The crowds, the fluorescent lights, the sales clerks who ignore you and the lines, lines, lines. Some people love Christmas shopping. I assume they also like sleeping on a bed of nails.
Here are five reasons you should consider shopping online.
1. Unique gifts: You can find the coolest and most unusual stuff online. From remote-controlled Ferraris at hipstergifts.com to Gummi Army Guys at stupid.com, it's all out there. You just have to look. And as with all shopping, looking is half the fun.
2. Find exactly what you want: Need a Hello Kitty purse for your niece or a Transformer action figure for your nephew? It's all there and Google makes it easy to find. The "toy of the year" may be sold-out early on toy sites, but check eBay and you'll probably find it. Of course the eBay price will be higher than retail on that hot item, but your daughter won't be disappointed come Christmas morning -- if that's your goal.
3. Crowds: IMHO, not having to fight overzealous crowds is the very best part of shopping online. Plus, you can cook dinner while sitting at your computer, so no pizzza dinner after an exhausting day of dealing with overzealous shoppers.
4. Sleep in: It's beyond my understanding why anyone would camp out in front of Best Buy on Black Friday, only to find the five rock-bottom-priced laptops advertised in the Thanksgiving newspaper were picked off by employees before the doors opened. Online shopping allows you to sleep in and leisurely stroll to your computer at a reasonable hour. Heck, you can even shop at midnight, after the kids are in bed and you have some private time.
5. Keep it secret: Have your gift-wrapped purchases delivered close to Christmas and you don't have to worry about hiding them from inquisitive little fingers (or the bigger fingers of nosey spouses).
6. No germs: How many people ignore a cold and still go shopping, where they spread all those yucky germs? There's no chance of catching swine flu (sorry, H1N1) from your computer, although you can catch a virus.
7. No snarky clerks: Sure many of the clerks have a reason to be irritated. Shoppers can be nasty, aggressive and cheap. My girlfriend works for a popular clohting company and says she wants to slice the achilles tendon of customers who say they're "Just browsing." Worst of all, many clerks know they'll be canned immediately after post-Christmas sales. Blessedly, there are no clerks online and, thus, no one to hassle you.
8. Dress code: You can shop online in your pajamas or sweat pants. Need I say more? And that coffee your drinking is homemade -- not an expensive mocha drink from Starbucks that you waited half an hour in line to buy and the "barista" got it wrong.
9. Better deals: Super hot deals offered by brick-and-mortar stores are picked off by the first 10 people in line. You can easily compare prices and find great deals online without the chance of being trampled.
10. Shipping: Have your gifts shipped directly to your home or to the recipient; whichever works best for you. If you like, online stores will even gift-wrap presents and slip in a personalized card. You'll reduce your holiday stress and avoid the lines at the post office. Many online stores offer free shipping!
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