Hello everyone and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I know it’s a bit late for this but I am re-posting my Gift Shopping Advice on here on Word Press! Why a re-post? Well, I decided to put this on here in case you guys need help again and plus I have new tips to add to this list which will below! And I know the shopping season is supposed to be short this year but hey, why not do it when Black Friday is here and everyone is camping out right now, which I apologize for the delay, but at least the first tip will let you guys know for next year! Enjoy!
1. Don’t Need For a Camp Out for Great Deals! Like I said above and will elaborate on this since a lot of crazy people tend to camp out for the Black Friday sales when a lot of people tend to shop online or just go for newer deals, which is true. Reason being is that the Black Friday early sales that people camp for are nuts! As in, they tend to hurt others and even go to extremes when they don’t get what they want in the end, which I won’t go into detail. Not only that, it’s not worth missing football and turkey altogether for a deal on laptops because you can get that same product for a better deal as new sales come around during the holiday season. You know that Canon camera I mentioned Above? Well, let me use that as my example for this tip. Okay, two years ago I noticed my Polaroid, well for a long time, that my pics keep on getting crappier everytime since I have to set the camera up all the time, I even had my brother set up the camera but didn’t help out since my pics for the con season of 2010 only had four, yes FOUR pics that were the best. Pathetic isn’t it? At least one of them was with David Yaust from Mighty Morphen Power Rangers! So, I decided to ask for a new camera and went with my dad to Best Buy to show which one I want him and my mom get me (even though my mom backed out which is another tip later) and it cost $150 for the one I decided on but he found a better deal for a sale that went on and it had better features and it was $20 more than the one I wanted. Yes, thanks to that sale Best Buy had, I got one for a better deal three, THREE, weeks before Christmas. We didn’t have to camp out for it either. Plus, if a store tends to sell out of the product, they tend to order you the exact same item so you can pick it up from their delivery service or you can go onto their website and find it there and order it and have it shipped to your house in time for Christmas! See, no camp out required. Speaking of the online ordering…
2. Order Gifts Early! I can’t stress this enough because mail services and UPS get flooded during December, especially around Christmas! Why do I say it with exclamation mark? Well, a few years back I ran into a similar situation but the thing I ordered was an international order, which this tip would help if you are ordering something from an international seller on Ebay, Amazon, and any of the retailer sites that ship internationally because time zones are different all around the world, especially in Asia! Anyways, back to my story, I was getting my fiancé the World World World album by his fave Japanese band, Asian Kung Fu Generation, that came out during that year. I order it from a Hong Kong seller with a 100 % positive feedback. I don’t know if I put neutral to this guy but I blame it on the mail service because it took a month to get to my home! Yes, I ordered it in November which was a great time to do it for the holidays and it took until a week before my fiance’s birthday, which is three days before Christmas and was getting it for for his birthday by the way, and was worried it won’t make it on time. So, order as early as you can, even after the holidays if you have conventions in Janurary-March for new cosplays.
3. Choose the Shortest Shipping Time If Possible! I know the first tip was new and so is this one in light of the last tip and mentioning of finding items you are looking for in the first, but this is also important for online shopping! How so? Well, a lot of retailers tend to give you shipping times that are short, as in either next day or 2-3 day shipping, I know a lot of people will say “it’s too expensive!” Well, to tell you the truth from someone who has shopped on retail sites during the holidays it’s worth it! How so? Well, even though you pay more but it will get the item to you in time for Christmas and if anything you ordered that may break will also be in tact! I had a perfume bottle leak on me when I ordered during Lush’s limited perfume sale and I chose the two week shipping option when it was a month before Christmas this sale was happening and they gave me a new bottle within two days and no leaking! And for any Lush shoppers, the two days will guarantee sometimes that your bath items and anything that melts get to you in tact as well. If it doesn’t you can get a refund or a credit. Anyways, this shipping tip will help out the most when you are also running out of time and it will get to you by Christmas Eve if you order two or three days before then, so I am not encouraging the wait til Christmas Eve but encourage the shortest shipping time, especially with international retails!
