Last year was actually the first year that I did all of my shopping online and I couldn't have been any happier! No running around from store to store looking for a thoughtful and unique gift, only to find that they don't have exactly what you're looking for and you'll have to run off to the next store to yet again be faced with the same problem. I purchased all of my gifts in the matter of two days several weeks before Christmas. And you know what? I was able to enjoy my Christmas more than ever. I hate to admit it, but every year I'm guilty of running around a couple days before Christmas with my anxiety in high gear.
A useful tool I'll be using this year is a service called ShopRunner. ShopRunner is a members-only service for online shoppers that provides unique benefits across hundreds of the best online stores. ShopRunner's members save time and money on holiday shopping with benefits including free 2-day shipping with no minimum order, free and easy return shipping, exclusive member offers, and easy 2-click check out. ShopRunner has expanded their network of 80+ retailers to include Neiman Marcus, Kenneth Cole, Tiger Direct, Jockey and Fanatics. The price of a membership is $79/year.
The concept is actually similar to Amazon Prime, which is actually the same price and you receive 2-day free shipping on millions of items on Amazon.com. I used Amazon Prime last year and the 2-day shipping feature really made things much easier on myself.
ShopRunner was kind enough to grant me with a free trial to help me out with this seasons shopping, and I tried it out by making my first purchase through ShopRunner with Neiman Marcus. The gift was for myself, but that's besides the point. Haha!
I've been on the hunt for a small cross-body bag for when I'm going shopping, running errands or going out - basically any time that I don't feel like carrying a heavy bag on my arm. The Rebecca Minkoff bags sort of grew on me, and I love the fact that they're stylish, somewhat edgy and that they are available in such a large variety of colors as well as different sizes. I ended up purchasing a Rebecca Minkoff MAC Clutch in the color Port, which is a really pretty wine/burgundy shade - perfect for the Fall/Winter! (It's actually sold out, and unfortunate for me, went on sale a couple days after I purchased it.. boo!)
Finding what you want is really simple. All you have to do is search for what you want in the ShopRunner search box. You can see in the screenshot below that I searched "Rebecca Minkoff MAC" and came up with a bunch of results from Neiman Marcus.
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Once you click on an item, it will redirect you to the store site that the item is from. From there, you can add any items you want to your shopping bag. If you want to do more ordering from the same site, you don't have to keep going back to ShopRunner. You can just keep browsing the site and adding things to your bag. BUT, keep in mind that not all items are ShopRunner eligible. If an item is eligible, you'll see the ShopRunner logo next to the item, or on the item listing (see it circled in the screenshot below).
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When you're ready to purchase the items in your shopping bag, continue with your checkout through that site, but make sure you are logged into your ShopRunner account at the time of purchase to receive the benefits of ShopRunner.
Once your order is complete, it will automatically show up in your orders on your ShopRunner account. It's pretty cool how it's linked!
I had no trouble placing my order and sure enough, my order arrived a couple of days later.
Behold my new beauty!
Incase your item didn't work out, all you have to do is log in to your ShopRunner account and click on your orders. All of your orders will show, and you'll see the option to print a return label. It's that simple. (See the screenshot of my order below)
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If you have no idea what to buy your friends and family, there's a helpful gift guide for everyone - even pets! (See below)
If you do loads of online shopping, becoming a member might be worth wild for you since there is no shopping minimum for free shipping. I hate having to hike up my order just to receive free shipping. If you rarely ever shop online, it probably wouldn't be necessary.
As a special perk for American Express card users, you can enroll for a free complimentary membership that can be cancelled at at time. If you're interested, you can enroll here: http://bit.ly/1aNrkD8.
So what your plans this season? Have you ever done all of your shopping online? Or do you prefer doing all of your shopping in person at the stores? Are you a procrastinator or do you shop early? I'm really curious to see your answers!