christmas shopping

Santa's Board Meeting

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It might be the off season but it looks like Santa Claus is already gearing up for the busiest month of his year.

With just five months until Christmas 140 Santa’s from around the world recently gathered in Copenhagen for the annual world Santa Claus congress. The three day event gathers Santa’s from twelve countries to network, meet the public and get into shape for the busy month of December.

One Santa from the United Kingdom says the congress, which began in 1957, is a way to spread the joy of the season and to share ideas to keep the spirit of Christmas alive. They also have the opportunity to discuss issues such as presents and weight regulations for Kris Kringle.  read more »

Holiday Shopping

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We’re a week away from black Friday and stores are doing everything they can to get shoppers offline and in the store.

To satisfy people looking for the best deal Wal-Mart executives are telling store managers to price match Amazon and other online retailers. This is an extension of the company’s ad match program which allows customers to bring in ads from other stores.

If the competitor is offering a lower price, Wal-Mart will match that. But now with people heading online to complete their holiday shopping Wal-Mart is getting more aggressive. According to Forbes magazine this could also help Wal-Mart get on top of another shopping trend that’s stealing business.  read more »

Holiday Shopping

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We might be months away from the holiday shopping season; but Wal-Mart already has a game plan.

In an attempt to lure customers away from other big name retailers, Wal-Mart is planning to staff each of its cash registers from the day after thanksgiving to the days just before Christmas.

The move which is being called “the checkout promise” is aimed at addressing one of the store's biggest complaints from customers. Every year people say the lines are too long and there aren't enough people on duty. So the store says each checkout line will be open for certain hours of the day. Most locations are planning on doing this during the weekend afternoons but this could vary by store.  read more »

Online Shopping

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The online shopping industry was a hero for the holiday season; unfortunately it was also a victim.

This year more people than ever went online to cross items off their holiday list. And with aggressive promotions and money saving deals for most people it paid off. Until it came time to deliver.

Thanks to the boost in business, shippers such as UPS were not able to get presents onto doorsteps in time for Christmas. Some didn’t even arrive until the weekend after. Now UPS and major online retailers such as overstock.com and Amazon say they will be making changes for the next holiday season.  read more »

Unwanted Gifts

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Did you end up with a few Christmas gifts that aren't exactly you? Unwanted gifts are almost as much a part of the holidays as jingle bells. But you may be able to turn those unwanted gifts into cash.

According to past surveys done by the online auction site eBay, nearly 60% of Americans receive unwanted or un-needed gifts during the holidays. Returning it is one option, but can be difficult if you don't have a gift receipt. And re-gifting can be tacky and embarrassing if you get caught.

An increasingly popular option is to turn unwanted gifts into cash in a safe and anonymous way by place them up for sale on the internet. Buyers gain from this practice too, as sellers who paid nothing for the gift items are usually willing to let them go for highly discounted prices.  read more »

Amazon Elves

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It's the busiest time of year and the internet's version of Santa Claus is hiring some extra helpers.

For cities in Kentucky, Nevada and Kansas the sights and sounds of the season mean camper vans, tents and a crowd of people. Dubbed the camper force they make up the seasonal workers hired by the biggest online retailer; amazon dot com.

In order to keep orders flowing and make sure packages are shipped to the right places amazon hires the campers and assigns them jobs at company warehouses. Each year about 70,000 people are given a little extra work. In exchange their campsites are paid for, they earn 94% of what full time employees make and in some cases are eligible for company benefits.  read more »

The Christmas Season

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; even in September.

We're a few months from the holiday season but some of the biggest electronics companies want their gadgets to appear on your shopping lists. So far we've seen the introduction of new iPhones that come in different colors, new video game players and competition is heating up among developers of smartwatches.

Samsung is releasing its $300 Galaxy Gear. The watch can be linked wirelessly to newer Samsung phones and tablets and allows you to do everything from checking your email to making phone calls all from the device worn on your wrist. The watch will be available in a few weeks in six different colors.  read more »

Shopping with Facebook

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Facebook is hoping to make friends with the retail world.

The social media giant is testing a product that allows users to create a wish list of products from various stores. Right now the test phase has 7 retailers including Pottery Barn and Victoria’s Secret.

It lets certain users flag images of desired items by clicking a “want” button. Then those items are shared with their friends who can purchase them through Facebook.

Analysts say the feature being called “Collections” is the first step by Facebook into the e-commerce world. A company statement says Facebook will not receive any payments or retribution if someone buys a product.  read more »

A Christmas List

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Christmas may be months away, but the shopping list is already out.

Toy Insider has released their list of what it thinks will be the top toys of the 2011 holiday season. And topping that list is a dancing and singing Elmo and interactive Harry Potter game. A co-publisher with Toy Insider says the list takes some of the stress out of holiday shopping. She says they look for toys that will engage children and not end up at the bottom of the closet.

This year the biggest trend for toys is social interaction with parents and kids. Cell phone applications are also making their way under the Christmas tree. Toy Insider says the stuffed angry bird toys will be a popular gift. They are based off the characters in the widely played game.  read more »

The Twelve Days of Christmas

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Thinking about making the twelve days of Christmas a reality for your true love? Think again.

According to the annual Christmas Price Index trying to buy every item from the twelve days of Christmas song will ring in at $96,000. A 10.8% increase over last year. But if you want to skip all twelve drummers and all six geese, buying only one of every item will cost about $23,000.  read more »