The Truth About Last Minute Gifts
Giving a gift?
Try to plan your gift giving in advance. Don't wait to the very
last minute. Last minute gifts would probably cost you more than
you might anticipate.
Take a calendar and your organizer. Circle every birthday, your
wedding anniversary, christmas and all gift giving dates on the
calendar for the entire year. For starters get a 2006 calendar just for your gifts to simplify your gift
Plan ahead a few weeks in advance. For each date, who are the
persons you intend to get gifts for. What is your budget? What
would you give that person?
Shop online for the gift. Now, this is why I say it is cheaper
to plan ahead than wait for the very last minute. If you wait
until a day or two before the event, you would probably have to
go for overnight shipping. If you order long in advance, you can
take the cheapest shipping method possible. The shipping cost
between the different shipping options can vary considerably.
Some places offer free ground shipping within U.S. for a
minimum order size. For this free or relatively cheap ground
shipping, you have to order ahead of time. For example, if you
want your gift to make it in time for Christmas within U.S., you
have to order it by December 16th latest. Now if you miss that
16th December deadline, you would have to go for faster, more
expensive shipping options. Between 16th December to 20th
December, you would probably have to go for the UPS 3-Day
shipping in order to make it in time for Christmas. That costs
money. I used the UPS calculator to find the estimated cost of
shipping a 1 lb package by UPS, using the 2 day delivery, within
U.S. and the shipping cost alone was around .42. For UPS next
day air saver, the shipping price was .03. For UPS next day
air, the shipping cost was .28. The shipping cost of the
package alone makes last minute gift giving rather expensive.
You can even take your time to get the best prices for each
gift if you want to. You can even take advantage of free
shipping offers as and when they appear. To get the best deals,
go to www.cheapestsale.com and
bookmark that site. It showcases the steepest discounts in each
category and sorts the products by price so you can instantly
see which are the best deals. You can save quite a bit if you do
your online shopping there.
If you missed the shipping deadlines, the next best bet would
to skip the excess shipping costs by sending an online gift certificate. These are electronic gift
certificates that you can send by email. No shipping costs or
shipping time required. Not as impressive as sending a nice
package, but still better than nothing.
Another reason why you should do your gift buying preparations
in advance is that you can take advantage of free gift cards to
buy your gifts. All that takes time. There are a few such gift
cards and free gifts available at hot gift certificates. Basically, you answer some
questions in surveys and get a gift certificate or gift card or
free gift in return for your participation. Now if you do this
way before the deadline, you would have time to complete the
survey, get the gift certificate, go to the store and get the
gifts. You save even more money getting your gifts that way.
That said, last minute gifts should be the last resort. Be wise
and prepare your gifts ahead of time.