Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I know a lot of my friends are big fans of Christmas and rightly so but I have to say it annoys me when halloween is not even over and Christmas ornaments are lining the shelves at department stores and Christmas ads are already playing on television.  Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of Christmas too but the season starts so early in the stores that by the time Christmas rolls around I'm pretty much tired of it all.   I do recognize the need to prepare early especially if you will be doing online shopping so as to allow for shipping.  There's nothing worse than receiving a gift you had planned to give , two days after Christmas.  There are some definite perks to shopping on line:

  • no trying to find a parking space in a crowded lot.
  • no bundling up to brave the cold/snow/ice. (northern hemisphere)
  • no standing in line at checkouts.  
  • no getting dressed. Shop in your pajamas if you want.  (I have seen people shopping in their pajamas at Walmart so this might not be a perk for some of you.)
  • no store hopping looking for the right colour/size.
  • no store hopping to compare prices.
  • you can have items shipped directly to gift recipient.  This is great if you have family overseas.
  • you get to open packages that come in the mail! So fun!
There are some cons to shopping online too:

  • shipping costs.  These can be a real bummer if you are purchasing heavy items or from a company outside of the country you reside in.
  • waiting to receive your items.  If you are "I want it now" kind of person, you are out of luck.
  • returning items.  This can be a real pain and costly.
  • not seeing the item in person.  That dress looked really cute on line but in the light of day the colour is ghastly/fabric is not what you expected/ size is way off.
I do shop a fair bit online and for the most part it has been successful.  Quite a few of my friends are really nervous about it and refuse to even try.  Here are a few tips that I have learned along the way.

  • Always pay for things through a secure server.  You can tell it is secure by looking at the url.  If it begins with http it is not secure.  If it begins https then your payment information will be encrypted and secure.  Please note that the shopping pages themselves may not be secure and that's fine, it is only when you are sending payment information that you want it secure. There is often a little lock icon too in the url.  If it is closed then it is secure, if it is unlocked it's not secure.  
  • Open a paypal account.  Many sellers online accept paypal and it saves you a lot of time.  Paypal is a secure site that stores your credit card information and address. It is just a matter of entering your paypal password instead of all you credit card information and shipping address to purchase items. Paypal also will reimburse money for items purchased through that have not arrived.  Paypal also sends you an email receipt so you have further proof of your purchase.
  • is a great place to buy just about anything new and used.  Pay particular attention to the item description (do not rely solely on photos) and the seller's information. Check the seller's feedback.  If it's not close to %100 don't bother buying from them. Be sure to check shipping costs and delivery times.
  • Always keep a copy of the receipt.  All online stores email you a receipt.  I keep mine in a special folder and move them to another when the item arrives, that way I can keep track of things that are late and can send an enquiry if needed.

Some of my favourite sites to shop?

  •  Like I said before, you can buy almost anything there, again just watch for shipping costs and read description carefully.
  •  This is a site for mostly handmade articles.  It can be pricey depending on the seller but the stuff is just adorable  and it can't be found in stores.
  •  It's not just books, there are lots of items here and usually at decent prices.  
  •  This site is fairly new to me but already I am loving it.  This company ships books worldwide for FREE!  There isn't a minimum amount to purchase to qualify.  Love it!  I received my books within a week of ordering.  I am impressed.
So pull out your laptop, put your feet up, relax, and go shopping in style!


  1. In my experience both shipping to and receiving post from Canada, it has taken AGES - in excess of two weeks at least - so good on you for being patient!
    Just for interest's sake I have had parcels arrive with their customer in the UK (Scotland and London I think it was?) within TWO DAYS!!! Impressive, no?
    To the States the shortest amount of time was 5 days to LA and Iowa and 9 days to SF the longest.
    When I was in Japan, parcels arrived in as little as 4 days or less from NZ.
    Now that I think of it I have never asked my Australian customers how long it took for their parcels to arrive.

    NZ is one of those countries with pricey postage - it is something like $11.50 for up to 200gms to the US, Canada, Japan (prob most places) and even more to the UK. If I sound unsure about the price it's not that I don't know - it's cos I add packaging costs to postage prices :P

    So I know it looks pricey but that's actually what it costs cos NZ Post pretty much has a monopoly on the market. Also I only charge postage and packaging - I don't inflate or even add a charge for my cost of travelling to and from the Postie or to get Packaging Supplies. Gosh it annoys me though that people mess around and either "subsidise" or inflate postage prices - cos for me, postage is the one thing that you can pass the buck on so to speak - you can't control what the prices are. They are what they are.

    Right. Better finish it there. Crazy rant finished :)

  2. My solution to the early commercial Christmas vomit is not going out much. :P

    And I LOVE Book Depository! I haven't ordered anything from them yet, but all of the books I plan to buy our girls (since MANY are not in our bookstores), I have priced from them, because when I DO get 'em, why pay postage from Scholastic or Amazon?!