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Senior Shopping Online: Tips for Getting Great Gift Deals This Season

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Senior Shopping Online: Tips for Getting Great Gift Deals This Season

Online shopping can be a great boon to seniors who want to send gifts to others during the holidays, but getting a good deal can be confusing. We've put together some tips and facts about seasonal online shopping to help you find and send great gifts to loved ones right from your assisted living apartment.

Retailer Gift Options

One first tip when shopping online is taking advantage of retailer gifting options. If convenience is a major reason you turn to the internet, you may not want to receive all those packages, wrap the gifts individually and then send them on their way again. When shopping online for individuals who live far away, consider having their package shipped directly to them.

Most online retailers let you specify that items are a gift when you check out. The retailer then removes pricing information from the package. Some retailers let you enter a short gift message that's printed on the packing slip or a card added to the package.

You might also be able to pay for gift wrap services. Amazon charges about $4 per item, for example, which may be worth it for seniors who want to avoid extra shipping costs but do want gifts to arrive with a bit of mystery or to be put under a tree.

What Is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday refers to the Monday after Thanksgiving. Traditionally, it was online retail's answer to Black Friday, and you can still find many great deals online on that date. But online retail sales span the entire holiday season, starting as early as October. Seniors don't have to wait until a certain day to grab a great deal, and if you're not that familiar with shopping online, it might be better to browse for deals on major retail websites during times when there's not a rush to get items before they sell out.

Scoring Free Shipping

One of the things that can make or break your holiday budget when shopping online is shipping. It can range from a few dollars to as much or more than the value of the gifts you're purchasing! That's why free shipping is such a big deal. Here are a few ways seniors can save on shipping over the holidays.

  • Amazon Prime. Prime status with Amazon is a lot like being a member of a wholesale club like Costco or Sam's. You pay $119 a year for the benefit (or $12.99 a month) and get benefits like free shipping on all Prime-eligible orders and free streaming of Prime television and movies. Seniors who buy a lot from Amazon throughout the year may save enough in shipping costs to cover the cost of this service.
  • Free shipping days. Watch your favorite online retailers during the holidays to take advantage of free shipping days. Many offer free shipping on all orders during the sales weekend after Thanksgiving, for example.
  • Shipping minimums. Most online retailers offer free shipping if you spend a minimum amount on your order. Amazon, for example, ships many goods free even without Prime if you buy $25 worth of items or more and it's shipping to the same address. This may be difficult for seniors shipping gifts directly to recipients, but if you're having gifts shipped to your assisted living apartment and can buy several of them on one site, you may be able to save on shipping.