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Hello Kaibigan!

For us Filipinos, the last quarter of the year or what we affectionately refer to as the -BER months, ushers in our most favorite holiday, Christmas. We all look forward to getting together and celebrating with our family and loved ones. Yet at the same time, Christmas can be filled with dread for some of us, especially when it comes to SHOPPING.

Are you one of those people who find it hard to start or even get intimidated with Christmas shopping? Shopping need not be so stressful. Our best tip for a smooth and stress-free Christmas shopping? START EARLY.

Yes, we all know starting your shopping early is nothing new, but getting over the hump of procrastination is. So what’s a great motivation for getting over the “saka na” or “mamaya na lang” syndrome? An awesome deal!

We Filipinos love a great deal when we see one, especially if the product has been marked down considerably. More bang for your buck, as they say. Throughout the year, retailers have made it much easier for savvy shoppers to take advantage of these sales deals.

Apart from the usual major holiday sales like Presidents Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, there are lots of other sales happening in between. Take advantage of these sales opportunities, more so, if you are loyal shoppers of particular retailers, both online and brick and mortar.

Amazon.com is a great example of an online retailer that seems to have a sale everyday of the year! If you are an Amazon Prime member, keep a lookout for the myriad of sales that are created especially for members such as Amazon Prime Day every July.

Other competitors such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Target frequently match Amazon’s prices and will honor them if you find the price cheaper than either Walmart or Target. Shopping for electronics to satisfy the younger members of your family? Check out their Outlet section for open box items that are slightly used, some of which are in mint condition! Like Amazon, these retailers also offer free two-day shipping and in-store pickup options, a convenient service for shoppers.

For passionate Apple users in your family who are not fuzzy about the latest and greatest but are looking for a reliable, close to top of the line but still price-friendly device, check out the Apple website’s Refurbished and Clearance section (scroll down to the bottom of the page under the Apple Store heading). You will find like-new products that are backed that by a one-year warranty and a genuine refurbished stamp of approval from Apple, as well as qualify for AppleCare, free two-day shipping, and special financing options.

Alternatively, if the best price possible is the primary consideration when shopping for any Apple product, consider not just the popular retailers already mentioned above but also eBay, Newegg, B&H Photo, to name a few. Also, sign up for or download apps like CNET, Wired, and Engadget for product reviews, up to the minute deals, and the latest gift ideas (Apple and non-Apple alike) for any occasion and budget.

For the fashionistas in your family, shopping for clothes in brick and mortar stores remains the best option, especially for those who care about how the fabric feels, how the dress fits, and what the actually color looks like. Fortunately, thanks to instant video messaging apps, you can show and/or model the dress in real time with your loved one. You can then purchase the said dress as soon as it goes on sale either at the store or online. Similarly, you can do this with other items such as shoes, bags, and other accessories.

Another TIP: Shop for gifts or items on your list that are non-perishable first and then the closer you get to the -BER months, shop for the perishable items. This way, you buy food items that are newest as possible thereby preventing the buying them with expiration dates. Chocolates and canned goods are some examples that come to mind.

Lastly, once you have enough to fill a balikbayan box or two, start packing and putting together your boxes. Check out our blog on how to properly pack a balikbayan box. While we do announce a cut-off date for all balikbayan box shipments to arrive before Christmas, we ship all year round so you don’t to wait until the last-minute to send your boxes. Shipping your boxes early means avoiding potential delays, especially as we near the October time frame.

As usual, please contact our Hayward or Canoga Park offices, or any one of our registered agents for any questions or clarifications. We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Shopping Kaibigan!