Christmas shopping still not done? Far be it for us to judge . . . in fact, we're here to help. If the next week has you tied to your desk, or just too busy to be everywhere at once, it's time to break out the credit card, and rely on the magic of the Internet. It's still entirely possible to get all of your shopping for the kids done in time for the holiday without having to make any sacrifices. Here's your cheat sheet to getting it all ordered and delivered — just in time for Dec. 25!
Many shoppers turned to the web for holiday shopping over the weekend. Business Insider shares the top products shoppers are looking for.
As the holiday shopping season kicks off, consumers are flocking online to gobble up all the hottest products.
Which products are they searching for?
Top 10 Product Searches on Thanksgiving
- Kindle Fire HD
- ASUS Transformer
- Crayola Light Designer
- Wii U
- Dr Dre Beats
- Atari Flashback 4
- iPod Touch
- Nook Simple Touch
- Nabi 2
Top 10 Product Searches on Black Friday
- Wii U
- Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
- Vupoint Magic Wand 3
- Shark Vacuum
- iPod Touch 5th Generation
- Nabi 2
- Doc McStuffins
- Keurig b40
- Atari Flashback 4
Black Friday is a thing of the past — today is all about finding your holiday deals and savings online with Cyber Monday! While sales actually started at many stores online Sunday, with some others continuing on as Cyber Monday Week, scanning the sales from your cubicle puts you at risk for being reprimanded for browsing the virtual racks, or in some cases (seven percent according to a new study), even fired for holiday shopping at work. If you must hit the Cyber Monday sales on the boss' dime today, do so with caution. Here, a few tips to keep your online shopping habit a secret from the higher ups in your office.
- Toggle screens — Quickly toggle between open applications with the Alt + Tab (for PC) or Open Apple + Tab (for Mac) keystrokes. This will allow you to quickly switch from your open web browser and work applications when you hear the boss tromping down your aisle.
- Use your desktop wallpaper — Take a screenshot of an important spreadsheet, document, or collection of open applications and set it as your desktop wallpaper. Commence shopping. If someone approaches, use the keystroke of Windows + D on your PC or F11 on your Mac to switch focus to your desktop, which will conveniently be populated with your busywork instead of a photo of your boyfriend, dog, and/or kids.
- Fake an Excel spreadsheet — If you're tweeting or Facebooking your finds, don't forget to keep that on the down low too. Applications like Spreadtweet and ExcellBook keep your social networking under wraps by disguising your feed as an excel spreadsheet.
The online auction and shopping site eBay gave its search, product, and checkout pages a face-lift this week. But that's not all — eBay is the latest in a string of established tech companies looking to duplicate the success of Internet It-girl Pinterest, as is the case with MySpace and Facebook, as well as Groupon's wildly popular daily deals model like Google and Amazon.
Ebay calls its newest feature "Feed," which encourages its users to discover new items or get inspired — window-shop, if you will — just as they would on Pinterest. Users curate their personal feed by typing in specific items like "unlocked iPhone 5" or "vintage comic books" and auctions that match that query will show up in their feed on the eBay home page every time they log in.
Read on for daily deals eBay-style.
Amazon is the ultimate online shopping destination that sells pretty much everything you can think of, ranging from books to furniture. The appeal of the digital superstore is simple: it's a one-stop shop with fast delivery options and many discounted items. To make the most of your Amazon shopping experience, follow these tips:
- Freebies: Take advantage of the free eBooks you can download from the Kindle store, and if you're an Amazon Prime member, remember to borrow books from Amazon's lending library. The library has over 145,000 titles you can borrow.
- Used items: The online retailer has a good selection of used goods that you can buy from third-party sellers. Save on the item you want by checking out the used options. Be sure to pick the Amazon reseller carefully and factor in the shipping costs to the total.
- Consider Amazon Prime: If you buy a lot of items from Amazon, you should consider their $79 a year membership called Amazon Prime, which gives you free two-day shipping and access to freebies like the lending library and free streaming of movies and TV shows. This would be worth your money if you find yourself often opting for the fastest delivery options or if it will cost more for you to go a brick-and-mortar store to buy the item.
- Share Amazon Prime: If the cost of Amazon Prime is too high, split the cost by sharing the service with others. You can add up to four "household" members by following these instructions. Amazon doesn't define what a "household" member means, so it's left up to your discretion.
