Where To Do Your Christmas Shopping
It’s that time again – when everyone is talking about how fast the year has flown by and no-one can quite believe that Christmas is almost upon us. Well believe it – with less than 20 sleeps till the big day it is definitely time to get those Christmas lists sorted and hit the shops.

Online Christmas Shopping makes life easier when getting to the shopping mall is too hard. Market shopping is heaps of fun for Christmas presents ideas too!But this year isn’t like others we’ve known, with Australia still in the very early stages of recovery from the biggest economic downturn in over a decade (and amid rising interest rates) it is not surprising that many of us will be exercising caution and tightening the old purse strings this festive season. But don’t let that dampen your Christmas spirit, with plenty of innovative and economical options for gift buying available there is no need for anyone to miss out this Christmas.

A proliferation of online shopping sites makes grabbing a bargain these days that much easier. Particularly for those of us that are time poor, the convenience of online shopping is second to none. For the perpetual bargain hunter the opportunity that sites like Getprice offer to price compare and conduct product research ensures that we not only get a good knowledge of the products we’re looking to buy but also where to find the best price.

Although only representing a small chunk of the retail pie with perhaps only 5% of overall sales being made online – dStore’s Andrew Cooper says online shopping is a growing trend with an expected $4 - $5 million increase on orders compared to last year over the Christmas period. So if you’d rather avoid the Christmas crowds and get all your shopping done in the convenience of your own home, then online purchasing is ideal for you, just make certain you get in early to ensure your gifts are delivered by Christmas.

If you’re way behind on the shopping schedule a department store is a great place to get the Christmas shopping underway. With a variety of store options under the one roof convenience is maximized, although frantic crowds and the endless Christmas music can be somewhat of a deterrent. Not particularly well known for their price competitiveness, some price and product research before venturing into a Department store is recommended. A good option for conventional gift purchases, Department stores are poised to make an increase on last year’s Christmas sales with gift vouchers, electronics, toys clothing, food and wine tipped to be the biggest sellers nationwide along with CDs, DVDs, music and toys this Christmas. If it is the festive buzz and the hunt for more interesting gifts you enjoy you can’t go passed your local markets.

Win online competitions with She Inspires!Surrounded by festive smells, sounds and colourful characters the market atmosphere is a great place to find unique gifts and be inspired when you’re stuck for ideas. A variety of sellers means there is a vast array of products and produce from gourmet Christmas fare to handcrafted jewellery to art and tree ornaments. Opportunities to negotiate on price, particularly in the purchase of more than two items make the markets an ideal place for the bargain shopper. Shopping at markets is loads of fun too with live music, homemade foods and wares that make the markets a sensory delight and enhance the gift buying experience.

Choosing to shop with small businesses, whether they be online stores, in shopping centres or at market, will mean your Christmas shopping will go directly to local businesses who have felt the effects of the financial downturn and who employ others. The power of your wallet is especially loud and effective at Christmas and you can get anything you want from a range of small businesses.

As the old rule goes it is the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving. Wherever you choose to do your Christmas shopping be it on-line, at markets, in a department store, or somewhere else, just make sure you get started soon and good luck.

Contributing Writer Alex Brown

Contributing Writer Alex Brown

Alex is a holiday writer, with a love of languages and a background in economics. Interests in travel, linguistics, fashion news and celebrity trivia.

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