Home CommentaryStudent Life Skip the store hopping and start online shopping

Skip the store hopping and start online shopping

by Natacha Medeiros December 4, 2012
Skip the store hopping and start online shopping

Graphic by Jennifer Kwan.

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s nearly time to layer on your winter gear, heat up the car, and find your way to the mall on a Saturday morning. That means driving in circles around a packed parking lot, followed by the slow and awkward drive behind someone walking towards their car.

We’ve all been there; going to the mall during the holidays is a nightmare. So this year, it’s time to shake things up. Forget about elbowing your way through the hoards of Christmas shoppers and resist falling into the same gift-giving rut.

Instead, curl up with a warm cup of hot cocoa, wrap yourself in a blanket, and turn on your computer, because online shopping beats store hopping any day. Here’s some of the web’s best spots for holiday giving, so you can cross everyone off your list without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.


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Any girl would swoon over a gift from shopbop.com. Home to hundreds of designer labels, the site has the perfect selection of shoes, accessories, handbags and clothing for the fashion-savvy woman in your life. Whether she’s been coveting an Alexander McQueen scarf, Marc by Marc Jacobs earrings, or a Tory Burch iPhone case, Shopbop literally has it all. Don’t let the word designer turn you off. Although many of their items have a steep price tag, a lot of the accessories are more than reasonable. They also have a killer sale section.


For those who would rather have an original piece of art or handmade jewelry there’s etsy.com. It’s where small business owners go to sell their original products: art, jewelry, clothing, tech gadgets, and more. Plus, the prices are pretty reasonable, making it the perfect option for those on a budget. It’s a wonderful way to support local designers without heading out into the cold.


The tech nerd we all know would love a gift from macmall.com. They sell a variety of computers, tablets, and accessories at discounted prices that would make the perfect gift for your electronic enthusiast.


For the beauty-obsessed there’s always sephora.ca. Choose from a variety of pre-made sets that are ready for gifting, or select individual items from some of the industry’s best brands. If choosing makeup is too overwhelming, there’s a huge selection of fragrances, many of which come in convenient holiday sets. Sephora also carries fragrance and skincare for men.


For fair-trade gifts that make you feel good about spending your money, visit tenthousandvillages.com. Selling handmade items from artisans in 38 countries, the company is one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations.


Pairing designer taste with a student budget doesn’t always work out, except when you log onto beyondtherack.com or gilt.com, where they specialize in selling amazing products at reduced prices. From watches to bags, sunglasses to home furnishings, there’s something for everyone. Sales are categorized by item and usually last about two to three days. Check-in daily for new deals or sign-up for emails to see upcoming bargains. Also, be sure to get your purchase in fast, because like anything else, the good stuff always goes first.


If you want to make gift-giving a little more personal, zazzle.com is the perfect site to check out. At Zazzle, you can “make any product, gift or occasion a custom work of art.” From personalized mugs to t-shirts, laptop cases to aprons, everything is customizable. If you’re not sure what to design, they offer shopping by brand, like Harry Potter, DC Comics, and South Park.


Stumped as to what to get the man in your life? Take a look at uncrate.com, a site full of fashion, tech, and gadgets that are as unique as the person you’re buying for. It’s a digital magazine for the young, modern, materialistic man, and it allows you to purchase anything you like with just a click. If you’re still at a loss, check out incrediblethings.com. Although not everything featured on the site are for purchase, you’ll definitely find some interesting ideas.


So there you have it, a complete shopping guide that’ll help you shop for everyone on your list. So, skip the mall and hit the web, where there’s sure to be no line-ups, no crazy holiday shoppers, and no parking lot blues.

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