So our claim may be a little ambitious, Christmas shopping can be stressful there is no doubt about it. However, as the play experts we would like to help you reduce the stress of shopping for your little ones online this Christmas. Read these simple Christmas shopping tips and relax this Christmas!
1. Time is Key
Give yourself plenty of time. There really is no point in thinking about it for weeks only to find you have missed the last order dates. This is only going to bring on a last minute dash to a well known catalogue based store where you end up with a load of cheap and nasty toys which will last five minutes (if that). Alternatively, you will end up paying over the odds for something you wanted and feeling resentful for the whole festive period!
Our Advice: shop early, get your orders in and delivered at least a few weeks before Christmas then you can be the smug one who has completed all their shopping by 10th December! It will give you extra time to enjoy the festive period without the mad rush around the shops!
2. Read Carefully
The Christmas rush can make people a bit more panicky and therefore a little more careless when ordering online. I think we have all done it – ordered something expecting it to be bigger or smaller – it can be frustrating and hassle that would definitely be unwelcome around this busy time of year!
Our Advice: Look at the dimensions and what is included very carefully – don’t assume it will fit or come with batteries for example. If it is not clear, email the seller or call the shop – it could save you valuable time later on.
3. Understand Online Deliveries
At this time of year, the number of deliveries increases massively. In 2018 the UK spent over 25 billion pounds shopping online and it is only set to increase year on year. You can read the stats right here – they speak for themselves. Christmas shopping tips most people into a frenzied online shopping spree! This means both the post office and courier companies all over the UK will have a much bigger work load than usual. Most courier companies have an extremely effective and efficient system, but of the small percentage of items which are delayed or don’t get delivered on time this will be slightly higher over Christmas. If you are ordering from a shop that has a collect instore option this may give you peace of mind.
Our Advice: order early, so if there is a delay you have plenty of time to receive the goods. This will stop you from worrying abut their arrival but also give you time to sort any issues out (see point 4). Most importantly make sure you enter your address details correctly as courier companies aren’t psychic. A wrong address would cause you all sorts of hassle so just take a minute to double check everything when ordering.
4. Check your gifts when they arrive!
There is no point putting the box in the back of your wardrobe only to wrap it up and find on Christmas day that something was missing/damaged/a different colour. Although a rare occurrence, sometimes products can be damaged in transit or your order mixed up with someone else’s.
Our Advice: get everything you ordered out of the boxes, if it is large take it into the garage (away from prying eyes) and make sure it is all present and correct – this will avoid any unnecessary stress on the big day.
5. If they require assembly – have a trial run!
If you are not planning on assembling the present before the big day, why not have a go at putting it together beforehand so you will be an expert when the time comes. Let’s face it – who wants a nagging child desperate to play with their brand new toy whilst you struggle with the instructions?!
Our Advice: If you cannot completely assemble the item without giving away the surprise of the present, you could read the instructions and make yourself comfortable with what piece is what. That way if you have any questions, you can always call the manufacturer or retailer. If you leave it until Christmas day, you may not be able to contact anyone until they reopen after Christmas.
6. Buy batteries!
This should probably be the first of our Christmas shopping tips. It is often the one thing that can cause frustration throughout the holidays. Toys or games that require batteries and you do not have the right amount/quantity/size! Check, check and check again that what you are buying comes with them and what size they are so you can buy spares.
Our Advice: buy rechargeable batteries or more than you need (just incase) and if it is for a really noisy annoying toy buy enough to last an hour or two but no more- they can drive you up the wall!