Your guide to Christmas shopping online header image

Unless you've been living a cave for the last month or so, you'll know that Christmas is just around the corner. So, if you haven't already started, it's probably time to begin thinking about buying gifts for your family and loved ones.

Don't fancy fighting your way through the high-street hordes? Get in front of your computer and, thanks to the internet, you'll be able to do the vast majority of your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own home. 

Buying online can take the stress out of the whole process, however, there are still some steps you need to follow if you're going to get all your presents ready for the big day. Read on to find out. 

Shop around 
The beauty of buying your gifts online is that you can shop around far more than you would be able to if you were hitting the high street. You can search all sorts of online stores in order to get the best price possible and you'll do it in a fraction of the time. 

While retail giants like Amazon are a good place to start, you can always try online marketplaces such as eBay. You can find both new and used items on these sites and as you're buying from another individual rather than a company, there's a good chance you'll find a better deal. 

Think about delivery 
The major difference between online and high-street shopping is, of course, that in the former instance you have to wait for your items to be delivered. It's important you choose the right delivery option, as you don't want to end up with half of your presents stuck at the Royal Mail depot because you weren't in to pick them up.

Thankfully, online delivery is very versatile these days and you have a number of options to choose from. As well as having products sent to your home, many retailers allow you to collect in-store or from another location at your convenience.

If you're the kind of person who leaves Christmas shopping to the last minute, remember it can take a few days for online deliveries to arrive, especially during the busy festive season. As a result, it's better to be safe than sorry and get your orders in as soon as possible.

Stay safe
When shopping online it's important to stay safe and make sure your bank details are protected. Only enter your information on a site that has the padlock logo on display in the browser bar when you are prompted to provide your details. If you think a site looks untrustworthy, err on the side of caution and find somewhere else to make your purchase.

Keep your receipts 
For any Christmas shopper it's important to keep your receipts. We've all had to return gifts for one reason or another and this isn't possible without proof of purchase. Whenever you buy online, you should be sent an email as confirmation and this can serve as your receipt should the item have to be sent back.