Ah, the holiday season. Could there be anything better? Kids get time off school, adults get time off work, and we all get to meet up with our relatives, sit at home and eat and drink together. It’s one of the most joyous occasions a year has to offer, which is probably why people tend to shell out extravagant amounts for gifts. Up until a couple of years ago, an expensive watch or a winter coat from a luxury brand was considered a fantastic Christmas present.
Over the last few years of course, Christmas gifts have undergone a massive transformation. From clothing and accessories, we’ve moved on to gadgets. Smartphones, tablets or perhaps even a whole new computer now stand as some exquisite Christmas gifts. Last year my Facebook feed was overflowing during the last week of December with people putting up pictures of their new phones, new tablet or new headphones that they’d received on Christmas.
And why not really? With the amount of importance that individuals have started giving to their personal gadgets, it was bound to happen sooner or later. There are vast product lines to choose from as well, and no matter how old someone is, you’re sure to find something from the IT world that they’re going to love having. The scene in South East Asia has turned into something similar as well. Online shopping stores like Lazada Malaysia have gone all out this Christmas season and have a month long sale on their website.
Online shopping seems to have picked up steam as well over the last few years. As Christmas day gets closer, you’ll find the malls and shops getting a lot more crowded. There’s a lot less parking available, traffic tends to get bad as people are out to travel to their relatives or they’re simply doing some last minute shopping for decorations or for each other. It’s close to mayhem as the final week draws closer and it makes a lot of sense to simply order your products online.
With deals like 35% off on digital cameras being offered, who wouldn’t? Sure, Christmas sales in stores tend to get you some good deals, but there’s nothing better than sitting at home from the comfort of your couch taking a look at deals from various websites and choosing the best one. What’s more, with delivery times as short as 48 hours, last minute shopping is a definite reality for the online customer. I was going through a couple of pages on Lazada’s website, and noticed that there are some heavy discounts on products like televisions. With a 40” Bravia available at a 30% discount and a Samsung Smart HD 46” available at a whopping 40% discount, who wouldn’t go for such products from an online store?
It’s also a time when online retailers get creative. They offer bundled options for printers in which you get some free ink on the purchase of a new printer, or you can get some goodies along with a new smartphone such as a phone cover or a Bluetooth headset. Walking around a major IT retail store a few days ago I noticed that they’ve got a promotion for the iPods in which they’re offering free noise cancelling headphones with the purchase of the higher end iPods. Smart bundling of products can usually lead to some very good sales during the Christmas period, it’s fairly important for salespeople to take advantage of the whole happy spirit everyone’s in.
As a consumer of course, one needs to be cautious. We need to ensure that we’re not over-zealous when it comes to purchases of high cost items. While it might sound hunky dory to get a bundled offer for a purchase, one should always make sure that they find out how much the extra add-on is really worth. If it’s worth 5% of the price of the product you’re buying, you’re not really in an advantageous position. If it’s something more along the lines of 20-30% the price of the product you’re investing in, then sure, perhaps it’s worth it.
Of course, tons of websites are also offering some lucrative daily Christmas deals that you should keep track of. Short lived sales usually offer you a very high value for money and your return on investment is extremely high. Make sure you make the right choice this Christmas, and after all, if you’re getting a smartphone, you should probably be smart about it as well. Have fun shopping for a new Android phone or a Windows 8 computer, and make sure your research is thorough!