How Do You Shop For Christmas & Beyond? [We Ask You]

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For many people this is a time when shopping becomes an unavoidable task, even if they avoid it like the plague for the other 11 months of the year. Those of us who celebrate Christmas tend to buy gifts for our nearest and dearest. Sure, Christmas is essentially a religious holiday, but consumerism also plays a part in proceedings.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, shopping options were limited. You either went out to bricks-and-mortar stores to buy all that you needed to buy, or you turned to mail order catalogs. Now, the Web has opened up a whole new realm, and online shopping is literally big business. There is more choice open to each and every one of us, so we want to know which method you choose and how that affects your shopping experience.

This Week’s Question…

How Do You Shop For Christmas & Beyond?

In all honesty I suspect most of you reading this won’t exclusively use one of the following methods for shopping before, during, and after the holidays. Instead, you’ll use a combination. Feel free to tell us which is your preferred method, or alternatively list more than one website or app. If you shop offline then you can tell us why you haven’t yet caught the online shopping bug.


Is there a particular online retailer you use? Is Amazon your first port of call? Or are you addicted to eBay? How about the daily deal websites? Is price all-important when it comes to shopping online?


Is there a particular shopping app you use? Joel recently listed 8 of the best, but do you know of another that has helped you snag bargains? Do you check prices online against those in bricks-and-mortar stores?

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Is there a particular reason you don’t shop online? Do you like the chance to actually look at or try out products before you buy them? Does tradition always win out over convenience? Are you happy paying a higher price for service?

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and 150 MakeUseOf points to use for MakeUseOf Rewards. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Olli365

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Comments (38)
  • Anonymous

    I buy 1) what I know someone needs, 2) what I think someone needs, 3) what I think someone will realize they needed or wanted when they see it. I buy only online, mostly Amazon and L L Bean, but occasionally Newegg, or one of several jewelry sites. Jewelry buying online is risky, so I don’t spend a lot. I never go to a store, using gasoline is an added tax on the item, and people crowd into stores like cattle and hogs if they think there’s a deal to be had. No thanks. I rarely, if ever, pay shipping, except for Ebay. And, most importantly, I start shopping for the succeeding Christmas during the current years’ Christmas sales.

  • Jennifer Lee

    Online! I will not purchase people clothes so I do not have to worry about fit. So online works the best. There are a few people I only get gift cards.

  • Martin Pierce

    Three Words–Amazon, Wal-Mart, Costco; Done.

  • Stephanie Liles

    I shop using a list of websites from my loved ones of where they created wish lists (ex. Amazon). I dont have to worry about anybody’s feelings getting hurt, everyone getting at least one thing they really want/need. I dont have to fight the crowds, do it all from my home, and be stress free!

    • Dave Parrack

      Do you ever miss the thrill of shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores and possibly stumbling across a bargain or a surprise?

      Wishlists are awesome, by the way :)

    • Steph

      Yeah I miss them, but not so much during this particular holiday. I worked retail management for 12 years, so I have just learned better….

  • Vishal Srivastava

    For me, being a Hindu (and almost an atheist), Christmas is not a major festival. Still we celebrate it (except for going to the Church). My shopping will begin beyond Christmas. I usually follow an algorithm in going about shopping-
    1. Decide the thing you want to buy. This is a personal decision and it happens without any help. To illustrate my algorithm, I’ll take the example of Smart Phone I bought last New Year. After the 1st step, I knew it must be a smart phone.
    2. Decide the budget. Since I have just entered college and don’t earn, budget is one of the key things and is mostly fixed by parents. I had a 8000 INR budget on my phone.
    3. Compare the price of the product online. This is where I start researching and gathering intel. What are the various kinds of smart phone around in my budget. I compare manufacturers, models, features, OS etc. I might not find a conclusive answer on all questions but this step helps me shorten my scope from probably 100 choices to less than 10. By the end of this step, I knew it was an Android I was looking for most preferably in a Samsung or LG device.
    4. The first market visit. Now, with a list (in my head) of the <10 devices, their features, specs, costs etc. I head to the market to get a demo of the product. I usually head to a place from where I'm not likely to buy anything. After this step, I had the fight from 10 devices down to 2.
    5. The second recon. The first step gave me a lot to choose from. But when I'm freshly back from my quest in the market, I compare whatever I've chosen. Out of the 2 devices, I chose Samsung Galaxy Y for its good features in a low cost.
    6. Final Purchase. Here, I know all the markets where competition is high. I start this step but getting to know the best prices online and then going to high competition markets and comparing the price they are selling the product to me wrt to the overall package they are giving me. I made my deal of SGY in 6900 INR which was very low at that time as it was being sold at around 7500 INR. Spent another 400 INR and got a 8GB SD card thrown in as well.

    • Dave Parrack

      Most people in the UK celebrate Christmas but don’t go to church, so we’re not all that different :)

      Wow, you have a very systematic approach to shopping for gifts. I kind of like it!

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
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