Ask Brad: What’s Your Advice For Last Minute Shoppers?

By: Broadry, National Lifestyle Content Desk

In this week’s Q&A, Brad Wilson from Brad’s Deals answers questions on what shoppers can expect during these last few days of the holiday shopping season, how to handle backorders, and pickup options. 

Q: We’ve been hearing for months now that on-time shipping would be a problem as we get closer to Christmas. What can shoppers who have waited too long do to get gifts in time?

Brad: More retailers than ever before are offering curbside pickup, which is great news for last-minute shoppers. However, be aware that the longer you wait, the more likely you are to encounter limited inventory options. Chris and Mark from the Brad’s Deals team put together a video trying out the curbside pickup process at major stores.

Q: What are some other options outside of curbside pickup?

Brad: Some companies are offering convenient options for gifting that will work perfectly for last-minute gifting. For instance, Coach offers a digital gift experience, where you select a gift and Coach delivers it via email with a personalized message from you. The recipient has the option to change color or size before shipping, and the gift arrives wrapped.

Another option is gifting a subscription. Since subscriptions generally ship out at the same time each month, no one expects to have something in-hand on Christmas Day. And many subscriptions offer an option to send a personal note along with the email that lets the person know about the gift.

Q: Is there anything to watch out for when doing last-minute shopping?

Brad: I’d be very cautious about anything that is backordered at this point. The dates that are shown on a backordered item are usually just estimates, and they may be pushed out further, or canceled entirely. If it isn’t a gift, there’s no harm in placing your order, especially if it is to get a great price. But if you need it by a specific date, avoid backordered products.

Also, watch out for scams. I’ve been seeing lots of fake listings in Google for popular Christmas gifts. If a coffee maker is going for $200 at all major retailers, you should really question that its listed $79 from a store with a name you’ve never heard of before. It’s a definite sign of a scam, and they are counting on the holiday pressure to trick you.

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