VISA Perks Holiday Giveaway


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:24pm PST
Comments 372

VISA has launched VISA Perks, a new Canadian e-shop for the holidays. Their goal is to engage with those who are doing their holiday shopping online while offering deals with merchants (like 15% off at Birks, 25% off at Adidas, and more).

Shopping
Photo credit: freefotouk on Flickr

Over the last ten years I’ve mostly shopped for books online but recently I’ve purchased t-shirts, books, gifts, and more. It’s not so much that I don’t like going out to the store, it’s about finding the products I really like (and usually they’re across the border). However for some, online shopping is all about the experience. No parking lot races, no rushing to the shelves to find out they’re out of stock, no plastic bags cutting into your forearm as you wait in line for what seems like hours.

Everyone has their shopping pet peeves and horror stories but there can be some customer service saviours out there. Sometimes it’s nice to interact with others in the check-out line, have a coffee with a friend while browsing, and see the kids’ faces light up in the toy shop.

VISA has offered up a $50 pre-paid gift card for me to giveaway to a reader who shares their tip(s) for surviving the holiday shopping madness. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. You can also post the following on Twitter for an additional entry:

I entered to win a $50 VISA gift card from #VISAPerks & @Miss604 http://ow.ly/7C59i

VISA Perks has housewares, electronics, travel, flowers, sporting equipment, office supplies, and more. The winner will be able to use their $50 gift card anywhere VISA cards are accepted in Canada.

My tips for shopping in Vancouver: Take transit to South Granville, Granville Island or Robson Street where you can get some fresh air between shops and not worry about parking. There’s a great mix of local and international retailers at these locations where you can support community businesses and pick up those hard-to-find gems.

I will draw one contest winner at 10:00am on Thursday, December 1, 2011.

Update The winner is Nancy!

Current contests on Miss604.com

372 comments

  1. Erin says:

    Start your shopping as early as possible!

  2. Nicole says:

    I try to avoid malls and stick to online shopping!

  3. Jenn says:

    Make a list! Not just names, but what you want to get them, too!

  4. Allison says:

    Tip 1)
    Transit is your friend! NEVER try to find parking at Metro or COQ Centre! Just don’t!

    Tip 2)
    Go as early as you can. I mean, in the morning. I find the malls WAY less busy around opening time.

    Tip 3)
    PLAN! Make a list of what you need, get in and get out! Don’t wander, don’t get side tracked!

  5. Jeannie says:

    I shop all year round for xmas. I am usually done xmas shopping by nov.

  6. Andrerw Lacelle says:

    Go with a group and have one person stand in line and when you’re done you switch places with them so that way your spot in the line moves while you’re shopping.

  7. Ginger Leah Gervais says:

    I do most of my shopping in the summer time when toys and clothes are cheap πŸ™‚

  8. Stephanie says:

    When you see something that is either on sale or is a good price and would make a great gift for anyone, get it right then and there, one less item to think about later on πŸ™‚

  9. Donna L says:

    if you have a flexible schedule, shop during off hours. I find malls are the least busy when they first open.

  10. Kristina says:

    I try to start as early as possible but the holidays seem to be creeping up on me…too fast!! Also, don’t go to the mall on Fridays or weekends. Stick to during the week..less crowds.

  11. Marina says:

    I start shopping in the fall usually, and do a lot of online shopping. This year I’m living in a smaller town, so I’m also doing my best to go to small, independent retailers for unique gifts. I also pick up things while I’m on vacation – you can often find unique stuff! I’m usually done my shopping by early December, which means a trip to the mall is all about soaking up the atmosphere rather than standing in big lines… πŸ™‚

  12. Sonja Starke says:

    Online shopping! So many Web site offer special deals and free shipping at Christmas time so I always take advantage of it and avoid the crowds at the malls!

  13. Cliff says:

    Buy gifts that are consumable (food, booze, gift cards) so that people aren’t left with stuff they don’t want.

  14. Jenny says:

    I love shopping online because it usually allows me to get a great deal on unique items without having to search for them locally. It’s always nice to give some love to innovative, creative companies online and it’s awesome that big companies like Visa are offering discounts during the holidays:)

  15. Brenda says:

    Chip in with a group to get something nicer, instead of a lot of smaller separate gifts.

  16. Kathleen says:

    I start early, get gift receipts when possible and take part in sales, for example, I got two presents at the recent American Apparel Warehouse sale, great gifts, good price! I usually do some online and some offline, depends on the person and who I’m catering the present too. Staying local is always good (vancouver, bc area) and Canadian stores usually are my top online pick!

  17. Jenn says:

    Go to the stores during the day in the middle of the week — it’s not busy at all!

  18. Rachel says:

    Shop online!

  19. Sharylin says:

    I visit sites like http://www.etsy.com/ for unique gifts supporting entrepreneurial enterprises

  20. Albert C says:

    Purchase hard to get items online.

  21. Lloyd says:

    Use a list, no impulse shopping.

  22. Alice W. says:

    1) Shop early and online when possible. Great to shop in the States during Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. To avoid Canadian shipping costs/duties, you can ship your order to Blaine/Point Roberts parcel receiving companies.

    2) Support local small businesses – people tend to forget the local businesses and head for the malls. West 4th, Granville Island, Gastown, Yaletown, Main St. Lots of small businesses with really unique gifts!

  23. Victoria says:

    I try to get the little things on Boxing Day for the following Christmas…It really save a lot of money and time!

  24. Gisella says:

    Online shopping is great and usually offer better deals!

  25. Richie says:

    If you have a big family, do secret/dirty santa and set the $ limit at a higher price. That way everyone gets a quality present instead of a bunch of stuff they don’t need and everyone has a good time playing the game.

  26. Taigi says:

    Start early. Set a limit. Get the presents for the kids more then anyone else. Its their season more then anything. Spending time with family and friends is the best present I can get personally.

  27. Ruby says:

    Make a list & budget then start early! If you comb the sales as the year goes by, you will find you may already be finished by the time December comes. Yay!

  28. Sita says:

    Get shopping done throughout the year that way you don’t panic as the holiday season approachs.

