Today Show: Best Christmas Shopping Websites

This morning on the Today Show I took you through my picks for the best Christmas shopping websites. 
 
Here's the top 5: 
 
www.hardtofind.com.au
 
Hardtofind is an Australian shopping website featuring unique products - homewares, accessories, outdoor gifts, travel gifts, gifts for work, gifts for mum, gifts for dad & kids. The idea of the site is finding products that are not easily sourced elsewhere. The two women that started the site are both working mums, with over 35 years experience in lifestyle magazine. Hardtofind.com.au features ONE easy checkout, FREE SHIPPING and gift wrapping on MOST products with all purchases dispatched direct to the consumer from the seller. It literally is a one-stop shop, whether you're looking for an unusual gift, searching out a special something for yourself, or just wanting to treat your home or kids to a new look. Features include being able to create a 'WISHLIST' & adding to a cart for easy checkouts
 
www.harveynorman.com.au
 
Click & collect for last minute gifts for dads. We always leave dad's presents till the last minute! Harvey Norman is the perfect online store for dad's as it features a 'click & collect' option - i.e. Select something you like on the website - click 'find in store', if it's available - pick it up from the store in the afternoon. Saves the hassle of heading into the shopping centre and attempting to find something you like. Harvey Norman has everything a dad needs - appliances, gadgets, cameras etc.
 
www.xmas.ebay.com.au
 
Acknowledging the frustration many Aussies face around gifting for the festive season, eBay has changed it's algorithm for the first time ever and launched a new present finding tool that endeavours to make gifting fun again. Based on knowing two things that the person you are buying for likes, you simply need to type these two things in (e.g Breaking Bad and converse) and xmas.ebay.com.au will curate a list of meaningful gifts the recipient is sure to love including loads of items that may not have been uncovered otherwise (Breaking Bad themed converse sneakers!). The new search tool is a great way to ensure Aussies aren't spending big on unwanted gifts & perfect for mums & dads who can't keep up with all the different products available for kids. Mum & Dad can simply head into the bedroom - find two things they know their kids love and type it into xmas.ebay.com.au.  Ebay is also a great for kids as parents can purchase toys & collections second-hand - this means more presents under the tree!
 
www.target.com.au
 
Find the perfect gift for your loved ones by simply answering a few questions about them or letting Facebook do the work for you! The Target perfect gift match-maker will then curate a list of suitable gifts  Questions include - who is the gift for? How much do you want to spend? How old are they? What kind of person are they (cool, playful, sporty, tech-savy etc) - this then narrows the search. Other features include: Search for presents specific to your budget (under $10, under $50 etc) Free delivery for orders over $50, 20% off women's clothing, footwear and accessories (lots of special at Target!). Gifts for everyone - mum, dad, kids, grandparents - even animals. Also features the click & collect option. 
 
www.bigw.com.au
 
Big W have launched an app which streamlines the entire shopping experience - people that are literally on the run can open the app & select items on the go. Great for working mums & dads who aren't at home or don't have time to do the online shopping at home. Big W also enables you to check estimated delivery times BEFORE ordering so you don't miss out. Also features the 'click and collect' option 
 
 
TIPS TO HELP MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DOLLARS AND SPEND LESS ON SHIPPING 
 
1. AVOID SHIPPING COSTS (when possible)
+ If you find two online stores that sell the same product, don't always look at the cheaper price - look for the store that asks for less in shipping costs (or free shipping)
+ Good to keep this in mind if you have to RETURN something - i.e. You don't want to lose out on shipping & return cost
 
2. FLAT RATE SHIPPING
+ If you must pay shipping costs, opt for sites that offer flate rate shipping so that you can buy more than one item and spread out the shipping cost over all the items making shipping less expensive overall
 
3. SHIPPING TIMES
+ Take note of the shipping times & shop early so that you can go with the cheapest (usually the slowest) shipping option
+ Don't get caught out expecting to receive your camera before your holiday in a week's time when shipping might take five to ten business days
+ Good to note that 5-10 days usually means business days and does not include the weekend