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The number of shopping days left until Christmas is dwindling rapidly. So, assuming you celebrate this religious and consumerist holiday, you need to hurry if you want to buy the right gift for the right person. Thankfully shopping doesn’t have to be the nightmare it once was, simply because the number of options open to most of us has increased in the digital age. In fact, there could be too much choice these days.

Whether for Christmas or during the rest of the year, shopping can now be enjoyed online or offline, with bricks-and-mortar stores, websites, and mobile apps Tis The Season: 8 Great Shopping Apps [Android] Tis The Season: 8 Great Shopping Apps [Android] With Thanksgiving passing into memory, we now have to prepare for one of the most joyous and festive holidays of the year: Christmas! And, for better or worse, Christmas is the season where we need... Read More all offering an opportunity to shop until you can shop no more. Not that I recommend doing such a thing, obviously. It’s important to only ever spend what you can afford to spend, because debt has a habit of spiraling out of control. Lecture over.

Shopping, for Christmas and beyond, formed the basis for last week’s We Ask You question.

How Do You Shop For Christmas & Beyond?

We asked you, How Do You Shop For Christmas & Beyond? The response was mildly disappointing, but those who did take part in the debate offered sensible, solid answers to the question. I guess shopping is something of a personal subject for many people… or perhaps everybody was so busy buying gifts that they didn’t have time to leave a comment.

In terms of online vs. offline, it appears most people utilize both methods. While some shop online exclusively, preferring the stress-free environment of their own front room to battling the crowds outside, few are willing to give up on bricks-and-mortar stores entirely.

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Websites mentioned include the ubiquitous Amazon DOWNLOAD Your Unofficial Amazon Trail Guide DOWNLOAD Your Unofficial Amazon Trail Guide Do you ever feel as if you could be shopping smarter when it comes to Amazon? That other people out there know the tricks to securing the best deals, free shipping and more? Well, it's... Read More , as well as Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, and AliExpress. The choice of online or offline also depends on the product being bought. Food and drink is still bought at bricks-and-mortar stores, but non-consumables are usually available cheaper online.

Comment Of The Week

We had great input from the likes of Alan Wade, Hank Hollman, Vishal Srivastava and our own James Bruce, to name just a few. Comment Of The Week goes to ncoutlander, who receives the respect of myself and hopefully everybody reading this.

In order to keep things simple, I use the 4S’s in selecting my gifts. 1. Something to Wear. 2. Something to Read 3. Something you Want. 4. Something you need. Not everyone gets all 4, however those who are are closest to me do. Now I never forget what I should get when I stick to the 4S’s. I don’t know who came up with the idea originally, but I’m very thankful they shared. The friends and family who post wish list or email list make accomplishing gift buying easier. Generally I try to do all my shopping online via Amazon, Walmart, Costo etc. I use the website logicbuy.com to see the deals multiple stores are offering. Other sites I check are slickdeals.net and salescircular.com. Even though most of my gift shopping is done online, I still like to go out for my Surprise Gag gifts on Christmas eve, I love the rush of Christmas Eve.

This comment won because it went above and beyond what we asked for. As well as telling us several of the websites he uses for online shopping, this commenter told us about his methodology for selecting gifts. The “4S’s” could prove useful to others who struggle to know what to buy for people. Lastly, there’s the ray of hope for bricks-and-mortar stores suggested by the final sentence.

We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf X Seldom-known Awesome Tools To Optimize Windows X Seldom-known Awesome Tools To Optimize Windows Read More readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.

Image Credit: Olli365

  1. John
    December 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    What about the tried and tested wait till 24th December then rush out to the local petrol station ;-)

  2. Anonymous
    December 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Actually i buy a month before christmas, or the week after, that's the best way to get great deals.

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