  29. kelsey says:

    shop in the mornings when its not as busy

  30. Hayley says:

    Make sure you start your shopping early to avoid stress.

  31. Jenny says:

    who doesn’t love to go on a shopping spree? πŸ˜‰

  32. Amanda says:

    Keep snacks in your purse. It helps to occupy restless children, or boyfriends. Plus you get more done when you aren’t stopping for lunch.

  33. Kevin says:

    Make a list and do some research before going out and seeking the item you are looking for – check if stores have adequate supplies of the item before venturing out – if they don’t have it, buying it online is usually a good back up and avoids stress.

  34. Daniel says:

    Shop early! I have a running list of things that my friends say they like, and I just swoop it up online when the best deals are in place during the year.

  35. Diane says:

    Buy experiences (show or sports tickets, travel, whale watching, wine tasting)… most people don’t need any more stuff, plus you can enjoy the experiences together.

  36. Jeannelle says:

    Watch the flyers for deals once you know what you’re looking for.

  37. Avoid the malls and shop as local as possible – craft/holiday gift fairs, friends who own businesses (gift certs to hairdressers are awesome) or that mom & pop shop around the corner. Put your heart and thought into gifts for others, and use the wrapping and gift bags you got last year. We don’t need to invest in more cheesey decor. Also I have no qualms telling people what I want (to avoid unused gifts) so sometimes I like to just ask.

  38. Dilara says:

    I make lists and stick to them, plus I start my holiday shopping in October. By December 1st, I’m usually all done!

  39. Maryanne says:

    Online shopping saves time and money!

  40. Christine says:

    Shop online for sure!

  41. Bons says:

    My tip is to start doing shopping early and check out which stores have the best deals. This will help to avoid stress and the crowds!

  42. Lish says:

    Absolutely compile a list and as early as possible. Shop early in the day midweek if you can schedule it and watch flyers, sales are great in November.
    Plan your shopping days and have a plan, and do not bring friends … only slows you down.
    Online is amazing but be sure to double check shipping dates and all the fine print.
    (always good to make some cookies in case you forget someone)

  43. Joanne says:

    If anything, rather than purchasing gifts at multiple shops, I recommend minimizing the shops to purchase gifts as much as possible. Also, take transit whenever possible; finding parking at shopping centres can be very stressful and can take the wind out of a happy shopping experience.

  44. Sherrie says:

    When in doubt good coffee, a bottle of liquor or purdys chocolate always work. Gift certificates to favorite stores, movies, and music are my friend. And never think you can pick what a teen will like when your old….they will love money best!!!

  45. Shawn says:

    One of my favorite ways to shop for the holidays is to hit the craft markets.
    As a repeat shopper to Circle Craft I am familiar with the vendors and my list knowing what I am going to buy from favorite crafters/artisans/foodies and soap makers. I get gorgeous uniques gifts, enjoy the market and support creative types. A win win deal.

  46. Lindsay says:

    Take a day off and go while everyone else is slaving away at work! Shopping during the workday is much more pleasant.

  47. Thanks for the heads up….been doing lots of online shopping for xmas with my VISA but I didn’t know about VISA perks.

  48. Katie says:

    Start a list early and jot down anything throughout the year that your family member wishes for

  49. Joyce Lo says:

    I set a budget and scheduled and stick to it.

  50. Winnie says:

    Get an early start and shop in the mornings. It’s less stressful when there aren’t as many people around.

  51. liz says:

    I love it when the stores keep the late night hours or 24hours likr superstore did last year.A little Baileys after the big shop goes a long way as well.

  52. Tom says:

    Start early on weekdays.

  53. Frank says:

    Start shopping on Christmas eve. The malls are dead ! Always works for me.

  54. Parker says:

    I make a list of who I need to shop for and any rough ideas for them. Then I accept the madness and go in shopping!! The list is meant to keep me on target and to not buy things for myself….

  55. Shannon says:

    Shop online… Or give a gift that is an experience like a groupon or print a picture depicting what experience you would like to treat them to.

  56. Jan says:

    There is nothing I like better than to start early and and online.

  57. Lauren says:

    Take a day off work mid-week and hammer out as much shopping as possible as early as possible.

  58. Kelly Man says:

    Shop Early and always have a list and an idea where to get it before you leave the house.

  59. Do not go to the mall on a weekend

  60. Anthony says:

    Create a list and plan your shopping trip, start early in the day to avoid the crowds and stick to your plan.

    Whenever possible shop online as this avoids a lot of the headaches.

    Plan Plan Plan! A simple concept but most of us are too lazy to do it.

  61. jeanie says:

    phone ahead for availability…i find a lot of stores are more than helpful when you phone in to have a chat to check whether an item in particular is in stock. they sometimes even give you tips on sales or best times to come in! =D

  62. Ruth Hartnup says:

    Don’t get sucked in by the intensive marketing, especially if you have kids. One gift each is plenty (even if you’re shopping at Granville Island kids’ market and you’re very, very tempted). And buy things throughout the year as you find them, but don’t forget where you stashed them!

  63. Brenda says:

    Start shopping early! what I do is also buy stuff throughout the year if I think it suits somebody I know I will buy a Christmas present for.

  64. mary says:

    shop before the christmas season. there’s sale all year long

  65. Steph says:

    Shopping early! I’ve already finished the majority of my Christmas shopping…
    If you’re like me and don’t like buying stuff online, browsing online saves a bunch of time and you can drop by the store to pick it up.

  66. Wy says:

    Love online shopping…it’s easy, convenient and fast!

  67. belinda says:

    Do all the shopping on Black Friday.

  68. tracy says:

    i rarely shop online, but would love to do it more often.

  69. Jeremy says:

    Search online for sales and plan out where you are going to shop!

  70. ks says:

    Start early to avoid the crowds and try to support local artists/artisans. Plan ahead and buy things off season ahead of time.

  71. Jen says:

    Don’t leave it all until the last minute, bring your own cloth bag (easier to carry and holds more stuff) and give a Visa gift card to those on your list who are hard to buy for πŸ™‚

  72. Garrett says:

    Helpful hint: never argue with the wife about what someone might like. She’s usually right.

