Last-minute Christmas shopping savings tips
Shoppers hunting down savvy deals in the remaining weeks before Christmas are being urged to take a deep breath and have a financial plan of attack.
While many of will be rushing in to make last-minute purchases, consumers are being urged to carefully examine their costs to avoid a budgetary blowout.
This applies particularly online when there's often an incentive to spend more to get free delivery and there can additional costs such as postage charges to return unwanted goods.
New data from MyState Bank quizzed 1000 Australians and found:
• 36 per cent believe they spend more money online compared to shopping in store.
• 21 per cent buy unnecessary items because they are on sale.
• 17 per cent say storing their card details in a store's website makes it easy to purchase things down the track.
Events manager Laiyen Chow, 36, and her friend, HR manager Kate Wittison, 27, are still yet to complete their Christmas shopping.
Ms Chow describes herself as a "shopaholic" but says she pays close attention to the costs, particularly when doing online shopping.
She factors in the postage and return charges if an item isn't quite right and she has to send it back.
"I always look at whether they have a refund or a store credit if I need to return something and also look at whether free shipping is included," Chow says.
"I have to make sure I know what I want, I don't rush it, online shopping allows you to think about it and come back to it being left in your basket."
While Chow will be hitting some stores in the remaining weeks before Christmas she says she will do most of her shopping online and expects to spend about $500 on presents.
MyState Bank's general manager of customer experience Heather McGovern says it's important to think carefully before spending up online, particularly when you may simply throw items in the shopping basket to reach the free shipping threshold.
"You may actually end up buying things you don't need," she says.
"Or you could buy something and it arrives and it doesn't fit then you don't bother to return it."
The research also found since the pandemic 65 per cent of people have increased the time they spend shopping online.
Myer's chief customer officer Geoff Ikin said shoppers can maximise options such as free delivery to help ease the financial burden - they don't charge delivery during the Christmas period if there's a minimum spend of $49.
But he says shoppers should get their orders in as soon as possible so they arrive in time.
"We would encourage customers to be aware of Australia Post delivery cut off dates this Christmas, but to also consider using our popular click and collect service or taking advantage of extended trade as we get closer to Christmas," Mr Ikin said.
He also urges customers to know their rights when returning to purchases if they aren't quite right.
"Like every Christmas we know that customers will need to return purchases and with our 60 stores nationwide, as well as easy returns through Parcel Point, we are making it as easy as possible to return purchases," he said.
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING TIPS
• Think before you spend.
• Abandon your shopping cart and work out if you really need to make the purchase.
• Use loyalty programs to reap the rewards.
• Factor in postage costs if they apply.
• Sign up to store emails to get their alerts including discounts.
• Delete pre-saved details including bank information from retailer websites.
• Order from Australian retailers with normal post delivery by Saturday, December 12.
• Order from Australian retailers with express post by Saturday, December 19.
Originally published as Last-minute Christmas shopping savings tips