I get it. Eye roll. Christmas? In October? Well... yeah. As much as I love Christmas, I'm not a fan of it seeping into the stores before Halloween. But I have started my holiday shopping. I have a large family and buying a little every week helps ease the financial pain. Also, I shop a lot of handmade and those sites quickly become overwhelmed at this time of year. I like to get my orders in and know I can cross things off my list and that they will arrive before the big day.
I have also found that online shopping is my best friend. I love finding sites that are a bit unexpected. That no one else knows about. It ensures that my gifts are unique and thoughtful. And I take my gift giving seriously. I'll break down a few of my favorites here.
1. Urban Outfitters. UO is a little funky so it can be perfect for that offbeat person on your list. Besides clothes that I usually don't pay attention to, they have home goods, techy items, vinyl/ turntables, and cameras with vintage flair. They're affordable, unique, and you can always find a sale or coupon code. I never pay full price there.
2. Uncommon Goods. I like this place for its quirky products and kits. There's cheese making kits, beer brewing kits, food chemistry kits. I would hold out for black friday or cyber monday to tackle either Uncommon Goods or Urban Outfitters.
3. Brickyard Buffalo. I'm new to this site and let me just tell you, I'm in love. It supports smaller retailers, handmade businesses. There's always a discount. You can pay via paypal. And my favorite aspect... It's always refreshing itself. Every time I think to log on, there's new products. There's usually some pretty jewelry, kids shoes/leggings/headbands, and art. It gives you the date and time that the deal will expire.
4. World Market. I love this place. Although you will usually find me in the home section, it really offers a lot. I'm in the love with the international food selection. It's crazy. If you know someone far from home this is a great place to look. They also have some adorable stuff for kids, jewelry, and homewares.
5. Etsy. Of course, I can't for some reason create a mood board on this one but its by far my favorite source for gifts. It also needs the most times since a lot of goods are made to order and require time to make and ship. It connects to paypal and is so user friendly. Once you have an account you can use the little hearts to create a 'like' just like on Pinterest. That way you can go back and look at what you've dogeared and compare prices from different stores. Although most stores are based in the US, I always double check in the left hand column. I like to support US small stores and some companies may be in India [which will increase your shipping cost and time majorly]. I also like that you can message the seller for a customized item, see where they live [to support someone in your own state or city], and see exactly who owns the shop and learn about them. Check out the store info on the main page to make sure there are no order deadlines for Christmas. The shopping really is endless there and so addictive.
Tips for shopping online:
1. Read reviews. These have saved me a million times. There will always be a few bad ones so don't use that as your guide. But if they're all negative and say the same thing [that it came broken] then that's your red flag. Google around to try to find a better alternative.
2. Be careful who you trust. There are several places I don't think twice about buying. Especially with the use of paypal, it's gotten easier and entering your credit card numbers isn't necessary. If it's a company you've never heard of, do some googling and check out the better business bureau.
3. Use them coupon codes! I rarely buy anything for full price. And if I do I make sure I can get some free shipping to offset the full price pain. Just a google like 'urban outfitters coupon code' can yield decent results. Some are outdated and won't work when you go to check out but it's worth a look.
4. Sign up for emails. I'm no fan of spam but during the holidays it can be a delight to find a coupon code in your inbox. Remember that you can always go to the bottom of the emails and unsubscribe after the holiday season if you'd like.
That's all I can think of for now. I'd love to hear where you do most of your shopping or any other tips that you use!
You can see specific gift guides from last year: women, men, couples, kids and the foodie.