  73. MaryJane Oh says:

    I take down notes on what people have nonchalantly said they wanted or what I’ve noticed them looking at repeatedly throughout the year so I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about what they might like. I take notice of price points of those items when I’m out shopping for my own things and make a budget. If I see it on sale at anytime then I’ll pick it up early and store the gifts in one of my closets. I start shopping for the remainder in October to the first week of December and have had much success, and I always have rolls of wrapping paper for all occassions in my storage and a ton of cards so I don’t have to go out into the hectic stores to pick up those little items.

  74. Valerie Lee says:

    I don’t wait, I pick gifts up all year round if I see something I know would be right.
    Also , you can go wrong with food or something handmade!

  75. Jeff MacLeod says:

    Don’t wait until the last minute like I have a tendency to do. the last few years, however, I’ve started my Christmas shopping months in advance.

  76. Jennifer says:

    Shop on a weekday if you can.

  77. Viv says:

    Don’t wear turtleneck sweaters while holiday shopping! it’ll get stuffy after hours inside the mall

  78. stacey dempsey says:

    I try and wait till close to xmas that way i dont buy too much and i shop early in the morning or late at night. I have come to enjoy my xmas shopping as i know what items i want and i go get just that and there is no stress when i know what it is i want and am not aimlessly wandering about, i have a budget and i have to stick to it so there isnt much stress

  79. Tina says:

    Have a list of what you want to buy and shop early before the item you want it sold out.

  80. Anne-Marie T says:

    Tip for surviving the holiday shopping is to pace yourself. Don’t try to do it all at once.

  81. Sandra says:

    Wrap presents as you buy them. It’s less daunting than having a whole pile to wrap right before Christmas.

  82. Linda says:

    Throughout the year, keep a list of things that family and friends have mentioned they would like and shop early.

  83. Carolyn says:

    Online shopping is the way to go! No line-ups, rude people or parking issues.

  84. Lawrence says:

    Shop early. I usually purchase christmas gifts thoughout the year as I see things on sale that would be ideal for someone I know.

  85. Grace says:

    1. Do not leave Christmas shopping until the last minute. I start shopping for gifts as early as September as I see things that are suitable for my dear ones.
    2. Shop online for sales and use combine shipping!
    3. Purchase practical gifts.

  86. Andrew says:

    My favorite place to shop is – ONLINE!

  87. Fawn Mulcahy says:

    I love to shop local, small independent businesses

  88. Jeff says:

    Make a list, check it twice.

  89. Wuhong Luo says:

    Ok, $50 is not bad.

  90. Deena Humeston says:

    Of course I would like to win this! I’ll shop Canadian too, eh?

  91. Hello, I am not working right now because I had a silent stroke 4 yrs ago and
    this affected my memory.
    I am doing great now and am as pretty as ever. lol.
    I would be delighted to win this prize.
    My Birthday is December 13, 1954

    ahem, I resent being called a liar, you show me where I entered twice, even though it
    doesn’t say you can’t, I wouldn’t. I guess if you are selecting prizes, you will
    delete mine. Saaaad!!!!!!!!!!!!

  92. Angel Oh says:

    You don’t have to shop for everyone at one time. Make a list of people and the item you think you want to give to them. You can also start making the list as early as October.

  93. Ashley K says:

    Shop later in the day, after dinner time if you can. Less people, and shorter lines.

  94. A.L. says:

    I would make a budget first to see how much I can spend on holiday gifts. Then, shop around for places with the most affordable prices. If possible, bargain for a lower price or buy the things when they’re on sale. With so much to be done, I would strongly suggest shopping early (like in November)!

  95. Donald says:

    Drive to Oregon State no sales tax! 8^)

  96. isha says:

    start early and use the internet to find the sales and bonuses

  97. Janet says:

    My tip would be to consider getting gifts that support charities. Some charities have gifts that go directly to support those in need (e.g. UNICEF – your money will buy a child story books) or you can even buy items that will support the charity (e.g. WWF – you can adopt an animal with your monetary donation and get a plush toy in return). You might also get a tax receipt for your donation.

  98. Maria says:

    I keep list of things my family and friends want or like throughout the year. I work best under pressure so I try to do the shopping all in one day.

  99. Caitlin says:

    Always get gift receipts!

  100. Nancy says:

    Go when the mall just open. Make a list and do most of the shopping before December.

  101. Victoria says:

    I agree with you in the fact that you should take public transit.
    But also start early in hopes to avoid the crowds.
    Some Canadian companies have adopted the Black Friday Shopping Holiday so try to take advantage of those deals so you can stretch your dollar!

    Thanks for having this contest πŸ™‚

  102. I agree with you ,Make a list, check it twice.

  103. marianne says:

    Any kind of shopping is fun! Yeah, VISA Perks!

  104. Gideon says:

    The best thing to do is walk down to your closest shopping district and buy from all the independent shops in your area, trying to find products that are made it Canada. This will help you by not driving, this will help your local retailer, and this will help the people of Canadian rather than some far off country that doesn’t necessarily even like Canada. That’s what I try to do.

  105. Ed says:

    Shop early. Malls are already a traffic nightmare. Take transit if you can.

  106. Katrina Brady says:

    I buy things throughout the year as I see them. You are already out so it saves time, no crowds and you don’t have to have a huge bill at the end of the season!

  107. Cecilia says:

    Definitely make a list before you do your shopping and have rough idea of where you’re going to get those items so you can hit those spots without doing any impulse buys or linger too long anywhere.

  108. maria says:

    My best tip is to start Christmas shopping as early as possible. If you must go to the mall, go during the weekdays at dinnertime, most ppl plan to come after dinner.

  109. Julia says:

    Set a budget and stick to it.

  110. lindawwww says:

    Check through all the Christmas sale flyers that come through the mail and in newspapers to get ideas for gifts; make your lists of what to buy everyone and then go shopping.

  111. Jennifer M. says:

    Make a list early of who you are going to buy gifts for, and start purchasing the items several months before Christmas!

