Getting that gift in time for Christmas

How to shop online with confidence this holiday season

This Christmas will be the biggest and busiest online shopping season Canadians have ever seen. It’ll be like two Christmases in one. Canadians will order and receive more than twice as many parcels as they did over the holiday season just five years ago.

Online is a great way to shop at any time – but Christmas shopping is also about getting your gift in time. To be confident you will, do a bit of homework before you click “buy.”


Short version

Check out these tips to help you shop online at Christmas – and get your order in time.

Tried and true can be dull at Christmas – like getting Dad a necktie every year. But if a retailer has never let you down before, tried and true makes sense at the busiest time of year. If you want confidence that your parcel will get out the door from the retailer to a trusted delivery partner promptly, it’s good to go with a proven performer.

If your browsing is taking you into uncharted retail territory, don’t be shy – buy! There are lots of new and new-to-you retailers in Canada worth checking out. But look at reviews to see what other customers said. Was their order right? Did the retailer keep its delivery promise?

Online shopping puts a world of product selection at your fingertips – but behind the screen of your tablet or laptop or phone, the world is still a big place. Where your specific order will come from may determine whether you get it in time for Christmas – or much later. Look at the retailer’s shipping information. Generally, the farther your item has to travel, the longer it will take. And crossing borders takes time for parcels, too, not just people.

If a banner says “Order by such-and-such date to receive it by Christmas” that retailer has really thought through how quickly they can fulfill your order and get it to you. For added confidence, choose an express, premium or priority parcel service. It’ll cost more, but it’s quicker.

Canadians love a bargain – and will shop anywhere to get one. But at this busy time of year, small, inexpensive items from overseas may take weeks – even until after Christmas – to arrive. If the retailer’s website doesn’t offer international shipping details such as delivery times or whether it’s shipped by air or surface, that’s a caution flag. It may even be shipped as mail, not a parcel, which means there’s no tracking or service guarantee.


Long version


Print off the Top 5 Tips before holiday shopping