However some may think that Senior citizens and buying Christmas gifts and toys online may not go together, I am here to tell this is rubbish. I won’t hold it contrary to the inexperienced younger people who believe in such nonsense.
There are many very good reasons why Senior citizens will be buying lots of Christmas toys and gifts online tech gadgets for Christmas this year. The biggest reasons are convenience and getting more for less overall.
(I apologize for the long article. I realize that some of the younger folks may lose interest and not make it all the way through. Well, that just made this article even longer. )
Okay, We will be the first geezer, im, Senior citizen, to admit that we find shopping for Christmas gifts and toys the tradition way is a bummer; it unmellows my mood.
Christmas Shopping Tale: Here is a Christmas gift shopping tale. It has all happened to me, but I admit, not all in one trip:
Traffic: I hate traffic. Like a black hole in space, time decelerates the nearer you get to the shopping mall or the mega-box store. Cars are everywhere and parking spots seem to be no place. Wait! One just opened up! No! That little hybrid just zipped in and took the spot.
Parking: After an hour of unproductive hunting and harassment, I finally find a parking spot that’s on the very far edge of the parking lot, so far away from the store that we require a GPS to find it and a GPS to find my made use of hours later when i have forgotten where my car is.
Getting to the store: As i make my way to the store, I have to fight other drivers who are so intent on looking for phantom parking spots that they fail to notice me. I have never been a fan of the way parking lots associate people and cars.
The crowd: I make it to the store. Observe the dreaded crowd! I see there needs to be a sale on pitch forks and torches this year. The mob’s mood takes an ominous turn when a store opens its doors. Those who have camped out overnight wake up sleepily to find that a bunch of eleventh hour people have just beat them into the store and gobbled in the new cargo of Christmas toys these were waiting for.
Inside the packed store, there is straight-up bedlam served with a jigger of pandemonium. Everyone is seeking Christmas gifts or toys. I make my way through knots of people who are two times as wide as normal for their shopping bags full of loot.
Outstanding: In the distance, I see the Christmas toy I need but the supply that is left is running perilously low. As i get nearer, I seen first one, then another, grabbed up by nearer hands than my own. By the time I fight my way through, there is one left, on to the ground, half opened, with parts lurking. Like 3AM at the bar, this one looks pretty good, so i grab it.
The line: Then it’s more sniping, im, shopping for more Christmas toys and gifts. Hours later, with a tired sigh, I head for the checkout area with my Christmas gifts at hand. It doesn’t look that bad at first, but, also no, the line for the register looks like the line for housing vouchers in the Atlanta area a few weeks ago. Somber medics with bottled water and smelling salts stand by for those not up to task (okay, there are no medics).
Checkout: Finally, feeling completely spent, it’s my turn at the cash register to pay for my Christmas gifts. Do i have a membership card? Do i want one? Do i want an extended warranty plan? Do i want batteries? The sign above says “NO RECEIPT-NO REFUNDS-30 DAYS”. I offer my credit card. The clerk snarls that we am to swipe it in the card reader. Silly me. I didn’t remember. The crowd glares at me because I am an obvious fresh and holding up the line. People start to point at me.
The Gate Keeper: I pocket my receipt mindful of the sign above. I get to the entranceway but a burly guy bars my path. “Not so fast, old timer, inch he shouts. “Where’s your receipt? inch So, chagrined, I dig into my pocket and show the nice man my receipt. He talks about it with suspicion, checks it once, checks it twice. Will he find me sexy or nice? Grudgingly, he finds nothing wrong, blinks, and thrusts my receipt back into my hands. So much for the dignity of being an parent.
A breathe of ticket: Finally, I am out the swooshing door. Cool air greets me. I didn’t notice how hot and humid it was inside. And it smells better outside as well. Well, it smells better until I pass an idling Bronco full of Christmas toys, waiting for something. A girl in front of me lights up a cigarette and I get a lungful of resale which can be and exhaust toxins.
Donations: It’s dark now. It was day when i came, was not it?. I declare it was. Several large fellows are asking for a gift to something. Whatever it is, they don’t look like they belong to it. They isn’t no Santy Clauses. I say no, and the biggest one argues with me, implying that we am guilty of something or another, or something.