  112. Robyn Smith says:

    Holiday shopping! Yay!

  113. Robyn Smith says:

    Cancel Christmas all together? Or avoid the mall in the last week leading up to Christmas!

  114. Daryl says:

    Shop online if you can but also watch the weekly flyers for the deals at your local store. Shop early mornings and or late evening. Make a list and stick with it at the mall if not you will be wondering and wasting time.

  115. Chelle says:

    Go shopping during the off hours–early morning, especially on a weekday if possible. Or find locations of your favorite stores that are a bit off the beaten path.

  116. Katherine says:

    If you can, online shopping – and now! How easy is that? No need to even leave the house.

    Otherwise, find markets and small boutique areas, such as those in Kitsilano or small towns like Maple Ridge. These stores have a rep for being expensive, but they are not all expensive, and you will find totally unique stuff! Plus the lineups won’t be out the door.

  117. Devon says:

    Momma needs a new pair of shoes! πŸ™‚

  118. Erika says:

    This might sound crazy but last minute shopping is the best, and I mean last minute as in xmas eve!
    how in the world you ask?

    Well, when you have so little time to shop you go for what you need, find new deals, and you don’t go around in circles all over the mall, is a get in get out situation!

  119. Devon says:

    Online shopping and making lists on your handheld the moment you think of them…

  120. Alex says:

    Don’t wait till the last minute! Look for big sales happening now

  121. Serena Debolt says:

    Don’t think you have to buy a present for EVERYONE. People overspend and end up getting nothing in return. Only buy for your immediate family.

  122. Andy says:

    Ah.. the holidays..

  123. Fay says:

    Set a family gift limit – in recent years my family has set a maximum spend of $35 per person. You’ll spend more time thinking about the person and what gifts to buy and avoid being sucked into buying junk just because it’s there and looks pretty.

  124. Mariella says:

    Start your shopping early and have your list of gifts figured out before going into the shops.

  125. dali says:

    try to make gifts yourself, if you have the time, it means so much more

  126. Maya says:

    Finish your shopping in November!

  127. chrissy says:

    stay well fed and lots of coffee!

  128. Muckymoo says:

    Suggest a secret santa exchange where you only buy one present for one person and not for everyone. This leaves less shopping and more money to donate to your local food bank.

  129. Sundeep says:

    One year I shopped on Christmas Eve and got everything I wanted for everyone on my list so quickly! It was surprising!

  130. Christine says:

    Shop all year round and online whenever possible!

  131. Lindsey says:

    Go later at night or really early in the morning to avoid the super busy times.

  132. Christel says:

    Buy all year long and make lists!

  133. fiona says:

    start with a budget and have a shopping list handy. Also try to avoid last minute shopping.

  134. David says:

    Avoid the lines and use online shopping. Many sites have free shipping offers at this time of year.

  135. gigi says:

    I like to shop at consignment stores to not only avoid the crowd, but also to get one of a kind pieces.

  136. Vince says:

    consignment stores are good – so are the local christmas craft fairs!

  137. tania says:

    Buy a gift with a group of people, it makes for a nicer gift!

  138. rino says:

    browse flyers, know what you want before you go

  139. Deidre says:

    go early, but try to shop early in the year as well.

  140. Krystal says:

    To avoid crazy mobs of people, I try to go shopping early in the morning when the stores first open. All the good stuff is here – anything on sale hasn’t been pillaged yet and usually the stores dont get busy until after everyone else has gotten their morning latte around noon.

  141. Katie says:

    I keep an eye out for sales through out the year and then save these items for Christmas.

  142. sarah w. says:

    Do Secret Santa with an expensive gift!

  143. lee roberts says:

    I’m a shift worker. So I can go during the week!

  144. LB says:

    Hit independant boutiques rather than big chain stores – you’ll find more interesting stuff and have more room to breathe, not to mention supporting your neighbours in their business ventures!

  145. Carol says:

    Do as much shopping online as possible and as early as possible.

  146. Are says:

    Shop all year round to avoid the madness in December!

  147. Michelle says:

    With 2 small kids, I try to NEVER be near a mall during the month of December. I try to do my shopping beforehand; I usually start picking stuff up during the summer, and stockpiling it; that way, it’s so so expensive all at once.

  148. Tina C. says:

    Look for deals both online and in stores and shop early (can emphasize this enough)!

  149. Cynthia Booton says:

    My advice is to shop early and look for bargains so you don’t overstretch your budget.

  150. Gwen says:

    I like to get as much done early as I possibly can. The I like to go out and walk around in december without stress.

  151. kim says:

    shop early, shop online πŸ™‚

  152. Curtis says:

    Know what you want, research online, and get there early!

  153. Sunshine G says:

    Skytrain to avoid parking and get there when the mall opens!

  154. Tara Davies says:

    Shop online and look for free shipping. Saves transportation, gas, parking $$$

  155. Kristin Hierck says:

    Online shopping makes everything easier!

  156. linda says:

    Keep it simple. It’s not about the things it’s about the people.

  157. Patrick says:

    such a nice perk!!!

  158. Denise says:

    Shop weeknights as it’s less crowded… never weekends… or try going to the stores open 24 hours.. like Walmart πŸ™‚

  159. Lucinda says:

    Great for a student on a budget.

  160. Heidi says:

    Start early.

  161. Tooth Fairy says:

    Sometimes expensive or material gifts are not as valuable as the gift of your “time” Spend some quality time with family and friends. Some simple homemade gifts can also be easy and special!

  162. Dennis says:

    Plan ahead, stick to the budget, and finish before December 1st. Take a break while shopping at a mall, enjoy a coffee and relax.

  163. Tiffany L says:

    shop on weekdays and shop early πŸ˜›

  164. Bonnie says:

    Make a list, get your shopping done sooner than later, shop during off peak hours, and do as much shopping online as possible to avoid the stress of the massive crowds.

  165. ammyyy says:

    Shop in the morning. For anything! At the mall and even groceries. And even scope out deals online first before leaving the house.

  166. blessedta says:

    Have a budget and make a list.

