Every procrastinator is familiar with the downsides of last-minute shopping -- parking woes, stress-induced headaches and paying premiums for needed items. But these hassles and expenses are avoidable, say experts.
“It’s all about being prepared to shop from your mobile device at any time to jump on amazing time-limited deals,” says Sarah Ward, lead editorial stylist at online retailer, zulily.com. “In fact, we found that 51 percent of people purchase gifts one to three months in advance.”
Now, with so many shopping options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To manage your everyday as well as special occasions, get savvy with these shopping tips from Ward.
- Mobilize yourself. Download favorite shopping apps so they’re easily accessible. The next time you have five minutes of downtime, browse for items you’re inspired by and will want down the line.
- Be an in-the-know techie! Most retailers offer channels for staying in-the-know on the next big deal, helping you take advantage of special finds when the price is right. Pop onto your favorite retailers’ Facebook pages and subscribe to their Facebook Live notifications. For instance, online retailer zulily.com encourages its shoppers to sign up for daily emails, mobile push notifications and Facebook Messenger alerts tailored to their personal shopping desires. The site also allows you to “heart” brands so you get alerted the next time a sale runs featuring the brand you love, and its “notify me” feature lets you know when a desired product is in-stock again.
- Keep a gift closet. When it comes to meaningful gift giving, you can never be too on-the-ball. While shopping, always keep in mind your nearest and dearest, even if their birthdays or special occasions are months away. When you encounter an item that’s particularly unique or especially “her” or “him” -- whether it’s llama salt and pepper shakers, a new blender for her famous margaritas, a STEM toy or emoji slippers – it’s always worthwhile to buy the gift while it’s available at a great price, and then stash it away until the time is right. This is especially true of personalized gifts that may require advance planning.
“I love purchasing gifts for my nieces and nephews from zulily in advance of Halloween and the holidays, since I can shop great deals on unique items before they are traditionally available,” says Ward
- Shop aggressively. Find the best deals on products that you’ll need over the next several months by shopping on the right sites. For example, zulily launches 9,000 products a day and over 100 sales a day that last 72 hours, they can offer a variety of great products at good prices, allowing you to prepare ahead. For convenience, the site even has a Smart Pay feature that allows you to pay in installments. So, prepare ahead and be cool, calm and collected before the next big event while your friends and family are last-minute-shopping.
Save time, money and avoid stress. Let new tech tools help you become a year-round savvy shopper.