Disorientation and danger: Where is my car? It looks different out hassle-free night, and of course, everything is in the opposite direction now as I have to retrace my route. Where is my GPS? Wait, let me first get far enough away from those guys. That Bronco’s headlights suddenly turn on, all brights, and it rates of speed away from the curb nearly hitting me.
Lost and no island: I cross lanes, and search for my car. My GPS goes dead. I should’ve charged up again it longer. Where did I park? Was it Z7 or 7YY? Why didn’t I write it down? The peach color parking lot lighting make car colors impossible to see. After about an hour, I recognize my licence plate and inhale a sigh of relief.
Surprise: I notice that the glass on my driver’s side door is frosted. Funny. It’s not that cold. As i discover the vehicle, the glass shatters into pieces and falls into the car. Someone has smashed my window. My oh my yes, I had forgotten to take a few small Christmas gifts from the back seat and hide them in my shoe. They are gone now, and my car window is open to the night cool down.
Finding the exit: After putting my hard-won Christmas toys and gifts in my shoe, I am off. I stroll around a bit, looking for signs to the exit. Like Sin city, their priority is to get you in; you’re on your own to get out.
Chance encounter: As i get to an intersection, a car neglects to stop and nearly hits my left front fender. The driver yells and shows me his IQ regarding his middle finger and drives off, cursing me (I suppose) as i see his mouth working. I don’t take it personally.
The recession at the exit: I reach the last turn into the last side of the road out of the parking lot. It is packed. People are supposed to take turns but the cars already in the exit side of the road appear to not be letting anyone new turn into it. I wait for a shy one to come along so i can sneak in.
The side of the road change: Finally, I am in and ready to leave the lot forever. Now I must get into the left side of the road for my final turn home. Easier said than done. I have to wait a bit and cars behind me honk furiously at me for holding them up.
The final traffic light: Finally again, I make it and get to the light. The light takes forever. There is no left arrow here (the city did away with them i really enjoy seeing; I believe it was a good reason). Straight-through traffic coming towards me has no end. It is lucky if one car can make a left turn per green light.
Traversing traffic: Finally, for a third time, it is my turn. I have to inch out part-way into the main cross traffic lanes to claim my directly to turn. I dart behind the last car through the light. Of course, the last car experienced on a yellow that turned red, and so now I am turning on red. The cross traffic takes no notice of me and is raring to go. I am in danger of being caught in a half turn sideways as cars in both directions bear down on me. Those nice people who started as the red was changing don’t help.
The way home: Well, I make it. I fight more traffic but traffic is getting a bit lighter as i get away from the black hole that is the shopping mall. Time generally seems to come back to normal. I set out to breathe easier. I get home. I would say “finally” but I will skip it.
Final slander: Under the street lights on my street, a pinkish light here, I now see fresh scratches on my driver’s side door from the shopping mall that we missed. And so, I conclude my Christmas gift shopping.
Doh! And then it hits me. I didn’t remember a Christmas toy! And, think about the Christmas gifts that were thieved? I’ll are related it from the start tomorrow.
Buying Online with Sales
If this sounds like your experience Christmas gift and toy shopping, then consider buying online this year. You can stay home. You don’t have to fight traffic or throngs. You don’t have to make your way there and back again. And, you don’t have to find your car and get home safely.
Of course, online Christmas gift shopping is not without its perils and pot holes. I know a friend who wants to buy a Christmas toy in sought after and thinks he can save a lot of money on an online auction. There are sales there and there are fixed price items.
Auction prices: My friend costs the sales because he sees that this item has sold in the pass for less than the fixed price. He thinks he is smart. What he doesn’t understand is the price that his toy sold for was in an auction that she was not in. If he previously bid, he would have needed a bid higher than what it sold for. His presence in the auction would have altered it.
He may have gotten the Christmas toy for one bid increment higher, or maybe many increments higher. My friend will never know how high the winning bidder was happy to go, precisely how far he previously to go to win. But he’s it in his head that she could have had his toy for what it sold for last.
Auction risks: So, my friend rates for bids on the item. It is a ten day auction. Businesses for a $200 item starts at a dollar. As the days roll by, the rates for bids rise. By day nine, rates for bids are close to what my friends thinks he can steal this toy for. In fear, he enters a bid higher than he wants “just to be sure”. In the end, it goes higher than he thought and now he’s ten fewer days until Christmas. There is time risk and risk of loss in sales.