  167. Robyn says:

    My main tip for surviving the holiday shopping madness – buy gifts for friends and family all through the year. I love to window shop at Christmas without all the pressure of having to find something. If I do find something else I can always buy it and save it for a birthday.
    Otherwise, bring snacks in your purse! Nothing worse than trying to push through on empty. I like to have a treat for my patient husband when he’s being a trooper during the holiday craziness.

  168. Gina G. says:

    I like to shop at craft shows during the holiday season to pick out wonderful homemade gifts (which also supports local entrepreneurs), as well as make my own creations from stores like Michael’s.

  169. Stotes says:

    Resist impulse shopping-know what you want, get in and get out!

  170. stephanie says:

    I am a terrible christmas shopper. I do it all the wrong way. It has become kind of a tradition for me, that panick of last minute running around. It would not be christmas unless I am going crazy.

  171. Judi says:

    the only place to get CD’s is on-line

  172. Grace says:

    Stalk Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

  173. Josephine says:

    Don’t try to go shopping on the weekends – its a madhouse. Go nice and early and, if you have time, during the week

  174. kahhlee says:

    Take transit, stay calm, and carry on. And enjoy!

  175. tara says:

    one month (plus a day) till christmas!

  176. Jen Han says:

    Plan plan plan get a great list going and shop early to avoid the rush! I hate last minute shopping!

  177. James says:

    I need to buy something for my wife!! This would help!

  178. Mel says:

    Best tip to survive holiday shopping: make a list of everything you need to buy and search for everything online. Planning ahead of time and knowing where to shop is much better than going into a mall like a loose cannon.

  179. Lori Davis says:

    Compare prices on on-line shopping. Yet another guud contest. TY @Miss604 guud luck every1

  180. Mila says:

    Shop for gifts all year round.

  181. Amanda says:

    My tips for surviving the holiday shopping are to never go on the weekends and have a plan! Know what you need to buy and where to find it. If you are really ambitious, check out flyers and prices online before heading out to get the best deals!

  182. Barry says:

    Avoid the crowded malls, and shop online or at smaller retailers in detached shops.

  183. janice says:

    Don’t drive because parking is a painnnnn.

  184. Joey says:

    Bring a friend, and don’t try to do it all at once!

  185. Shopping local is a favorite tip for me! I find it easier to get personal service and often little extra’s are included like gift wrapping or just making a phone call to the shop owner and they will send out the gift for you. It’s also a place to find something unique and different!

  186. Jeanie says:

    two words: SHOP EARLY!!!!! πŸ™‚

  187. merisa says:

    my niece and I make ours..Grandparents like the homemade gifts..they have everything they want so y buy them more ‘stuff’

  188. Teresa says:

    I try to do my shopping at craft shows, online, and in independent stores. Mostly because I want to support independent businesses, but also because I can find less usual gifts.

  189. Christine says:

    I need to get in the zone. Headphones in, tea in hand. Block out the craziness and get it done!

  190. Coralie says:

    if you live close to the border, shop in the states! way better deals, especially on the food you will eat during the season!

  191. JT says:

    Deep breaths. Understand that everyone else is trying to do the same thing as you, so take it all in and enjoy it. It’s only shopping – it’s a luxury!

  192. Allie says:

    I say avoid malls altogether if you can. Fresh air between stores is the key to staying energized.

  193. Chris says:

    Make a plan of attack. Instead of going from store to store looking for a gift, plan ahead what you are looking for and what stores to stop into. You save so much time and money.

  194. Kody says:

    Hello, Christmas shopping…

  195. Imran says:

    Create something yourself to give to others. Something from the kitchen perhaps! And don’t forget to use green alternatives to wrapping paper, such as colourful newspaper pages!

  196. Val says:

    Buy experience gifts, even for kids. Their parents will love you.

  197. Joanne says:

    When the malls open on weekday evenings before Christmas, I go shopping on Monday or Tuesday nights between 6 and 9 pm. Way less crowded than weekends, or even evenings later in the week.

  198. anne says:

    take advantage of all the amazing local talent and check out a craft show!

  199. Adrienne says:

    Shop online!

  200. Annie Tomljanovic says:

    Leave the kids at home!!!

  201. Veronica says:

    Start early. And Budget..nothing worse than having Christmas stress with money blues.

  202. Deborah says:

    Shop early and online! Watch for groupons for deals

  203. Renn says:

    Shop early, go on weekdays, and check out local boutique stores on Main, Granville, downtown, or Granville Island!

  204. TY says:

    would love to go on a shopping spree! weeee!

  205. Laina says:

    shop EARLY and shop sales!! If you’re online shopping, make sure you give yourself enough time for shipping.

  206. Janina says:

    -Avoid shops/malls during busy hours and shop early during the week.
    -Subscribe to blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter and sites (like Miss604, Groupon, SPC) for deals!
    -Sometimes it’s easier and more convenient to shop online (with the same deals in-store and free shipping).

  207. Martha says:

    make a list of what you really are going there for to buy, don’t get distracted or else you will be there forever with horrid crowds!

  208. Alison says:

    I like to dedicate a day to ‘shopping for inspiration’ before making final purchases. That way I can shop for sales and avoid gifting remorse!

  209. mitzi says:

    shop between nov 30th and dec 20th!

  210. Alicia says:

    I always plan out exactly what I’m getting and where so I can do my shopping in 1 or 2 days.

  211. Bronwyn Livingston says:

    Home made gifts from the heart! Fun to make individual gifts for those special people!

  212. Tracy says:

    go shopping on a weeknight

  213. Kevin says:

    Do some black Friday shopping.

  214. Annie says:

    The secret of avoiding crowds and getting sizes/stock…

    SHOP early! Going in November may be better than going in the middle of December.

    Also if you don’t have school or work, shopping in the morning in the weekdays can help beat the crowds as well. Stores are also much cleaner and neater

  215. Jenn says:

    start shopping by summer so you’re done by thanksgiving!

  216. Cait says:

    Try to finish your holiday shopping before December 1st, so you can actually enjoy the holidays.

  217. Jovita says:

    Have a game plan before you hit the mall to shop. That way you stay on track. Also, shopping early on a weekday is great because it’s less busy. The key is to stay focused on what you actually need to buy.

