You’ve probably already started to notice that your online purchases are taking longer to arrive. Well, buckle up, because we’re only halfway through November, and if you’re someone who is required to or somehow enjoys holiday shopping, and prefer to do so online, things are about to get bumpy.
Between regular shipping delays and one disruption of the supply chain after another, you’re better off getting creative when it comes to gifts this year. In an article for Consumer Reports, Penelope Wang and Octavio Blanco provide some tips on how to do that. Here’s what they suggest.
Hit up local merchants
Small Business Saturday (aka the day after Black Friday) is great, but why limit yourself to one day of supporting local small businesses? Shopping locally has all sorts of benefits, but this year, they also have a leg-up on online retailers: If you see something you like (and it’s in stock), you can walk out of the store with it (after paying) that very day.
Give the gift of knowledge
We were all about taking the wide variety of free online classes that were offered at the beginning of the pandemic. But chances are, a lot of people had their eye on a course or two, found out how much they cost, and shelved the idea. If someone in your life falls into that category, your holiday gift to them could be paying for that art history course they’ve wanted to enroll in for months, Wang and Blanco suggest.
Consider a membership or subscription
Although most people probably have some type of streaming subscription (say, Netflix), there are others they likely want, but can’t justify the extra expense to get (like Disney+, for example). In that case, you’ve figured out their gift. But think beyond video streaming services: Wang and Blanco also recommend music subscriptions like Spotify, or subscriptions to their favorite online or print publication.
Memberships to cultural institutions like museums, historical societies, or symphonies are also an option, Wang and Blanco say, as well as a national or state parks pass.