Holiday Shopping Remedy: Buy Online

Physician's Money Digest, November30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 22

Time is a precious commodity,especially during the holidays.And this year, following Thanksgiving,the holiday shopping season willjolt into gear as usual. Many doctors willfind little time to prepare for—andenjoy—the holidays.

Shopping onlinesimplifies the holidayrush and allows physiciansto focus onwhat's really importantthis holiday season—their families.

Millions of shoppers have turned toonline retailers during the holidays topurchase the gifts they need, avoidingcrowded malls, parking hassles, limitedinventory, and long lines.

If you haven't been one of those wiseconsumers to try shopping online, hereare 4 incentives to letyour fingers do the clickingthis holiday season:

• Convenience. It's difficult to beat the convenienceof using theInternet. You can selecta gift online, have it gift-wrapped,and send it tothe recipient—all fromyour desk in minutes.With an in-store pickupservice option (availablethrough some sites), a shoppercan order a DVD player at lunch,print the e-mail receipt, and pick upthe item at a local electronics boutiqueon the way home from work.

• Selection. Variety is limitless online.Don't drag yourself to dozens of storessearching for the perfect gifts. Go onlineand hit all of your favorite"stores" in half the time.Certain sites also offer asurprisingly wide variety ofgift ideas, from kitchen gadgetsand digital cameras toDVDs and video games, soyou can get all yourgift shopping donein 1 place.

• Price. Onlineretailers often havedeeper discounts on merchandisethan traditional retailers. Besure to keep your eyes peeled for sitesthat offer such promotions as free shippingon select purchases, and discountson popular books,DVDs, and CDs.

• Information. Onlinesites, like Amazon.com, tend to offer detailed andauthoritative product information. Forexample, reviews from other customerswho have purchased the product canhelp to take the guessworkout of gift giving. In addition,some sites have productrecommendationsto help you discoverunusual gift ideas.

Procrastinating physician-shopperscan take advantageof the Internet's immediacywith online gift certificates,holiday e-cards, and magazinesubscriptions.

So, this holiday season,save time, money, energy,and some sanity by shoppingonline.