Ahh, the holidays. With the joy of a few days off looming, why is it some people cram as much stress in as possible until then?
We've been picking up some bits and pieces as we come across them for the last few weeks but I've skillfully avoided any major excursions. Unless there is a spectacular sale, a specialty item I can't get anywhere else, or I'm out anyway and make a serendipitous find, I'll stick to online. I can cover more "ground" online in less time, at less cost, and the variety is endless.
I'm not alone in my predilection for virtual shopping. eMarketer estimates that online holiday season sales will reach $32 billion in 2008, up 10% over 2007. That's up an incredible 350% from the year 2000! Although Tech Observer reports online shopping may dip this year as people carefully budget their holiday shopping, I have doubts.
I thought I'd share some of my favorite places to browse for the holidays. Check these out for those hard to shop for folks on your list:
- Think Geek - I love this place. It's not just for the closet techies in your life. There are items for the just plain smart people too!
- Lush Fresh handmade cosmetics. Awesome soaps and such. The Body Shop is a close second.
- Amazon - Books and Beyond. It's possible to spend too much time and money here but its always enjoyable
- Abe Books - This is THE spot for those other, ie not new, titles. They have new releases too but that's why I have Amazon. Slowly building a wish list from here. The link goes to their listing of the First British Edition of 1984 by Orwell. Came across that when searching for the First Canadian Edition to price a flea market find.
- i-Sobot - World's smallest humanoid robot. I just found this awesome guy for $99!
- Game Buzz Awesome shops mainly in the Montreal area. It's not obvious from their site but you can get a membership a la NetFlix to get games mailed to you for a monthly fee. Return when you want. Plus, they are an authorized Nintendo product reseller.
- Apple If you have the coin you can't go wrong buying anything Apple.
- Toys R UsI still find some goodies here now and again. That's not to say I won't comparison shop once I've found something I like.
- Kiva - Donate in someone else's name. Great gift that benefits a third world entrepreneur.
- EBay - If you're feeling adventurous. Not a big fan when time constraints are in the mix but you can find some hard to get things here.
Alternatively, you can do some open searching of your own. Several product oriented search engines exist, including Google's product search Beta:
- Google Products
- MySimon - easy comparison shopping
- If that's not enough there are a bunch more links here.
Got an awesome site or hidden treasure to share? Let me know!