of-date book tokens and garden tokens) or the company goes out of business. If you are tempted by the gift card route, think about what the person really likes. No use buying someone a token for a DIY store if they have never lifted a hammer or a book token for a teenager who reads everything online. And one way to beat the possibility of retailers going bust is to consider a multi-shop gift token.

Now I am not a legal expert, but do remember that whether you buy online or in a shop you do have consumer rights and some retailers will refund you even when you fall outside of those. So happy last-minute shopping and here’s to a New Year not fall of nasty surprises when the credit card bills arrive!

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