Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Week Closer... Black Friday and Holiday Shopping Are Almost Here

Well, we are one week closer to Black Friday and the major holiday shopping season. Regardless of how the economy is affecting you personally, it certainly is affecting many, including retailers. As promised, here are some Shop Talk ideas that we hope will be helpful, whatever your situation.

Strapped for Cash This Holiday?
Other than the ϋber-rich, who isn’t? Here are some quick ideas that could help:
  • Follow the advice of blogger and China-shopping guide, Krista QQ, who offers some money-savings tips in her November 12th blog, where she recommends making lovely and economical handmade gifts.
  • Put your word processor or desktop publishing software to good use to make cool, personalized, homemade holiday cards and email them out for free. Pocket the savings or put it toward your gift purchase budget.
  • Review the 63 gift ideas for under $10, offered by Michelle Jones, editor of
  • Another option, if necessary, could be to re-gift your personal gift cards or turn them into presents for others. This one’s a little radical, and might be best reserved for immediate family or for ensuring kids have something to make the season bright, but we offer the idea for your consideration.
More on Gift Cards:
Speaking of gift cards, last week we mentioned three sites where you can buy, sell, or exchange gift cards. Here are some other gift cards options. Some are old news, I realize, but it’s hard to argue with success, and hopefully it’s a helpful reminder to have them here in one place:
  • Here’s another buy/sell site. This one also sells “GiftBux,” which recipients may redeem for any certificate on the site. They also have an affiliate program, which by way of disclaimer, we do not participate in, but maybe we should since we’re giving them free advertising!
  • Buy, sell, or swap ‘em at
  • Good ol’ has thousands of items these days and they are as reliable as clockwork. At their site, gift cards can be emailed, printed, or sent by mail.
  • Another well-established ol’ standby… American Express.
  • If you’re going upscale (one of those ϋber-rich, perhaps?), there’s always the Four Seasons.
  • Coming back to reality for most of us, the fun folks at (Visa/First Gulf Bank, N.A.)have some nice looking holiday cards
  • And the folks at Gift Card offer their own extensive list of participating merchants, including Old Navy, Macy’s, and a large ensemble of others.
  • I might quietly mention that we offer virtual gift cards, paper gift certificates, and online coupons at DreamWorthy Gifts. (Commercial over.)
The Other Side of the Coin (or Gift Card, in this case)
I guess there really are two sides to every coin. Lee Mark, who is listed as an Expert Author, cautions against purchasing gift cards this season.
  • Here’s why, in Lee’s words: “Many of your favorite retail stores are doing some major downsizing or even going out of business in the coming months. If you purchase gift cards and a store closes, then your gift card recipient cannot redeem their gift. Even if the retailer just closes a few locations, there is a chance that your gift card recipient may not be able to find a location that is close enough to drive to.”
  • Lee does proceed to rattle off quite a list of major retailer store closings and a list of bankruptcy proceedings, adding weight to his concerns. Sounds like a big downer until he ends with “This season I would predict that buyers will shop more online to avoid the impulse shopping and save fuel in the process.” Now obviously the fine team here at DreamWorthy Gifts believe that is the best option, and we’d add that many of the retailers listed in Lee’s article also have an online presence, and we’d bet that that portion of the businesses will survive, even if the overhead-laden brick and mortar structures suffer.
Mall or Online?
So this brings us back to the issue from last week, when we asked you to join our Squidoo debate on the price of shipping versus gas and time. (I’m sure you’ve just been busy, right?)
  • You can weigh in at in the ‘Sound Off!’ Section near the bottom.
  • The folks from Seven Somewhere who blog ‘All About Christmas’ seem to have made up their mind. Read their thoughts here. Like us, they’re a little partial…
  • …So, back to you… what do YOU plan to do this year?
Got Dog?
If you love your furry friend and are looking for the perfect stocking stuffer, our friends at Puppy have some unique items for your stylish pooch.
  • They offer a lot of nice stuff, actually, but one of the cutest things is the collection of holiday hair bows, which are solidly made, and of course, trendy and stylish with multiple holiday styles. Hey, ya gotta have some fun, and they are very reasonably priced.
Cat Feelin’ Left Out?
Sorry. We have cats, too, so check out Cats Play and buy kitty a nice gift basket for the holidays.
And just for fun, cat lovers, check out these sites…
Gifts for People Who Love Animals
Animal Den offers an extensive line of gifts for those who love animals. And we’re not talking just cats and dogs here, folks, but - according to their product categories - also ‘Bugs, Birds, Barnyard, Freshwater, Marine Life, Reptiles\Amphibians, Small Critters and Wildlife.’ Get your Octopus earrings here. All of which really raises only one question for us… someone likes bugs?

Got Crack?

No, silly, not drugs (nor plumbers), but the dreaded Crackberry. Blackberries were once hated only by executive trophy wives, but nowadays, everyone seems to have them.
  • As a user and abuser myself, I find this site to be a great resource. When you can find a case for an older Blackberry model that accommodates an extended battery, you know you’ve found a good site. Check them out at and read some reviews for the new Blackberry Storm.
  • You can also take the guided tour for the Storm at Verizon.
Well, that’s our shop talk for this week. (One week closer to Black Friday…. Make your own countdown timer at!)

Thanks for reading. Until next time,

Your friends and Shopping Advisors at DreamWorthy Gifts.

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