4. If Someone Back Outs On a Gift, Have a Backup Plan! Remembere when I mentioned my mom backed out on the camera two years ago? How did I remedy that? I had a backup and it was new shoes even though I had to go with her to Shoe Carnival, which I will tell that next, but there are times if you try doing a bundle gift, whether it being from parents or friends, or even siblings (it happens), there are times of someone backing out from that gift! It won’t only piss off the person receiving said gift, but there is always a back up that tends to happen and you should do that if you have that kind of family or friend that does that. For example, if you ask your friends for a joint gift of a new electronic and a friend backs out, tell them you were eyeing a new purse or earrings at Forever 21 as a back up gift, it will be affordable even if the item goes on sale during the holidays or even on Christmas Eve. So, back up gifts help!
5. When Buying Clothes or Shoes, Ask For the Size and Actual Size! As in, NO GUESSING! Why? Because there are times when the person is not the size you get or the person loses weight or gains weight and has a new size within that time period. As you know, getting clothing or shoes is the worst thing on someone’s list or an assumption of getting especially if the person doesn’t like a certain brand. Which I should also point out that not all brands fit every size group as well. Let me give you a story, so back in 2004, I was a size XL back then and I asked for a HURLEY sweater for Christmas from my mom and got it and it fit until after a few washes later, it didn’t fit anymore and it fits my mom fine! So, I decided to never wear any surf companies since their clothing brand doesn’t fit my size group, as in the big and muscular group. Yeah, my sis-in-law didn’t know that until five years later when I was a size large and still losing weight. So, my mom asked her to get me money and I wasn’t going to South Carolina with my parents that year because I had my orientation for UCF that year fall during a surprise trip to SC when I didn’t know about it. So, we got our gifts from her and mine was a gray HURLEY sweatshirt in HER size! Yes, she is a medium and she thought I was a medium as well, but to me I felt cheated and thought it was a gift for herself, I think I will make a tip about that or dealing with that later, but still I tried selling it on Ebay but no buyers. So, it was sold in a garage sale for $5. I know it sounded ungrateful but seriously, you should not buy clothing for anyone without KNOWING their EXACT size. I am emphasizing this because not everyone fits in actual size groups. This would bring up another new tip even if it deals with clothing.
6. Keep the Receipts, From Online Shopping and Mall Shopping, In Case Something Doesn’t Fit! This would have been handy with the HURLEY sweatshirt my sis-in-law or at least tell what place online where you got it from would also help. How so? After that incident, I thought my sis in law bought it at Pac Sun and they told me that they NEVER carried it. Yes, a place that carries HURLEY all year round tells me they never carry that product and I did ask her where she got it from exactly, guess what led me to selling it? She ignored me and my e-mails, even asking for gift cards for now on (yeah, she is very stubborn and likes avoiding us and any gift advice, seriously!). Anyways! This will help out in any needed returns or exchanges that may be made after Christmas! Anotther thing, have these receipts on hand to hand whoever got this gift that didn’t fit so they can exchange for something fits and possibly better since most people would get something else that they like better than what they got before. What about an online store? Well, like I said in the beginning of this tip, tell them that you got it from the company site if you did that, such as if you got the item from Hurley’s site, go there and contact them directly (I should’ve done that but didn’t know it was really from there in the first place, whoops! But I still got $5 in the end) because the company will gladly take it back through the mail tags and all! Yes, I had that happen to me with a Tofu Records release and they took it back and exchange it for what I was wanting in the first place since Suncoast tagged it wrong and this was during their close out sale.
7. Gift Cards and Money = Best Gift Ever! Yes! These help out tremendously, especially birthdays! How so? Well, with gift cards and money, the person you’re giving it to can buy whatever they want, but with the gift cards, make sure it’s for a store they like! For example, give them a Best Buy gift card if they go to Best Buy for their music or want to get an Ipod if they were saving for one. Another example, if you have a friend that loves going to Forever 21 get them a gift card for that place! What if you’re undecided and don’t want to get them money from your account? Well, there are gift cards that Visa and American Express make! As in, they act like a retailer gift card and you put the money on it and you can just go anywhere and use it. Then there are also some retailers that put amount gift cards on their web page, like Hot Topic did with a $100 Invader Zim gift card! Another thing about that, if you get a gift card based on a fave book series or tv show, that person can keep the card as a collector’s item for all time. I am not sure if Visa and American Express does custom ones, but it would be cool if they did but if you still want to go down the money route, still do that since you can get anything or just save it for a con or something you wanted before.