  218. lindsay says:

    I try to finish my Christmas shopping by mid November, it crept up on me this year – looks like I’ll have to brave the crowds or shop online

  219. Beki Liang says:

    Stick to a plan!! Figure out exactly what you are getting and for whom and how much you are spending. Break up the shopping into different sessions (for your sanity!!)…3 or 4 people every couple days. Plan the route you are using and stick to the shops that are required. DONT STRAY!!! Try to commit to an hour or a couple hours to each session…if you finish early, consider yourself lucky and get outta there! (If you like, treat yourself to something small as a reward for sticking to the plan) =)

  220. Debra says:

    A few of my friends get together with the gifts that they did not like and we swap them. So it’s like re-gifting, once removed.

  221. amazon is you friend. order online, get it wrapped and shipped direct!

  222. Kira Marie says:

    Retweeted and happy to comment to enter! Thanks!

  223. Justine says:

    My #1 tip is to be patient and courteous with each other. It’s such a busy time of year and holiday shopping can get so stressful. Sometimes it brings out some of our nastier traits. Smiles and kindness go a long way.

  224. Colleen says:

    Go away for Christmas – that’s what my family is doing this year. We all booked a 3 week trip to Africa. Okay, so MUCH more expensive that just Christmas shopping, but it will be an unforgettable family experience.

  225. Lauren says:

    Online shopping only!

  226. Rebecca says:

    Start early. Shop online. Shop at small businesses. Try going to a charity shopping night at a mall.

  227. Dana says:

    Shop online for out-of-town family/friends. No waiting in line at a store or the post office!

  228. Elisa Tang says:

    shop early!

  229. Simon says:

    Keep shipping times in mind when online shopping. And then add extra if you’re using Canada Post!

  230. Iz says:

    Woot awesome prize!

  231. Jaime says:

    Over the past couple of years I’ve really started to embrace online shopping because it’s so much easier to compare and research items right there while I shop! πŸ™‚

  232. Karen C says:

    I tend to shop online. More stocks AND sizes, AND the discounts are sometimes better! At malls, if it’s boxing day or black friday, I tend to wake up super early so that I miss the rush hour.

  233. Francis says:

    Christmas craft markets are fun and have unique gift ideas (with an increasing number of vendors accepting VISA).

  234. NM says:

    Keep in mind what purchases you want to make. That way when you go into a store, you know what you planned to get..Otherwise, you’ll lose focus and spend more money.

  235. Andrew C. says:

    Christmas shop all year except for Christmas time

  236. Carrie says:

    Shop througout the year.

  237. Leslie says:

    wake up early to hit the stores! and bring a set amount of cash to spend on each person so you don’t go overboard on your budget.

  238. Sandy N says:

    Arrive at the mall early, so you can find a parking spot easier.

  239. Ron says:

    Shop early. It’s the only way to survive the holiday season!

  240. Vaughan says:

    Shop on Black Friday or Boxing day!

  241. Ann says:

    Shop early for Christmas!

  242. Brooke says:

    shop online in november.

  243. Teresa K says:

    Make a plan.

  244. Denise P says:

    Make a list; shop online; and.. the early bird gets the worm! Arive as the store opens πŸ™‚

  245. Ruth says:

    shop online, avoid the crowds and then you can spend time choosing something special for everyone.

  246. valerie says:

    Survival tip: avoid the big malls and give your business to the small, family-owned businesses!!

  247. Raia says:

    Shopping online means more sizes, I’m the most popular size in clothes and shoes, and I find they sell out fast at the store!

  248. Mark Dawson says:

    Shop on 4th Ave!

  249. Loris Mendoza says:

    Buy online πŸ™‚

  250. anash says:

    DO not go shopping during the madness, number one tip on survival! Thanks for this splendid giveaway

  251. anash says:

    I tweeted at http://twitter.com/#!/anashct/status/140316953343561728
    email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  252. mike l. says:

    Purchase online.

  253. Sharon says:

    The mall is insane. Shop online.

  254. lori says:

    When your local mall starts its extended holiday hours, go during those hours for the first week, as most people won’t yet realize that the hours are now available.

  255. Dan says:

    I ask my wife for a list and know where to go and what to get.

  256. Lori says:

    Shop online – just love that!

  257. Andrew says:

    Shop online. Save the gas

  258. icitea/Clare says:

    Keep an eye out for presents weeks before black friday… then take the transit to a mall during lunch time (when everyone is busy eating) and buy, buy, buy!

  259. Renfrew says:

    Shop online as much as you can. It’s so convenient.

  260. Jenn says:

    Shop at craft fairs and the Holiday Farmers Market. Give the gift of local products, hand-made with love. Chai Honey? Original jewellery? Recycled Wallets? Lovely pottery? There’s something for everyone. If you have more time on your hands, make something yourself or give an experience rather than a thing.

  261. padme amidala says:

    I am doing some of my shopping online.

  262. nina says:

    love shopping online!

  263. Teresa says:

    you don’t have to spend a lot but do spend a little at a small retailer…don’t forget to shop outside of the big box stores!

  264. Britta says:

    This year I’m using an iPhone app to budget and create my shopping list. So handy!

  265. Shannon says:

    I’ve not done much online shopping, but would love to get more into it. Would definitely enjoy the perks of no crowds! πŸ˜€

  266. Darryl says:

    Remember to shop local and support small business this Christmas season.

  267. Angela says:

    Gift shopping is both one of the best and worst experiences ever! It’s all worth it once you see their faces light up… if you got them the right gift that is! :p

  268. Natalie says:

    Lots and lots and lots of wine. lol. Surviving shopping? Online all the way!

  269. Anakin says:

    Take a day off mid-week and go when the stores open to beat the crowds. Of course, there are NO crowds online and you can shop at midnight.

  270. Sam says:

    We’re sending family photos – Who needs more β€œstuff”?

  271. Eran Roubini says:

    Don’t be in a rush and enjoy the experiance.

