Christmas shopping hacks

3 holly, jolly Christmas shopping hacks for last-minute shoppers

One of the things I’ve always loved about shopping is the challenge. Most of the year, when I say challenge, I’m talking about hunting for the best possible deal, whether that’s in person or online. When it comes to Christmas shopping, however, there is an entirely different set of challenges. There’s making the list of friends and family you need to shop for; making sure you actually find something for everyone on your list; and, of course, making sure you get everything on your list in time for the actual holiday.

There’s no bigger challenge than overcoming the odds to check everything off your Christmas list at the very last minute. Waiting until the last minute is risky, of course, but when you find yourself in that position year after year, you start to develop some very useful hacks. I know I’ve certainly learned some great Christmas shopping hacks over the years, so much so that I am absolutely confident in my ability to finish my list, even if I’m still out there at the last minute.

3 Christmas Shopping Hacks 

3 Christmas shopping hacksSince Christmas is the season of giving, today I’d like to share some of my most useful tips with all of you. Waiting until the last minute can mean that you inadvertently put yourself at risk of not finishing your list, but with these three super helpful Christmas shopping hacks for last-minute shoppers, you can rest assured that it will be a very merry Christmas for all of your friends and family!

1. Ask About Price Matching

This first Christmas shopping hack is for anyone out there who likes to shop at online retailers that are a bit off the beaten path and might not offer free next-day shipping like Amazon. I know in recent years I’ve found great last-minute gifts at obscure online retailers. The problem, however, can be that their shipping window is either too long to get the gift to you in time for the holiday, or that expedited shipping costs so much that you might as well drive to wherever they’re located and get it yourself, which for obvious reasons isn’t an option.

The good thing, though, is that in order to compete with online stores, almost all brick-and-mortar retailers these days offer price matching. You just have to ask. If you find something for a cheaper price online, simply ask a brick-and-mortar retailer that sells the same item if they’ll match the price. In this day and age, I would be shocked if they didn’t. That one simple question could potentially save you both valuable time and money at the end of the Christmas shopping season.

Here is a quick list of some retailers that may price match:

  • Bass Pro Shop / Cabela’s
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Best Buy
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Fry’s Electronics
  • The Home Depot
  • JCPenney
  • Kohl’s
  • Lowe’s
  • Michael’s
  • Office Depot
  • Petco
  • Staples
  • Target

Holly, Jolly Score: 3/5 Hollies

2. Use Customer Loyalty Apps 

The next item on my Christmas shopping hacks list is also primarily for shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers, but don’t worry, we’ll get to one of the best Christmas shopping savings tips for in-person and online shopping in a moment. 

This tip involves using your smartphone to download the shopping apps offered by your favorite retailers. These are apps that have a wide range of features, from rewarding loyal customers with points to offering push alerts about new sales.

Here’s how these apps can save you time or money:

  • push notifications for sales
  • rewards programs
  • exclusive deals for users
  • in-store pickup after ordering on the app

The great thing is that there are just so many stores out there these days that have apps designed to help their loyal customers, which can really save you time, money, and sanity at the last minute during Christmas shopping. I know I’ve used my Starbucks app to purchase things like gift cards and mugs at the last minute. I’ve also used it to order coffee when I need a second wind to finish my last-minute shopping. So check around! Chances are, almost all of your favorite stores have apps of their own.

Holly Jolly Score: 4/5 Hollies

3. Use a Mobile Rewards Shopping App 

The last of my absolute favorite Christmas shopping hacks is an app called Shopkick, which you can use to make both your online and your brick-and-mortar shopping more fun! Simply put, Shopkick is one of the best Christmas shopping apps, if not the best. See, the way Shopkick works is that it rewards you with points, called “kicks,” for things you already do while shopping like walking into the store, scanning items, and making purchases. It’s also a level better than any of the usual free apps that give you gift cards because you can also get kicks when shopping online by watching videos, browsing through lookbooks, and of course, making purchases.

Then, you can redeem your kicks for cash back or free gift cards. Shopkick is my favorite Christmas shopping hack for a few reasons. I just love that I can use it to save even more at big online retailers from the comfort of my home. At the same time, it also gives my last-minute shopping a bit of a scavenger hunt vibe, which is really helpful when I’ve been out shopping hard for weeks and on the brink of being overwhelmed. 

What’s also great is that you can use Shopkick alongside the retail apps we mentioned earlier, doubling the opportunities to bolster your budget! Finally, getting my kicks is the absolute best way to take a little bit of the sting out of the pain that your budget suffers during the holidays. Plus, the Discover Tab in the app even has a handy gift guide, if you run out of ideas. Using Shopkick to help with your last-minute Christmas shopping is really a win-win situation!

Holly Jolly Score: 5/5 Hollies!!!

Earn Rewards During Your Last-Minute Shopping Trip

So there you have it—my gift to you. There are plenty of other hacks out there, too, but these have become my favorites over the years. I know I’ve used all three more than a few times to save myself time, money, and energy at the last minute.

There are plenty of other hacks out there, too, but these have become my favorites over the years.

I know that of those three, Shopkick is my absolute favorite. It’s such a versatile app, and I love that I can use it both online and when shopping in-store. I also love how much fun it brings to the holiday shopping process, and I truly hope you enjoy using it just as much as I do!

Christmas is almost here, but there’s still time to get your kicks! Shopkick makes shopping a rewarding experience. Download the app today and start getting your kicks as you finish all of your last-minute holiday shopping! 

Image courtesy of izzzy71



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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.