8. Pay Attention to What the Person Likes! I put this in my MySpace post ya few years ago and this is very important especially with any new in-laws that are married into the family, unless if they got to know you very well! When someone comes to your room, your room reflects your interests! Example, I have anime things like figures in a display case and in package that are rare and even a wallscroll and plushies as well. Hell, I even have Fractale still out in my TV cabinet. This will tell you that the person loves anime or with comic books, having posters of superheroes for either franchise as another example. This gives you the obvious alarm and you should try to find things that fit or ask someone what they want within that genre, whether it being a trade of a comic or a movie they haven’t picked up yet when it came out on DVD and Blue Ray, and many other things. It can also help out with the ideas of cosplay items that a person needs if they are planning to do a character they like, for example, what if someone did Harley Quin from Batman and missing the mask, it’s easy to find online by looking around at party stores or even online on E Bay. Or just make it yourself by taking measurements of the person’s head to make sure it fits their head! (IE the tip above). Or if they are missing the make up, Party City tends to have the clown make up year round and it will save your friend or spouse the hassle from looking all over before the con.So, yeah, pay attention to the interests, it will help!
9. When Buying Cosmetics or Bath Items, Know the Skin Type and Allergy! I always ALWAYS always stress this on the Lush wall! Especially with last year when I told a lady who gave her niece and nephew a Golden Wonders bath bomb (it is basically a present looking bath bomb that has blitters and champagne scents to it) and they had a bad reaction to it and the girls working at her Lush told her that it was safe for kids! It can but it is not safe for all kids. How so? I always tell everyone this, even when shopping at Target, Bath and Body Works, and other places for these types of things is that NOT EVERYONE HAS THE SAME SKINTYPE! This even goes for kids! Why I say this with kids as well? Because when we are young, around the age range of toddler-around 10 we don’t know what skin type we have until we reach puberty when our biology goes out of whack. Plus, a lot of kids get allergies early in life and tend to have it to a lot of things like nuts and chocolate as an example, which we have to be careful especially with skin! With something like the Golden Wonders, probably the kids were having a bad reaction to the glitters in it or what was in the middle of the bath bomb, but we never know until we ask the parents to see if they are allergic to things. Yes, the parents will know these things since they tend to detect something is wrong with the kid before the doctors do and this can have someone look up a product to see what the ingredients are contained and look into it more, internet is good for research! The skin type also goes for adults as well since we tend to have weird reactions to certain products as well, like how I got a rash on my arm from the Luster dust as an example, which I can tell someone not to get any dusting powders for me for Christmas. Another thing is, I am kind of doing this with the new Twilight shower gel, buy a size of a product or sample it before buying it for good since some places tend to sell smaller sizes for sampling or want to take a look at skin effects for months, it it doesn’t work then give it to someone who doesn’t have weird reactions or wanted the item to try it in the first place. This will help out with any bad effects that may happen, even with perfumes.
10. Preorder Items Even If They Come Out Next Year! This will help out tremendously on this list because there are times when someone wants something, whether it being a movie or a video game, wants and won’t come out until after the holidays.If it comes out before the holidays, you can preorder it so you can have it for gift wrapping and if it comes out afterwards, still do it because you will have it on release day waiting for pick up. This happens a lot with video games since a lot of companies tend to release their games after the New Year rolss around and a lot of the New Year sales are crazy, so I would suggest the preordering as well. I will be doing it with Ninja Storm 3 since I know my fiancé would like to know it will be his after the New Year.
11. If Candy As Gift, Tend To See or Ask What They Like! This tends to happen because not everyone has the same taste in food, that goes the same with candy! My mom is a great example since around Christmas they come out with a special kind of chocolate that she loves despite her hating chocolate (and yet she eats Baby Ruths and peanut butter cups). As you know, candy stores, especially Godiva Chclatier, are the most popular places with candy. Even in the holiday candy aisles in stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Target are overrun by people finding stocking stuffers for the kids and the kids at heart! I can imagine the M&M store in Florida Mall being especially busy on Christmas Eve with people getting big bags of America’s fave thing. Also, make sure the candy you get is in the right bins. I am adding this because in certain places with those drop tubes candy gets mixed when they are so close together. Good example is the big candy store in the Disney Village part of Downtown Disney, not sure if it’s still open, but I ran into a problem where the cookie dough bites and raisinets were RIGHT next to each other. I hate raisins but I do love cookie dough, ask my fiancé even. So, when I thought my dad retrieved the cookie dough bites, later I tasted raisins! So yeah, it looks like raisinets got into the cookie dough bite tube and this is after we got them home across town. As said, make sure it’s the actual thing the person likes, even when going to a Fudge Shop.