For devout online shoppers, here's an app guaranteed to make you just as excited as a free shipping offer: Slice, a digital tool to keep track of everything you buy online. Instead of playing the inevitable game of signature tag with the delivery person or anxiously waiting at your front door, Slice does the work and automatically tracks shipments from multiple stores to let you know when to expect each package. Even better, the app also organizes and saves receipts — that way, if a purchase doesn't work out, refunds are easy.
After tracking and organizing your purchases, Slice works as a budget guide, using graphs to show the amount of money spent online and on what type of goods. The only thing the app can't do in your shopping routine? Pick purchases for you — that'll have to wait until the robots take over.
Don't have time or too lazy to do chores? Business Insider found 10 websites that will do the work for you.
Life is short, so why waste your time on boring chores? Especially if you can pay someone else to do it.
Whether you're chained to your desk or feel too lazy to lift more than a finger, we've picked out 10 sites that do the dirty work for you.
Get ready to kiss laundry day, dog walking and more buh-bye.
- Why you want it: After a long day of getting chewed out by your boss, the last thing you're up for is a trip to the grocery store.
- What you'll get: Just like it says, "groceries delivered to your door."
- What it costs: A minimum of $30, plus a $5.99 or $6.99 shipping fee, depending on your area.
- Why you want it: Your shoe game is looking more LiLo than Diane Kruger these days.
- What you'll get: After taking the 3-minute style quiz, users get a "personalized showroom" of high-fashion accessories and shoes to choose from. From there, they can pick what they like.
- What it costs: From $29.99 and up, plus shipping.
Virtual Dating Assistants
- Why you want it: You're too shy to write about your favorite color and dog breed.
- What you'll get: ViDA will write a profile that makes you sound cooler than you are, and email matches for dates.
- What it costs: From $360 a month on up to $1,440, depending on the package.
- Why it's convenient: Fido's not going to walk, clean, or board himself.
- What you'll get: Someone to walk Fido, and ways to find quality pet sitters, groomers, boarders, etc.
- What it costs: Varies by service.
I want my money back. I'm sure you've had that sentiment too when you had an online shopping encounter gone wrong.
Hopefully you'll be able to get your money back, but here are tips for you if you have a bad online shopping experience:
- Document Everything: Take a screenshot of everything and meticulously document it before sending off a complaint. You need proof and remember that a website can easily be changed with a few clicks.
- Customer Service: It's best to deal with their customer service rep on the phone, but you might have to resort to email (like I did) if there isn't a phone number listed on the website.
- Credit Card Company: So they're not budging and you're sick of fighting? Get your credit card company to dispute it for you. Remember to do this as soon as possible because the refund is more likely to go smoothly the earlier you report your complaint to them.
- Better Business Bureau: This organization is a wronged consumer's best friend, so remember to reach out to the Better Business Bureau if you feel that you've been misled. You can file an online complaint to them even if the company hasn't registered with them. BBB states that 70 percent of the filed complaints are usually resolved.
- Hit Up Blogs: If all else fails, hit up finance blogs to make your situation known. Sometimes it takes bad publicity to force companies to react. A popular one, which many people turn to, is The Consumerist. Firms are more likely to take notice, and I've seen huge companies respond to Consumerist posts. If anything, it lets you work off some steam. Remember, you can also share your situation with us here by posting in one of our community groups or private messaging me. And if you want to keep your identity anonymous, feel free to post in our Savvy Confessions group!
Pre-Fall 2012 pieces may be rolling into stores, but right now it's definitely all about a Summer state of mind. And why not? With temperatures on the rise and the season's fun just hitting its stride, it's hard to think of anything but staying breezy. That's why this week's just-in picks are all about multitasking. In streamlined shapes, textural materials, and crisp hues, they'll look chic now — and straight through Fall.
For online shoppers, the flash sale is the ultimate guilty pleasure, and as many of us know (guilty as charged!), the promise of a limited-time bargain can be extremely alluring and even downright addicting. Instead of allowing your in-box to tempt you with unnecessary emails, we suggest you choose your memberships wisely. In this mom's guide to flash sales, you'll find the inside scoop on what's actually in-store at each of these kid-friendly sites. Limit your load (and your email in-box) and shop smarter. Your credit card will thank you!