My friend was smart, though, because he left a bid. Had he been there at the end businesses, he could have gotten into a businesses war and wound up paying too much. You can become emotionally involved and to believe that this one time is the only chance you will have. That my be true for some one-of-a-kind items, but not usually for consumer electronics.
Shenanigans: Now my friend tries a fixed price item. What he doesn’t realize is that some sellers are really good and some, not really much. For example, selling restored items without exposing it, or selling “grey” items for international use with a ill US warranty, unbundling packages and selling the parts separately for more money, or selling counterfeits and tear offs. With gadgets, especially electronic gadgets, you have to really do your homework on the seller.
“Free shipping”: My friend thinks he got a deal because he got free shipping. He didn’t notice that the price he paid was higher to include the “free” shipping. Hey. It floats his boat.
Shipping time: My friend has to wait several weeks for his Christmas toy to arrive. Owner neglected to say, and my friend neglected to ask, if the seller had the toy actually in stock. In fact, owner did not. Owner was using a drop shipper in China, and it takes about five weeks to satisfy the order.
Know owner: Now, I am not saying all auction experiences are negative. Far from it. Deals and good merchandise can be had. But there are shenanigans to shield against. You really have to do your homework on the seller. Most people don’t. They don’t know what to ask and what to look for. It all comes down to how trustworthy owner is.
Buying Online at Amazon
I used to just buy books and Dvds from Amazon, and I still do. I find that Amazon is a seller that we can trust. It has distribution points located in the united states and usually can ship quickly. Amazon lets you know its usual shipping time and whether your chosen Christmas gift or toy is available. You get good email updates from them so you know where your order is. You can always get access for your requirements and see where your order is.
The anti-Amazons: As an aside, I hate online places that treat your order like it dropped in a black hole (there’s that black hole analogy again). I place an order, and I hear nothing. No one tells me that they are sold-out, so i sit there, waiting. Maybe it will never come. Maybe it can be purchased in a few months where new supplies arrive.
Amazon is not like that. They are good at fulfilling your order and shipping quickly.
Two day shipping: I buy the Amazon Super Saver shipping and pay once each year. Then i get free two-day shipping on my Amazon orders. Because of Amazon’s service, I sometimes get an in-stock item in the morning, in one day, if i order before the closing time for a day’s ordering. Even if it takes the off the shelf two days, it’s still very, very fast shipping.
Lots of stuff: Did I mention that Amazon sells a lot more than books and videos? They sell electronic gifts, toys, and a huge variety of cool products.
Trust: I trust Amazon. Bottom line. Its products are fresh, unspoiled, and legal. For Christmas toys and gifts, they are hard to beat.
I don’t know for sure, but it appears Amazon has better control over third-party suppliers compared to fixed price sellers on auction sites. (Your super saver shipping does not affect these individuals. )
True story: I’ve switched to buying my Christmas gifts and toys from Amazon. I got a Garmin GPS navigator and some accessories for a travel Christmas gift. To be fair, Amazon said one of the accessories would ship from a third-party supplier with a small shipping charge, so i knew that going in. I got the GPS itself in two days, and some of the accessories in the morning and the day or so after that.
Value: So, as a senior citizen I am convinced there are good reasons to buy Christmas gifts from Amazon. I find that Amazon prices are very good, maybe not the lowest every time, but since the items are new and not pawed through like at your local drug store or mass-market big-box-mart store, I think they are a better value. For an important Christmas gift or toy for a loved one, I would not take on the risk just to possibly save a few bucks. It’s my job to affect out the highest and lowest offers, and take one in the low middle range.
Good deals in tough times: Times are tough and extremely uncertain. The economy has been down the pontoons since 08 and there is no sign that it is improving. It’s wise to get the best value when you do are interested a nice Christmas toy or gift today as part of your. Even in hard times, we want to get Christmas toys, for our grand-kids. We can go for a lot of cheap Christmas gifts or a few good ones. Whichever way you go, it’s important to get a good deal.
Hits: And, what a waste it would be to buy someone a Christmas gift and have it turn out to be a dud. Below I post a link to a Christmas gift web site that includes best-selling and most wished-for Christmas gifts from Amazon. Buying best sellers greatly increase your likelihood of getting a Christmas toy or gift which will be a winner and that you will be appreciated when getting it.