It’s no secret that Christmas is the best time for shopping. There is not magic here: retailers need to get rid of the stocks. And of course shoppers, attracted by extra-cheap stuff, are very likely grab regular-priced items, along with discounted.
However, for most of us Christmas shopping is associated with great level of stress – overcrowded malls, lack of parking space and almost uncatchable working hours. That is why online shopping gains more and more popularity.
Here are some tips on how to skillfully shop during holiday season, with maximum profit and minimum hassle.
Right time is an essential part of the game
Although best deals seem to appear just before the Christmas, keep an eye on this dates, as they bring a great value for you as a shopper!
Last Friday in November or so called “Black Friday” – a very big and important sale, that marks unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, amplified by Thanksgiving holiday the following weekend. All this videos of shopping frenzy in US usually came from this particular sale.
During the day, lots of goods sell with huge discounts in most of the high-street shops. Being initially US’ unofficial opening of big Christmas sales, it gradually gained popularity all over the world. Discounts often reach astonishing 90%!
Cyber Monday – first Monday just after Thanksgiving is now called so as it indicates a sharp increase in online purchases, and shops are acting accordingly, to stimulate buyers even more. Researchers found that this phenomenon can be explained by people shopping online right after the holiday – from their workplace.
Last two weeks of December – as the holiday gets closer, prices continue to drop, in line with remaining variety and stock of goods, so keep it in mind. And remember: even if you got an amazing bargain – delivery costs might be not that pleasant, as you might be required to use overnight or express shipping, which could diminish the value of an entire purchase.
No borders, still issues
In times of online-shopping, quick deliveries and easy cross-border payments it would not be wise to limit your choice to local shops only. The whole world is on your plate, competing for your wallet.
US websites provide the best offers on electronics and clothing, with their base prices being quite attractive as they are. Even Chinese websites, with their own ‘Black Friday’, can not always match American prices/quality. So, checking US websites in the end of November-mid-December is a must.
However, if you are a European citizen you will most likely face two unpleasant issues while shopping overseas.
The first one is the mandatory US delivery address. But that has been sorted by the special delivery services, providing their US address as a substitute. Then they pick your order up and forward it to your country of residence. This procedure is well tested and raises no issue with neither retailer, nor customs.
The second issue is related to the payment methods. You may not be able to pay for your shopping by a card issued by non-US/UK bank. No matter how much money you have on you Russian, Czech or German card, the most attractive US discounts will be out of reach for you. Apple Store, Amazon, eBay – will all refuse you the purchase.
A card for happy shopping
Of course, there is a solution for every issue. One of them is MoneyPolo VISA prepaid card, with a suitable UK card number, accepted by US verification systems.
Prepaid VISA card by MoneyPolo is a payment card with chip and PIN, cardholder name, CVV and all the other features of a classic card. It comes in EUR and GBP too, but for your US purchases it is better to get a dollar card, of course. It is valid for 3 years, it can be topped up and used for POS and online payments. It is not different from regular bank card, regardless of its ‘prepaid’ denomination.
This card product will not be of interest those who are used to free banking products, featuring cashback and other perks.
Its delivery will cost you $19,99 and every US transaction – $0,75, plus ATM withdrawal and card to card operations commissions.
It is worth noting that having USD VISA card by MoneyPolo only makes sense for specific use. For instance, active sales shopping on US websites may save you hundreds of bucks per year. MoneyPolo has over 4 000 card customers from Russia, where regular bank cards are much cheaper and flexible as products. But our Russian clients know how to cleverly use a British card, that never fails them while shopping on US websites.
Modern means of communication, payment and delivery will take you beyond the borders of traditional Christmas shopping in every sense. To be most productive at this period of time, remember easy rules:
- plan your bargain hunt around specific sales dates like Black Friday or Cyber Monday;
- the best deals are offered by the ‘motherland’ of discounted sales concept, the USA, with the help of international shipment companies such as Shipito;
- for your payments use the card, accepted by US retailers.