Last minute shopping experience could be frustrating, stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. Every time we do last-minute shopping, we think to avoid it next time. However, we keep doing it again and again.
Christmas and new year holiday shopping season are very near. Before you break your promise again, Read this post to know how you can say no to last-minute shopping?
Many of us do last-minute shopping every time and a few of us, sometimes. Common reasons are the busy life, hectic schedule, an unplanned holiday, late invite to a party but the most common one is procrastination.
This is why you should say no to last-minute shopping
Shopping too late and near the festive season is not a good idea. Neither, you can do shopping better, nor you can plan or enjoy your holiday better.
Shopping is like other things it does need proper planning and patience. Before buying, we should know why we want to buy and what we want to buy and in which budget.
Limited variety or no availability
Products good in shape, design, color, new in technology, and quality always stay in demand. Their demands get increased more in the holiday shopping season.
Sometimes, Before any holiday, it gets increased as much as even the largest stores and malls left with no stock or with limited colors, size or variety.
In the last-minute holiday shopping, there is a more chances Items could be out of stock. I have seen people returning empty-handed or with substitute gifts.
You may buy something you don’t need
At the end of the shopping season, Stores generally increase the discount on the inventory which they find hard to sell, last-minute shoppers do a great favor, to shop owners by buying from remaining.
Sometimes retailers offer an additional discount if you buy above a certain amount. So, if you buy something of value 50 and if they are offering an extra 10% discount on total buying of 200, You will likely end up buying worth 150 more.
Retailers know you are short in time and desperate to buy. After seeing discounts and lucrative offers, people buy whatever they can and end up buying things they rarely need.
Difficult to return or replace the product
In, Last minute shopping scenario it would be difficult for you to return or replace the product until and unless you would put an extra effort.
You did great work and bought the product online or offline but after reaching home or product got delivered. You found issue with color, quality, functioning or anything else.
Online shopping return takes time. There are high chances you may get the product return after the holiday or the event.
If you have bought the product from the offline store, you may have to travel again. There is a possibility you may not get the same product or shop owner ask you to come after few days or replace it with some substitute gifts.
Deals are tough to find
We all like deals and extra discounts, and do our best to get them. At the end of holiday shopping season, they are tough to find. You may have to run store to store to get them.
Items in demand either would not be available or if available can be less or without discount. Buying something expensive is not a good idea for your pocket.
If you buy a few days before any event or holiday, You can buy the product online as well and can save money on online shopping.
The feeling of missing something
In the last-minute shopping, You would always have a feeling of missing something.
Worse, sometimes it happens. I have seen people forgetting doing or buying something else of more importance and value.
Difficult to order online
Not every online shopping site offers expedited shipping and pickup stores, and those do, charge extra, or you have to subscribe to their premium membership.
Since we are already short in time and online delivery takes time and hence most of the time, we can’t order online.
There are numbers of benefits when you buy something online. If you don’t trust me, read the post Why You Should Skip the offline shopping and buy online.
Higher Risk of shopping frauds
When we are desperate to buy something and short in time, we ignore many things and commit mistakes. Ignorance and mistakes can put us in risk of shopping frauds in last-minute shopping.
What is the best time to buy anything?
The best time to buy anything is one two weeks before an important event or holiday. These are the most competitive days for retailers. Outlets and shops not only have fresh stock but also have enough inventory.
People who buy at the start of the holiday shopping season get great discounts and variety of choices. You also have enough time to order products online and can save money on online shopping.
The best part is you can avoid the stress of running here and there, enjoy the festival, and most important give time to your family on holiday.
How to avoid last minute shopping?
The short answer is by avoiding procrastination and planning in advance.
Planning shopping in advance
You can’t do much for unplanned occasions, but for planned events like wedding, birthday, marriage anniversary, Christmas, Diwali, New year, or party, you can avoid last-minute shopping by planning well in advance.
- Prepare a list of all these planned occasions in advance and set a shopping reminder at least a few weeks before the event if you can. It will hardly, take 30 minutes but this planning is a real trick.
- Make a wish list on any online line shopping site and keep adding products or gift items which you want to buy in future. Buy them when they are at a discount or before any special event.
If I would say I don’t procrastinate, I will be telling you a lie. The truth is many of us do it, a few of us less and a few of us more.
Everyone has their reason for procrastination. You would not be able to solve it, until and unless you would ask yourself, why you are doing it and what you can do about it.
Everybody has their justification for procrastination in shopping. If you know yours, try to solve it by solving the actual cause.
For example, If you get confused with the choices, take somebody else with you if you don’t have time ask somebody else to buy for you.
On Google search, I found the following post on success.com which you may find useful to read:
What to do when last-minute shopping is the only option?
Sometimes because of conditions, we have to do last minute shopping. For example, Late invite to a party or an unplanned vacation or busy schedule. In such situations, Use following last-minute holiday tips :
Buy online with expedited shipping
Check product availability online and the possibility of product delivery before the holiday. Many online shopping sites offer premium memberships for ex. Amazon Prime, they offer free expedited shipping in 1-2 days.
In case if you are not a member, you can opt for a free trial or can subscribe to it.
Visit nearby largest stores
If your shopping list is long and has more than 2-3 items, avoid visiting places where is less chance of product availability, visit where there is a maximum chance of product availability.
We initially try to find things from nearby small stores. We keep visiting the nearby small stores until and unless we don’t get it.
Lastly, when we don’t get it anywhere, visit the market or store. Sometimes, This here there takes more time than buying the product directly from the market or store.
Plan before you act
Planning is everything, we must plan before, we act. Before going shopping, prepare a list of items to be purchased and roadmap of places to be visited.
Check store number and confirm if they are open and if the product is in stock. Ask them if they have any offer on any credit or debit card. Use google map for driving. These, Few minutes of planning will save your many crucial hours.
Visit the store in early hours
Morning or early afternoon hours are the best time for last-minute shopping.
In early hours, Not only outlets and shopping malls remain less crowded but also, store staff takes more interest in helping us in shopping.
Check return and refund policy
Inquire store about their exchange and return policy. Avoid buying a product that does not have a return policy.
Do check following things:
- Numbers of days, you can return a product
- How you will receive the refund.
- Who will pay for the return shipping cost if bought online?
Before visiting any store check if discount coupons are available, If available buy them. Also, check if they have any specific offer on any credit cards.
Give more value to time than price
One last advice in last-minute shopping, I want to give is to don’t run too much behind discounts. If you got what you were looking for, maybe a little expensive. Avoid running shop to shop to find a cheaper deal. Time is more important than money.
Maybe you will not get the same product on other shop and when you return on the same place product could be out of stock.