  272. vishi says:

    I coild use the extra 50$ to pay for my flight so I can see my girlfriend this chirstmas

  273. Jo-Anne says:

    Take a list of the people who you are buying presents for and check off the names as you find the gift. I try to shop local merchants, within walking or transit distance, as I don’t like making huge treks out of my “comfort zone”! I also, for the most part, don’t shop the last minute sales. I try to do shopping through the autumn. Makes me less crazy!

  274. Doris says:

    Avoid mall traffic and shop online or boutiques

  275. Brenden says:

    Avoid the parking lots! Either take public transit if your shopping load is manageable by one person, or arrange pickup by a friend or spouse if you bought a lot of stuff.

  276. Jeff says:

    Go an hour before the malls and/or shops close. The least busiest time of day!

  277. Dixon says:

    Make a list of what you are buying and browse online instead of in-store. Cross the border when it isn’t busy to get better deals (and wait for the Canadian dollar to go up!)

  278. Maggie says:

    I think the most important thing is to start early and have a plan! I always try to decide on gifts beforehand, or at least make a shortlist. Many malls have extended hours, so it’s always good to go late at night or early during the day!

  279. Melissa says:

    Last year I avoided the madness by running off to Haiti to volunteer for 2.5 months. Instead of worrying about when to put up the tree and what to buy all my friends and family it brought me back to the true purpose of the holiday… being with “family” and “giving back”. We had a beautiful dinner and made decorations for our tree “really just a few sticks spray painted white). It was the most beautiful thing ever. This year, instead of gifts, I will be paying for some very special children’s education in Haiti (www.globaladolescentproject.org). No stress and greatly fulfilling. Happy holidays!!

  280. Mena says:

    Online shopping bestest way to get it all done without having to deal with the malls!

  281. caitlin says:

    i keep a list of gift ideas year round, then when its time, do all my shopping online! easy!

  282. Mare says:

    Shop early in the day and on a week day if possible. Online shopping is gr8 for books and home decor such as candles and diffusers, soaps if you know someone’s fave scent. Shopping for other people’s kids? If poss avoid toys and buy books online. Most of all, keep it simple and fun and remember this is a time to be with loved ones not a time for stress

  283. Laura R says:

    Start early! I try to start my holiday shopping in November to miss the rush. It also helps to know what you’re going out to buy before you leave the house. Do your research online, shop around to find the best price and sales, then head out to pick up those specific items. It saves time and money!

  284. Andree says:

    Go early, when the malls/stores open to avoid crowds/lineups.

  285. Lionel says:

    Shop for perfume, etc. for your significant other in the afternoon of Dec 24 at Bay downtown. The clerks are happy to help and they like to give extra samplers. They’re in a good mood because Christmas shopping is almost over.

  286. Wilson says:

    Shop early, shop online.

  287. Kaitlyn says:

    My tip is to always do your shopping research before you go. Figure out the best present for each person on your list, do some online research to see who has it and at what price, and then get it (online or in store). I also like to look at the floor plan of the mall online and create a route beforehand (this prevents me from stopping in a store that I like to buy items from for myself).

  288. Heather says:

    The best gift is time… Snowboarding, going to a movie or play, biking on the seawall then stopping for a hot chocolate. Life is about experiences not ‘stuff.’

  289. Elysia says:

    Make a list and check it twice!

  290. Armando Tang says:

    make a list, set a budget and shop early

  291. Harpreet says:

    Shop online and at local independant stores…rarely haveto deal with crowds!

  292. Helen says:

    Shop early and shop online!

  293. Sara says:

    Definitely going to be doing some christmas shopping online! $50 visa gift card is such a great idea

  294. Shelley says:

    Try and do your shopping at stores very early in the morning, or late at night. Some stores stay open 24 hours during the Christmas season, so try going at odd hours to avoid all the lineups. It works for me!

  295. Annie says:

    shop online and avoid malls!

  296. Tracy says:

    Shop throughout the year or at least shop a few months in advance!

  297. marianne says:

    Any kind of shopping is fun! Merry Xmas!

  298. Guri says:

    Wow, 300 comments already?

  299. Benjamin says:

    Make a list, put the stove-top espresso machine on to make some coffee, warm up some coffe cake and lean back on the ‘puter chair and stretch your wrists & fingers before tripping the light fantastic wih the keyboard n mouse whilst enjoying the feeling of slippers while the rain pours down outside. And then think about what to buy that special someone with a $50 Visa gift card…

  300. ikkinlala says:

    Give gifts of experiences rather than things. That way you can avoid the shopping (or, in the case of tickets to a place or event, you can usually do the shopping online).

  301. Heidi says:

    Shop at odd hours and online as much as possible!

  302. Shel says:

    Make a list with specifics so you’re not just wandering around aimlessly. And get a gift receipt whenever possible.

  303. Gordon says:

    Shopping online can find you great deals but to help the local economy, go to stores and shop during odd hours (like weekday evenings). πŸ™‚

  304. Britt says:

    Go to Metrotown during the morning on a weekday – it’s the best time to go! Not so crowded then, so you can actually get your shopping done without the hordes.

  305. Vicky says:

    Shop on-line in your Jammies…

  306. Angela R says:

    VISA ME!

  307. Karen says:

    Shp on a Wednesday evening and take the bus:)

  308. Linda says:

    i’ve been shopping for my xmas gifts all year long – get stuff you know ppl will LOVE and be done all your xmas shopping by november – like me πŸ™‚

  309. Nancy says:

    Shop online, and for god’s sake… avoid malls!

  310. Portia says:

    I have a ‘gift closet’ where I would periodically add things to throughout the year, that way I can quickly get it done right after halloween. no stress, no mess!

  311. lsia says:

    sadly im those who are always stuck with last minute shopping -_-“

  312. Kim says:

    Do your homework online first and then head to the stores. Go at non-peak hours when possible.

  313. SP says:

    Shop online! Yah!

  314. Mae says:

    My friends and I shop for each others’ gifts during the Boxing Day Sales, to save on money. But if you must give gifts before Christmas, make a list of people you want to get gifts for and budget for each gift and then brainstorm some gift ideas before you go shopping for them.

