The holidays always seem to feel like they are rapidly approaching, and this year is no exception. When it comes to doing your Christmas shopping for 2021, many people wonder just when they should begin. Read on for at-a-glance answers, plus in-depth information that will help make this shopping season as stress-free as possible.
Although Christmas shopping doesn’t enter everyone’s minds early in the season, the short answer to when to start shopping for Christmas 2021 is now. This year, start shopping as early as possible. Experts suggest that 2021 is a critical year to start shopping earlier for a variety of reasons. According to Forbes, issues like supply chain problems, shipping delays, and purchase limits will make it more challenging to get items you need or want during the holiday season. If you’ve already started shopping, you’re on the right track.
If you haven’t, don’t worry; these tips and tricks will help you get on target with your holiday shopping. Get everything you need from those Christmas throws and needlepoint stockings to tech and home gifts everyone is craving.
Walk into your Christmas shopping this year prepared with a solid strategy. Considering the different items you need will go a long way in helping you have everything you need under the tree (and beyond). Start by separating your shopping into different categories. In addition to your Christmas gift list, don’t forget to create sections for holiday decorations and guest needs like extra bedsheets, and holiday meals. Once you have all the different categories for your holiday needs, you can also strategize by breaking these down further. Separate them by priority and price point to ensure you get the essential items and stay on budget. Experts from Good Housekeeping suggest mapping out a solid shopping strategy to make your holidays less stressful, and this is more true than ever this holiday season.
One primary way to target potential issues with getting the items you want or need for the holidays is to prioritize items on your list. According to USA Today, the country will continue to see a variety of shortages in 2021: “...more items are becoming scarce because of a supply chain shortage across the globe. To exacerbate the supply chain issues further, USA Today says, “shipping prices have skyrocketed, and demand for items has outpaced supplies.”
Choose which items you absolutely want or need for this year’s Christmas shopping, and put your first efforts into finding them either online or through brick-and-mortar retailers. If you’re not able to find the item you want, consider if a different brand or slightly different product will meet your needs. Flexibility can go a long way when it comes to making your shopping successful this holiday.
According to CNBC, many retailers could be slashing prices earlier this year than traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so anything that is a top priority on your list is something that you should buy as soon as possible. Once you have those big-ticket items purchased or ordered, you can focus on the smaller items that might be easier to find at different retailers or can be more easily substituted if you can’t find them.
Even though you may see specific shipping dates or estimates mentioned on a retailer’s website, it will be in your best interest to allow for added shipping times even beyond what the retailer is providing. That way, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to receiving your items, and you won’t be stressing over the arrival of last-minute deliveries. Any type of custom or specialized order, such as monogrammed holiday gifts or personalized doormats, should be done with as much advance time as possible.
With shipping costs rising and shortages of various products, it can be tempting to go with unknown retailers. However, consumers should be wary of shopping from websites that don’t have a trusted brand reputation or reliable brand. Ensuring you shop from retailers you can count on as early as possible will help make sure you don’t fall prey to scams or receive shoddy goods.
Another way to help you get all your holiday gifts and other items when you need them is to consider placing larger orders with those stores you trust. Let’s say you’re considering gifts for an aunt, a friend, your child’s teacher, and a co-worker. Why not consider a store that offers options for all of the gifts? A place that lets you get fleece pajamas for your aunt, a personalized rug for your friend, a cute tote bag for your child’s teacher, and a fun ornament for your coworker will fit the bill this season. Placing the order together will reduce the number of deliveries needed and could help ensure you get the items you need. You may also pay less in shipping costs with one larger delivery rather than multiple small ones.
With all the focus on advance shopping, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to wait on smaller items or get certain products later. For 2021, the answer depends, but, in general, it’s better to buy even the small items sooner rather than later.
Shop Smart and Start Early for 2021 Christmas Shopping
Savvy shoppers can still get good deals and products they need for the holidays. The trick is to start as early as possible and start with a smart shopping strategy. Prioritize items, buy from trusted brands, account for shipping delays, and you’ll be ready for the season without extra stress.