Thursday, December 10, 2020

Shopping For Christmas During A Pandemic

Shopping for Christmas gifts during a pandemic can be challenging. If you are like me who would rather go to the mall and pick out a gift, well, this year it would be better to just do as most people do - go shopping online.

Every year, I start my Christmas shopping as early as August, but this year is different. I opted to stay safe and keep my family safe so I took to online shopping.

Two big online shopping platforms are available in the Philippines, Lazada and Shopee. Before the pandemic, I would usually just browse their websites but I rarely bought from them. Now, I have experienced the convenience of getting the stuff I want delivered to my house. 

Both platforms offer discounts and free shipping on some items, and cash on delivery too. For every purchase and item review, you get free "coins" which you can redeem for vouchers. Tracking your parcel is easier with Shopee because you get updates on the app itself, unlike with Lazada where you have to copy your tracking number and check the status on the website of their delivery partner. A little bit of a hassle but no worries. I also love that both platforms send you get text messages/notifications that your parcel is out for delivery. 

The items I have bought from both platforms so far are:

1. Two Desk Mats
2. A gaming mouse
3. A 10 piece set of mouse pads
4. Three James Patterson novels
5. A set of Usborne Science books
6. A night lamp
7. A T-shirt (rare find)
8. An Edmark Pull and Chop chopper. 
9. A 100 ml bottle of neem oil 

All items were delivered to me in good condition. Each item was properly packed, no dents, no damage and I received them all on time. 

Did I have any bad experience so far? Yes. One of my purchases was for two multi-purpose desks. I was given a time frame for delivery but every time I would check the status of my order, it always says "Item packed," which means it was still with the seller and has not been moved to the courier or warehouse.  I messaged the seller and I got a response that they were having difficulties finding a courier because the items were bulky. And so I waited. And waited. And waited until finally, I got an email from Lazada informing me that my order has been cancelled due to the failure of the seller to deliver the items on time. Ugh. How frustrating. Waited two weeks only to have my order cancelled.

I have also tried shopping using Facebook Marketplace. I was able to get the desks I wanted from an online seller who was very responsive in answering my queries. She was even able to get me the desks I wanted in the color and size that suited my needs. 

The items I was able to buy from Facebook Marketplace are:

1. Two Ficus Nana plants
2. Two Himalayan Salt lamps
3. One 850 gram box of Epsom salt
4. Two World Craft Multi-purpose Desks 
5. Two 3-ft coco poles (for my epiphytes and orchids
6. A pair of wooden laptop risers 

Buying items from Facebook Marketplace seems easier, because they usually do same day delivery with a COD option and you can choose to purchase from sellers near you. The only setback is that their delivery fee is more expensive. But if you are good at haggling, you may still snatch a good deal for the item you like.

I am not done with my shopping yet. I wish my parcels would arrive before Christmas so I could still have time to wrap them and put them under the tree.

I haven't gotten a gift for myself though. I am eyeing a new Canon camera. I am browsing around for a good deal for any of these three models - EOS 3000D, EOS 2000D or a Rebel T6 (EOS 1300D). I rarely travel though, so you'd wonder why would I want a camera like this? I have always wanted one since I was young, but I had to set that dream aside because there were more important things to spend my money on - my kids' tuition fees. But now they are all done with college and are all gainfully employed, I am working towards making my dreams a reality. One dream at a time! Maybe with a camera like this I can try my luck at vlogging. 

Christmas may be a little different this year, but we are striving to keep the spirit alive. Family reunions may still push through, not physically though but with the help of technology. My cousins and I will be having a Zoom "party" so we can still "be together." Weird, but that would suffice for now.

Anyway, here's to wishing you all a blessed Christmas. Remember to always stay safe and abide by the minimum health protocols recommended by the government. 

Merry Christmas!


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