Surprised I’m actually sticking with it? I’m determined and I’ve been plotting, but that’s not the only thing I’ve been plotting.
Christmas, these days, is about giving and receiving, but in all honesty, I get a bigger kick out of giving gifts. I like making people happy, I like treating people. But, at the same time, people can be incredibly difficult to buy for, which is why I’ve come up with a few hacks over the years on how to buy, and how to know what people want.
- Direct the person to what you’re planning:
I’ve done this with my boyfriend- I’d tell him to go look on websites at one thing, knowing he’d go look at other things and tell me what he liked- I did that on Zara when I found a shirt I thought he’d like- tell him to go look (half under the guise of buying my brother something) and he told me the stuff he liked- luckily, he also liked the shirt I had my eye on, but no hints to what it actually looks like. This way, you’re letting them pick your own present, you know they like it, and it’s still a surprise… Sorry Connor!
- Black Friday/ Cyber Monday:
We all know this hack, but I did all of my shopping over those few days and I’m now completely done, and saved over £1000 while at it. Plus, reselling on eBay of Black Friday stuff is usually still cheaper than when it goes back to full price.
- Amazon Prime:
I had a cheat this year: I waited until around Black Friday to get Prime so I’d get discount and next day delivery. They usually offer it for free around Christmas (knowing many people will forget to cancel it, and they make a profit anyway because people will buy from them and not the other sellers who charge postage). This will save you at least shipping costs, just remember to cancel it before your month trial.
- Start Early:
When you start your shopping early, you get good deals- when there’s a Summer sale, see if there’s anything you can spy. It sounds ridiculous, and I hate shopping so early, but it can be a good thing at times: if you have more money in your pocket by grabbing a deal, do it. Plus, if you buy from places like China, it could take months for it to arrive, so at least you’ll be on time.
- Shop Online:
I know most of us do this by this point anyway, but you get the best deals online. There’s often clearances online which aren’t in store (if you know what days to look) and you can get the online loyalty points which can give you a massive discount. Plus, if you sign up online, you very often get discounts: I have 10% off site wide from ASOS currently because my birthday is coming up. Shop online and take advantage of the loyalty system.
- Listen to the Details:
If someone shows you something they like, store it away, especially if they’re difficult to buy for or you know somebody struggles buying for them. Listening is key to buying somebody something; if you don’t listen or don’t know the person, how are you going to buy them a present? I remembered something my mum said she loved months ago and it’s now in my house waiting for her to open it.
- Look at Things They Already Own:
I do this with my brother: he’s utter hell to buy for book wise and CD wise because he owns everything, even the really rare, weird stuff… plus he’s friends with people in the music industry, so he has stuff which hasn’t even been released. So, I go to clothes: I look at things he already has/had, and look for similar things. That way, I know it’s something he’d like and he’d wear, but I’m not outright asking him what he wants. There’s still surprise there, and thought has still gone into it.
I do this one all the time. Have no idea what to buy somebody? Go for chocolate- you can get vegan chocolate for vegans or lactose intolerant people, alcoholic chocolate for some, or Malteasers for others. That is something I do yearly (say hello to Dan and Pops).
- Look at their Wishlists:
Occasionally, people will send you a picture of their basket or their wishlist for something. If it comes to it, lift stuff off there, you know they’ll want it… just hope nobody else has bought the same thing and had the same idea.
- Talk to Other Friends and their Family:
I did this wish Georgia last Christmas: I messaged her sister to make sure nobody had bought her the Elvis record she wanted and if she could tell people to not go hunting for it. That way, you’ll know nobody else will get the same thing you planned, you’ll know if they want it or not, and also you know what others are getting them to avoid the same issue with others. Shout out to Mel, she’s a life saver.
I hope these hints helped you out a little bit if you’re caught in last minute shopping or struggling. I’ve been there, I feel you.
Stay safe and stay happy, Angels!