It's the last day of November which means many of us will be getting ready to start our Christmas shopping. Just looking at Facebook, Christmas trees will be getting delivered over the next few days and, once they're decorated, people will be looking for gifts to put under there.
So, what can you do to prepare for the shopping onslaught? Here are five tips.
#1 Look For Christmas Deals
Every large retailer is launching or has already launched their pre-Christmas sale deals.
Big W, through the Woolworths Rewards program, is offering three, five or ten times the usual rewards points if you sign up for its Christmas bonus offer before Sunday. The bonus depend on how much you spend in each transaction and you'll need a Woolworths Rewards card to activate the offer.
#2 Sign Up For Special Shopping Offers
If you're not already an Amazon Prime of Ebay Plus member, now is a good time to sign up.
If you pop over to the Amazon Prime home page, you can score 30 days of free Amazon Prime which offers faster and cheaper delivery than usual as well as access to some special member-only deals.
Ebay Plus has a similar offer although its free trial goes for 90 days and includes double Fly-Buys points and free deliver on selected items as well as access to special deals.
#3 Follow Santa's Advice
Even Santa makes a list. Make a list of all the people you need to buy a gift for, set a budget for each person and stick to it. As you purchase a gift, make sure you check it off and resist the temptation to top up someone's gift when you spot something extra they might like.
#4 Watch Out On Vouchers And Gift Cards
One of the best gifts you can give is an experience. For example, you might want to give someone a voucher for a night out at the movies, or a hot air balloon ride or some other activity.
Think carefully about the voucher and make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions - particularly expiry dates and limitations. Some vouchers can only be redeemed on particular days of the week or only outside peak periods. Make a note in your own diary when the expiry is approaching and give the recipient a call to ask how the experience was.
You'll either receive a report or will have subtly prompted them to find the voucher and make a booking.
#5 Use Loyalty Points
I travel quite a bit through the year and rack up points of airline loyalty programs. While there's no doubt the best value way to use those points is to upgrade from a lower class fare to a more luxurious seat, you may actually prefer to simply not fly.
I've used frequent flyer points to either purchase fares for friends as a gift or to buy goods. For example, Qantas points can be used to purchase all sorts of goods. And while 40,000 points can be used to upgrade you to Business Class from Premium Economy, a value of a couple of thousand dollars in some cases, it also can buy a blender or pet feeder. Sure, it's not the same value but if you weren't planning to use the points for a flight then it saves you a few bucks on the Christmas budget.
It's worth noting that, as well as being able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer at Kogan you can also use points to offset purchases there as well.
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