Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Online Shopping

I dallied on my Christmas shopping because, up until the end of November, I had no intentions of giving gifts. It didn’t feel right to be spending on wants when there were still so many people barely meeting their needs. But the December air brought something with it. A sudden surge of generosity, a positive vibe. It was Christmas magic. I felt I had to express in very concrete terms how I grateful I was to the people who made 2013 such a great year for me.

The spell of generosity, however, could not compensate for my fear of the traffic. I ended up doing most of my shopping online.

Amazon.com was my first stop. I made plenty of purchases here, including a One Direction doll and a mockingjay pin for Julia.
I had to check out various online gift lists for others on my list. Chuvaness.com wrote about Herschel bags in her blog. They looked like the kind of bags I’d like for myself if I were in high school today so I decided to buy them for our teenagers, JM and Joaki (for his birthday in December). I got them from Urban Outfitters.

For JM (above)

For Joaki (above)

I had both my Amazon and Urban Outfitters purchases shipped to Johnny Air in San Francisco (c/o Harry Jules Banzon) with instructions to the latter to send my packages to their SM Megamall branch for pickup. Just to give you an idea how much you could save this way—a clutch bag that was being sold for P8,500 at the Michael Kors store in Powerplant can be bought for less than $100 online. If you have it shipped to Manila through Johnny Air, you can get it for just a little over 5K inclusive of the shipping fee. Aside from the savings, you have access to a better selection of products if you order online.


I had most of my purchases shipped through Johnny Air with the exception of the item from Mr. Porter (the male counterpart of Net-a-Porter), which had a free international shipping holiday promo. Imagine, zero shipping cost to the Philippines! My order arrived in less than a week!

While browsing, I discovered that a number of local brick and mortar shops are already online. I bought a bag from Aranaz and had it shipped to my office for a minimal fee. It arrived in a beautiful fuchsia box that required no additional gift-wrapping.

It took until the week before Christmas for me to decide that I wanted to give my dad a Kindle Paperwhite. He is a voracious reader and I knew the Kindle is something that even a non-techie like him could learn to use. I looked for local sources and found GadgetPinas.ph, which offered gadgets at very reasonable prices. You can order online and have it shipped to you but I was worried that the item would not arrive on time. I had it picked up instead.

For my brother and nephew, who have been hankering for Nike Jordans, I opted to buy from a friend, who is a reseller and knows where to buy all the authentic stuff at reasonable prices (relatively, because those shoes don’t come cheap).

And for myself, the above. Because I have been good, Santa. Really, I’ve been.

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