As much as I love the idea of buying small, handmade and local gifts, typically the majority of my Christmas shopping starts around NOW in December, at which point most crafters are out of stock or unable to take my order thanks to all the responsible gift buyers out there. More often than not, I’m still scrambling the week of Christmas to figure out last-minute gifts. Amazon, especially Amazon Prime with its free two-day delivery (with membership) IS my Santa.
In fact, I rely heavily on Amazon throughout the year for gift giving; again, it’s not the ideal, but they’ve made it so easy. I’m able to find and ship birthday, communion, and homeschool supplies at the same time as someone is having a tantrum, while I’m in my bathrobe, in the middle of a stomach bug outbreak or all three. So today, I thought I’d share some tips for using all the Amazon Wish List features to help frazzled folks like myself give awesome gifts.
1. Once you have an Amazon account, it’s easy to create a Wish List. Just go to the far right of your screen and get started. My default list is hidden. Here is where I save everything that strikes my fancy.
2. I’ve also created a “Birthday or Occasion” account for most of the members of our family and our godchildren. These accounts are all private, and under your Amazon account. Throughout the year, as I see items that I think would make great gifts, I add them to the appropriate lists. Then I set reminders for each person’s birthday, and sometimes feast day, so a week before each I get an email reminder. With Amazon Prime, that’s plenty of time (in theory) to order and ship a gift.
3. When Christmas approaches, I scan through the kid’s gift lists, and add some items to another wish list that I share with family members who need suggestions. (This filters out some of my kids very wishful items. See next paragraph. A $300 scooter? I don’t think so.) With each item listing, you can make a note of quantity wanted, who it’s for and priority. (Cause someone is going to die if they don’t get an Easy Bake Oven this year.)
My older children also know how to get into my Amazon account and add items to their gift lists. Any time something strikes their fancy, I simply quip “Add it to your Wish List!” Doing so has helped them become much more focused in how they save and use their own money.
4. The Amazon ap is a handy way to add items to your wish list while you’re out and about. Just scan or snap and save. You can select any of your wish lists to save it to. If you want to save it to a specific person’s “Birthday or Occasion” list, you have to do that from your computer.
5. Sometimes, I will send out one gift list to my side of the family, and another to my husband’s. I simply choose the privacy option ‘Shared’, and click the little white envelope to send the list to them via email. Other years, I have made the Christmas gift list public for any, and everyone to view online. You can easily switch between privacy settings. Click ‘List Actions’.
6. If you enjoy shopping at various non-Amazon sites, you can still use the Wish List feature to organize all your ideas. The Universal Wish List button is a plugin for the Chrome web browser that lets you add items from any store to your Amazon Wish List. Visit the Chrome webstore to download.
The button will be then be visible from your browser window. When you find something on another site, click that little Amazon ‘a’ and a window will pop up where you can fill in details.
When viewing your Wish List, you’ll see a picture of the item, and clicking on it will take you to the correct site for purchase.
7. And if you’re too lazy to search Amazon for the perfect gift, you can use the ‘I Want’ sticky note option. It’s also the perfect tool for adding non-specific items. For example:
Because you can never have enough foam weaponry.
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How do you streamline your holiday shopping? Any tips to share with those of us who will be scrambling December 23rd because we forgot to shop for our husbands? (Or is that just me?) While you’re pondering, take a sleigh ride back to Jen’s for more takes and flakes.