12. Speaking of which…Waiting for Certain Items Like Candy Until After Christmas Is Awesome! Why? Awesome deals and sales! If you didn’t get the item you wanted and camped out for, the store tends to have awesome deals after Christmas, even after the New Year since they are trying to empty the old inventory to make room for the new. For candy, there tends to be a great deal on the finer chocolates that my mom goes for, even at Godiva, but mostly people go for the deals on the awesome candy canes they like, the chocolate mint ones from Hersheys for example. Plus, they added new things since last Christmas and boy does everyone get major cravings, even the chocolate coins for Channakah are on sale after Christmas. Still, as said, a lot of stores want to empty the holiday inventory as fast as they can and also get rid of the old for the new after New Years.
13. WHow to Deal With a Gift for Oneself Dilemma. Yes, I did this one year when Bleach merch came to Hot Topic and was getting something for my fiancé we were starting to go out. I do admit I did pick up a Urahara plushie and a pair of Naruto gloves with the leaf sumbols on them for my fiancé that time (yes, the Know What tThey Like tip came from that since I didn’t know much about him that time) and didn’t fit him and I ended up with them for a costume, but this happens! How to deal with it? First, if you end up in a pickle of getting something for someone and they ask for something that is a cosmetics item or a candy thing, or whatever, and you see something you like, you can either get it another time after the holidays or pick it up while you’re there if it won’t be around, which items tend to sell out during the holiday rush! Not only that, there tends to be a two-for-one deal at some places and you can ask for assistance in knowing if the deal covers an item that you want and the item you’re getting for that person will work, if it does, go with that deal. Trust me, shopaholics tend to go through this a lot, I even went through the same dilemma at Lush when I got a bath bomb for a friend while be surrounded by my fave items and new stuff. Having a tolerance to this would try and keep the impulse buying from happening knowing that it might be on sale after the holidays or before then. And two, if it came from someone else and it wasn’t want you like and someone else likes that item, you can give it to them and go to the store that person went to to get something else (seen it happen before). And You already read the receipt keeping tip, so I won’t explain that again. And if that person that gave you that gift felt like it was more for that person, as said above, sell it or give it back to that person, knowing them, they will gladly accept if you did that (like my sis-in-law, but I didn’t go there!)
14. Holiday Conventions are a Good Destination! Yes, my newest tip deals with conventions! It feels as though that some parts of the country are doing conventions a month before the holiday season or during the shopping season, like with Holiday Matsuri which I am going to this year for one day which would help me out in the what to get my fiance for Christmas department and behold! If you remembered how I mentioned the tip on observing what the person likes, the conventions are best to do that since whatever theme it is you can get something awesome for them in the dealer room whichever day you go on or the entire weekend if you have more than one person you want to get something for for the holidays!
15. Do Stocking Stuffer Type Wrapping If the Gift is Small! Reason why I would say this is that there are times when gifts being given are small and a lot of people don’t want to use the gift wrap so I decided to do this one year for a friend that I bought a bath bomb for and my fiance when I got his wallet one year and used stockings as my gift wrap! It is cute and it does save money, especially if you go to Dollar Tree or WalMart for the stockings for these gifts! You don’t have to go huge, just standard size. Plus, you can also get other small gifts to go in there, like get some candy to go with it or lip balm, if you have a gal pal, go with a lip gloss from Bath and Body Works if they like a particular flavor or scent! Do little things to add to it because it gives something extra!
16. Specify Where Your Gifts Are Located! Why I suggest this is there are times where parents or friends don’t know where they can find an item or some places don’t carry items like many other places do, so tell them where to find it! For example, I have to tell where to find my gifts on the list for my dad since last year’s thing with the Nicole Richey perfume and the holiday LipSmackers, had to make sure he went to Macy’s and Kmart for them! Well, also the Jewel Crush minis, forgot those too, still this year I did it again! It will help out!
17. Specify What the Item You Want Looks Like! There are times when items you want or need have to be specified since there are a lot of products that aren’t the same and need to say what you want or the item may be wrong or won’t be found unless the person knows what it is, such as what kind of scarf it is or what kind of IPod it is, etc.
So, that’s my tips! I hope you all enjoy my tips and also take this advice because there are people out there that need gift help or at least too stubborn to listen to you, if you have anyone that needs help, link them here! I love doing this! Well, I am off! Til next time!