  315. Michelle Webster says:

    Take advantage of stores extended hours, shop late at night or early in the morning. Stores are less busy at these times. If you leave it to the last minute, there’s no escaping the lineups, so just accept it as part of the adventure, smile and be nice to the retailers/workers. If you think your day is stressful, imagine being in their shoes!

  316. richard w says:

    Shop on-line and/or do some homework on-line as well.

  317. Jaclyn says:

    Shopping online is a great time-saver!

  318. CA says:

    Definitely agree about the transit tip! I was just down on Robson last night.

  319. Karen S says:

    Get your friends together before the holidays and put everyone’s names into a hat–everyone draws one name. Then you only need to buy one gift instead of multiple gifts!

  320. Make sure that you do your research first online or in print before heading out shopping. Great for comparison shopping and potential coupons!

  321. Ceci says:

    Shopping online is so much easier and you can avoid all the hassle of going to the mall.

  322. FPJensen says:

    when you wake up from a dream and absolutely must have *it*, turning on the laptop & doing a search to find what you want & getting it, is the difference between real time reality & missing out by waiting.. having a credit card helps!!!

  323. Kim says:

    I always come to the mall with a list of what I want to get, that way I am prepared and do not get sidetracked. I always price check before as well.

  324. Margaret says:

    Shop early to avoid crowds or shop on-line in the quiet of your own home while wearing your pjs.

  325. Farhan says:

    My tip: STAY AWAY FROM MALLS.

  326. Naz Q says:

    definiately start shopping early!

  327. Sheryl Stephenson says:

    This would be helpful

  328. Leonora G says:

    My tip is to phone for whatever you can – to check where to park to be closest, to see if they have what you’re looking for – to see if there are any early/late off-rush hours. And another tip is to do ACTIVITY gifts – share an activity with your family member or friend, instead of something “material”.

  329. Judith says:

    I would say a real stress reliever is to survey online then call some stores for the product and get them to hold it at the desk then just pop in and pick it up…even alternate your lunch break for an hour before so you can get there when it’s relatively quiet πŸ™‚ It works and you have done all your research already πŸ™‚ I avoid “emotion buys” this way πŸ™‚ It works for me πŸ™‚

  330. Emma says:

    I find that if I go before/after “regular” hours, the stores are less busy and then I can get my shopping done faster.

  331. sandy says:

    nice little bonus before xmas

  332. Laura says:

    Handmade gifts! The craft & grocery stores aren’t nearly as busy as the mall!

  333. Laura says:

    Shop alone! Leave the kids, husband, and friends at home. Go shopping with a list and with purpose, and get in and out as fast as possible!

  334. Scott says:

    Do your research in advance/look for the best deals online before heading out to the malls whenever possible.

  335. Eileen says:

    Online shopping all the way!

  336. myra says:

    Online shop or do your research online, so you can go in and get out as fast as possible! Also, if you must venture into crowds, add a little bailey’s to your blenz/starbucks, etc. as it’s the only time of year you can really do that (it makes being in crowds a little nicer..)

  337. Candice says:

    Support local, sustainable, artisan business. Shop @ethicaldeal. Make things out of found objects. Most of my gifts look like the spoils of elementary school art class actually πŸ™‚

  338. Thomson says:

    Time to start shopping!

  339. Katie B says:

    Give the gift of time and avoid malls. I find gifts such as meeting up with a girlfriend for dinner and a movie, going over to your parents house to make them dinner, or visiting the local mountain for some outdoor activities are very well-received gifts that help you avoid the unnecessary shopping mall madness!

  340. sher b says:

    $50 visa would come in handy for online purchases!! woot woot

  341. Cathy says:

    Christmas shopping has to start sometime!

  342. will says:

    do your shopping early!

  343. Car says:

    Make a list of potential items so you stay on track! Bring some environmental bags to make the shopping experience green!

  344. Megan says:

    Shop with a friend, go early, and be patient- but don’t over-think your choices.

  345. Gary says:

    Get in, get out, don’t think too much about “what if it’ll go on sale next week?” because it probably won’t.

  346. Lucille says:

    Online shopping is awesome!

  347. Cyndi T says:

    Take someone who hates shopping – they’ll keep hurrying you along

  348. Nicole says:

    My tip – know what you’re shopping for, go for that first, THEN browse for the extras. Also, get someone to help you hold your bags, especially if they don’t want to go into the store you want to go in – helps to have a few extra hands!

  349. harold victor says:

    Take the Canada Line to hit up malls in Richmond, Oak ridge and Pacific Centre.

  350. Shauna says:

    I like to decide on a category of gift – like calendars, or socks, or books – and find one for each person on my list. Sometimes I set the size because things have to be mailed and because it helps narrow down my search. Once I have a plan it’s best to take a day off work and avoid weekend shopping but I love to see the decorations and always hope to find a choir or quartet singing carols to brighten up the experience.

  351. Sherry says:

    Give experiences instead of things – try a show, play, sporting event, game, membership, etc.

  352. Linsy Rotar says:

    I know these have all been said, but I write lots of lists and budget for them. I’m never very good at the shopping early thing, but it would help. Also if you are online shopping, make sure to pay attention to shipping dates!

  353. Raju says:

    Shop online to beat the holiday rush!

  354. Tina says:

    Shop throughout the year rather than just before the holidays. I watch the sales throughout the year on the things I want to buy for people and by the time holidays roll around I would have bought all the gifts and saved lots of money.

  355. lucy kabatoff says:

    shop early

  356. AC07-NW says:

    plan everything: wake up early, transit scheds, mall to shop, important things to buy, and most especially your budget

  357. Dinah says:

    Make a list and start early in the day!

  358. Deb C says:

    Check flyers and websites of your favorite stores for the best deals and start at least 3 months early to get the best bargains. I shop all year round and always buy gifts on sale and shop during hours when the store isn’t so busy! Especially stocking stuffers! I saved so much money this year by simply buying my stocking stuffers (ie.body wash) on sale and sometimes with a coupon on top of the sale!

  359. Brad says:

    Stick to a budget and avoid weekends.

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