Saturday, September 13, 2014

Christmas Buying Tips in the Philippines

Christmas is fast approaching and in the Philippines, when you say "ber" months it is sign that Christmas is just around the corner. This only means, its shopping season. Malls are literally jump packed with buyers eager to buy stuffs from Christmas decoration to giveaways.

Here's what I learn over the years to avoid what I call Christmas Shopping Disaster.

#1. Plan your Budget - budgeting is very crucial when shopping and most specially during Christmas you need to be very strict on this.
  • Make a List - Your list tells you how much you'd need to spend for the Christmas Season. In listing down, you need to be very detailed and very specific. List down all your God-children, niece, nephews, cousin and everyone whom you would be giving gifts. When I say very detailed it would mean assigning specific item on each of them and a price range. This would include a list of your giveaways too.
  • Make a Menu - I plan my menu for Christmas eve and New Years celebration. I also list down every ingredients of it and make sure I have everything in order.
#2. Review and Decide - after planning you'd definitely want to go over the details of your shopping list and decide what to keep or change before making any decisions. In deciding it would include the following:
  • Separate and decide where you'd buy the items. This will definitely help you identify how much is your budget for "pamasahe" and definitely it helps you the hassle and bustle of the Christmas rush.
  • Stick to your Budget - this is where it gets tricky. Once you have that budget then stick to it. Don't bring your credit card with you when you go buying this would give you the urge to buy more and later going over your desired budgetary requirement. It is also best to eat at home before going to the mall because the more hungry you are the more food you put on your shopping cart. Buy only those that are in the list. It is also best to compare prices from different brand before putting it to your deciding which brand you'll buy for specific item.
#3. Dress Code - after planning your budget and deciding where and how you'd buy your Christmas shopping and gift ideas. It is also a must that you wear your most comfortable dress that you have. Wear something flowy and something really comfortable. Example, in my case, I go out with a shorts, rubber shoes and a cotton a little over sized t-shirt. If you are uncomfortable in your outfit you might end up rushing everything and just dumping everything in your push cart just to finish your shopping battle.

#4. Time Management - I would say go against the crowd. Go shopping on weekdays, mid-afternoon or mid-mornings in these way there are fewer people in the shopping areas like malls or Divisoria. If you plan of going to Divisoria to buy some giveaways I suggest you go there early in the morning like 7 AM or mid afternoon. If your only time is during the weekends then I suggest you go there as soon as the malls are open. Don't go there during pay days or weekend after the pay day am sure it will be a shopping war zone in the malls.

#5. Shopping Destination - Malls are definitely the most convenient shopping destination but I suggest you check "tiangge" or flea markets and of course online stores. Most of the time these shopping destinations are a little cheaper than that of the mall prices. Plus you've got to have the chance to ask for more discounts or freebies.

#6. Quality over Price - I think I don't need to explain these. It is always best to buy something a little more expensive than buying it cheap and compromising the safety and or the quality of the items you both. It is always best to give something knowing that it will last long.

#7. Buy in Bulk - Best prices always comes when you buy in bulk. This is specially true when you are buying in Tiangge or flea market or in Divisoria per se.

#8. Buy Extra Gifts - There will always be unexpected visitors coming to your house or there are always an instance where you'd need to give something to a friend or in the office. Also, it is always best practice to buy something extra rather than rushing to a mall at a more expensive price because there are unexpected occasions where you are required to bring something as a gifts like Christmas Parties and the like.

#9. Have a firm Decision in buying - There are some instances that you'd need to change what you've already decided for someone. In some cases when you are in flea markets you'd end up seeing something perfect for someone and that is within the budget. In this way, go get it right away. Don't park it somewhere so you could come back and get it. Someone might get it and you'd end up going around to look for something for someone.

#10. Receipts - Always secure for receipt and keep it. Most especially if you are buying your stuff at the mall. You might be buying stuffs that doesnt fit the person whom you are giving or if they simply doesnt like color you bought. Or worst if the toy your bought for example is not working the way it should be working. At least you have a proof for a return and or exchange. 

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