Online Christmas Shopping

Marty and I buy Christmas presents for about 40 people. This year I’m determined to buy at least 90% of these online. I keep records of our previous Christmas spending and last year I still had to trek round shops to get about 30% of the gifts. (I do realise that most people don’t chart their shopping progress using spreadsheets and graphs but I like to.)

So far this year I’ve only been to two shops. One of these was in Amsterdam and I didn’t go in looking for Christmas presents. The other was Toys R Us. I had thought to use their online shop to buy presents for my niece and nephew but the shipping costs put me off. These aren’t obvious as they don’t appear on the basket. The basket told me that a higher rate applied but didn’t say what this was. I clicked on the appropriate link and was told the following:

“When you add products to your shopping cart the appropriate charge will be added automatically but not displayed.”

Why? If the charge is applied surely they could show me this on the basket page. Having to start the checkout process just to find out the delivery charge is a waste of time. And once I realised that they were going to charge me £4.95 to have one item delivered I decided to call in to one of their shops on the way home from work last Wednesday night instead of ordering online.

It did have one nice feature. When I went to checkout the site informed me that there was a multi-buy offer that I hadn’t made use of. There has to be a better way of saying this than “You have not qualified for the offer (s) below:” – but it’s still a good idea.

This year my shop of choice is It gets easier to use all the time and their pricing is very competitive.

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