Do you shop online? I do. I mean, I’d rather actually go shopping but considering I live nearly 40 miles away from the shops it’s not so easy. With Christmas fast approaching, I’ve drawn up a list of my favourite places to spend money on the internet (This started out as another top 10 blog, until I realised that I didn’t use 10 different websites this year.)
AMAZON – http://www.amazon.com
Home of almost everything and anything. It started off as a bookstore, but has since expanded. I buy a lot of my DVDs from here because they generally work out cheaper or the same price, and nearly everything has free postage! Kirsty loves free postage.
EBAY – http://www.ebay.co.uk
Never underestimate eBay. I completely lack the patience for bidding or selling or whatever, but I’m a fan of the ‘Buy Now’ bit. A lot of smaller business’ use eBay nowadays to expand their target market and keep them afloat. It’s also brilliant if you’re looking for something a bit more unusual, like last year when my brother decided he wanted metallic blue Skullcandy low riders right about the same time all of the shops stopped selling them to make room for newer ranges.
TESCO DIRECT – http://www.tesco.com/direct
The Clubcard Voucher Exchange played a major role in my Christmas Shopping this year. Also my staff discount is pretty handy, but that’s not really any use to any of you, haha. For those of you who have a Clubcard, you still get your point for every pound that you spend on Direct just the same as you would instore. Most stores are part of the Click and Collect service now, which means that you don’t have to pay for postage. Some things aren’t part of the click and collect though, mostly larger items such as furniture, but I also recently discovered that books and entertainment such as CDs and DVDs aren’t either. So although you wait 4 days for your item to arrive in store, I waited over a week for my books to arrive which was a bit disheartening but at £1.85 to post 6 books it was still cheaper than heading into town for them.
GRINDSTORE – http://www.grindstore.com
The place for buying band merch, Grindstore claim to be “UK’s No.1 for Rock Merchandise and Fashion”, is one of those sites where I can literally sit for hours and find myself wanting EVERYTHING. It’s not just fan clothing though, as they also stock all the labels we love- Iron Fist, Converse, Hell Bunny and Monstee’s to name but a few. They have clothes, they have shoes, they have posters, they have shot glasses and pint mugs and keyrings. The only thing they don’t have is a Bon Jovi hoodie for an 11 year old fan, but then again nowhere does. Sure Grindstore might not be for everybody, it definitely caters for specific tastes, but I love it. I only wish they realised not all girls are sticks (a ladies xl t-shirt is a size 12-14). Free postage for orders over £50, not so free postage for smaller orders.
PHOTOBOX – http://www.photobox.co.uk
Home of all things photographic. You can get prints, canvasses, posters, diaries, calenders, you name it, all made using your own photographs which is brilliant if you like photography like I do. It makes the gifts incredibly personal, and who doesn’t like a meaningful present? T made both Grandmothers diaries last year using family photos and they both loved them. It’s personal but it’s practical. The speed of postage seems to depend on the time of year, so always order in plenty time. Also beware of postage costs if you’re buying presents, they can make a big difference sometimes!
HMV – http://www.hmv.co.uk
When in town I spend a lot of time in HMV, I used to spend an equal amount of my precious time in Zavvi and Virgin before they met their untimely deaths. Real CDs are better than MP3’s. Personally I find that HMV are the same price as other entertainment outlets, or often cheaper (£25 for ‘The Big Bang Theory’ box set, Tesco Entertainment were wanting £40. Shopping around is not a waste of time!). Delivery with HMV is really good too, I’ve seen me order something in the evening and it arriving with me the next afternoon.
JOHN LEWIS – http://www.johnlewis.com
Yes, John Lewis is not the cheapest place to shop but it is a little bit classier. Also I can’t fault their deliveries in the run up to Christmas, I ordered my Mum a jewellery box a few years ago and it arrived at 6pm the next day.
GROUPON – http://www.groupon.co.uk
Okay, so yes Groupon isn’t exactly a shop, but if you’re signed up to receive the deals on a daily basis then it can lead to some fantastic inspiration.