Safe Holiday Shopping Tips

Two Women Holiday Shopping Outdoors - Xact Loans


With the holiday season right around the corner, retailers and shoppers are gearing up for major in-store events, online sales, and remote shopping.

As you make your holiday gift list and check it twice, consider these ways to keep yourself safe and healthy while making the most of your budget.

Shop from the Comfort of Home

According to Statista, 75% of Americans plan to do holiday shopping online this year. For perspective, e-commerce sales made up just over 14% of total retail in the pre-COVID 2019 holiday season.

While that’s good news for reduced crowds, this major uptick in online shopping traffic could mean inventory and shipping backups as the holidays get closer.

To ensure you get everything on your list and avoid being left empty-handed, you’ll want to get an early start.

Just remember, as you shop the web for deals be cautious of scammers looking to gain access to your personal and credit card information. Check out the best ways to avoid holiday shopping scams here.

Don’t Wait for Black Friday

Many retailers have announced plans for earlier and longer-lasting discounts to keep Black Friday crowds at bay.

According to CNN, Home Depot started rolling out holiday-themed merchandise online this August.  Amazon even held a “Black Friday in July” sale. 

The bottom line? You don’t have to wait for Black Friday to score a great deal.

Opt for Curbside Pickup

Many retailers now offer curbside pickup for customers who’d prefer to keep their visits extra short and sweet.

Curbside pickup helps shoppers and retailers limit person-to-person exposure and can help you save on shipping charges and wait times, too.

According to the New York Times, curbside pickup has been increasingly popular because Americans love the experience of getting in their cars and driving to a store. If you're looking for an excuse to get out of the house, but want to avoid the exposure of browsing isles, curbside pickup could be a great option for you.

Large retailers currently offering curbside pickup include Apple, Best Buy, Home Depot, Kmart, Nordstrom, Target, and Old Navy.

Give DIY Gifts a Try

Do-it-yourself gifts are always fun to receive because they’re thoughtful and made with love. Handmade cards, IOU vouchers, and homemade baked treats are all sweet gifts to give.

Those who enjoy being even more crafty could tie-dye a pair of cozy socks, decorate a mug, build or create a small craft, personalize a picture frame, or even knit a sweater. Check out the latest DIY holiday gift ideas or search Pinterest for tutorials of your favorites.

Best of all, homemade gifts are a great way to help you save on your holiday budget too.

Think Outside the Giftbox

There are also a lot of non-physical, meaningful gifts out there. E-gift cards, streaming service subscriptions, meal kits or boxes, charity donations on behalf of the gift recipient, or Book-of-the-Month subscriptions can be great choices for even the most particular family members and friends.

Choosing immaterial gift options eliminates shipping worries or putting yourself out among the shopping crowds. As an added convenience, the recipients can choose to use the gifts whenever and however works best for them.

In-Person Shopping Safety

While we’re living post-pandemic now, COVID and the flu are still a concern for many, especially those with existing health concerns.  If you want to go into the stores for a “classic” shopping experience but are worried about illness, take the safety precautions you’re comfortable with.  Also, you can shop during off-peak hours and consolidate your trips to limit exposure.

With a little creativity, you can have a safe holiday shopping experience and mind your budget.