Shopping Online for Gifts!

Winter 2001 CSANews Issue 41  |  Posted date : Apr 03, 2007.Back to list

By the time you read this column, I will have finished my Christmas shopping and already decorated our home to celebrate the year's most important holiday. Yes, even my birthday plays second fiddle to the big man in the red suit.

At the time of writing this article, I have not started my shopping yet, but my wife (the boss) and my six-year-old (the real boss) have made the list, blown out my suggestions and assigned me my allotment of gifts to purchase (six). As for me, anything to do with tools (my favourite), electronics (a close second) and entertainment (ahhhh!) will be just fine.

This year, I have decided to shop for all my gifts online except, of course, for tools. Tools is a special gift-for-me category that requires frequent and lengthy trips to Home Depot, wandering up and down every aisle with hundreds of other lone male shoppers and unconsciously saying words like, "tools...look at all these wonderful tools".

For those who have not yet begun their online shopping experience and wish to venture down this path, I strongly suggest that you start with Blue Chip sites that have been around for a while.

Places to Shop When in Canada
Of course, when you're shopping online for gifts to be delivered to Canada, your best choice is to shop at Canadian sites in, you guessed it, Canadian dollars. Try to stay away from currency conversion on your credit card. And the same holds true for gifts to be delivered in the U.S.

Visiting http://ca.shopping.yahoo.com/ is probably your largest online shopping experience. It scours the prices of "millions of items at thousands of Web stores." It would be nice to know whether it refers to two million or 20 million items, and 3,000 or 30,000 stores, but sample searches proved the claim that it reaches the most stores. This is no surprise, as it covers everything from books to flowers to jewellery.

We certainly cannot ignore Microsoft's http://ca.msn.com/ site that is all geared up for Christmas shopping. If you're shopping for toys, you can "Shop for Toys by Price" which begins with you qualifying the amount you would like to spend on your gift. There are four categories ­ Budget, Generous, Very Generous, Spendy.

Looking for great travel deals? Well look no further than http://www.expedia.ca/. The savings become the sweetest when you are shopping for hotel rooms and airline tickets. At the least, you can use the savings to pay for a fine dinner and, at best, the extra money will allow you stay an extra day or two. The home page simply asks you for your travel dates and destination, then searches the possible airlines. For your best deals, make sure you select "Lowest Fares" in the top left-hand corner of the page.

Places to Shop When in the U.S.A.
Well, the Harry Potter movie was finally released last week and my wife and daughter paid a visit to the local Colossus Theatre to be counted among the $58.4 million dollar opening weekend. Are your grandkids or (I won't tell anyone) kids into Harry Potter? If they are, you may wish to get them an issue they don't have. "Best Book Buys" (www.bestbookbuys.com) is a great place to look for that, and other reading material.

One of the best places to shop for computer hardware and software merchandise, from one of the best single-product-type shops, is CNet's Computer Shopper (http://shopper.cnet.com). It also offers auctions that can result in some great deals, and highlights price drops for different products. This might be a great place for you to give yourself a little gift for Xmas too. Santa has checked his list twice and he thinks you deserve something nice.

For those who just wish to send a little Christmas wish, visit http://www.bluemountain.com and send a simple electronic card or one that plays music. Either choice is great, simple to use, and doesn't cost you a penny.

Remember, Santa won't be delivering your online purchases, so get in there early to get your gift delivered on time.

Well, I've exhausted my word count for this article, and I've got the Home Depot twitch ­ so Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!