It’s that time of year again. Where the stores are flooded with people, trying to score that great deal. It’s cold, possibly snowing out (at least up in the North it is), there is no place to park, transit systems are full, commute time takes forever…. once you get there, forget a shopping cart down the isles, YOU can’t even get down the isles. Kids yelling. Then all of a sudden it feels like you are in a tropical climate, needing to strip down to your undies. Or maybe that is just how I feel trying to do this WAY over-rated holiday shopping crap.
We are sick. Do we really want to waist our spoons on going to the mall just to take hours looking for that ‘perfect’ gift for our loved one? Then on that big day, it is unwrapped within 20 seconds, looked at and tossed to the side. Maybe it was not what he/she wanted, wrong size, wrong color, this list goes on and on — especially if you have a teenager!
The last 2 holidays I found myself not wanting to go out in that hustle and bustle. A small part of me did miss all the fun going shopping with my mom. Taking a ‘break’ to have a cup of coffee and pastry. But who is kidding who? My body wants nothing to do with either of those items. All that sparkle that is built up in the holiday songs and movies looks great, but when I put my shoes on and go out in it… that is a whole different world. I would rather make my cherished memory on a day with my mother, when I am feeing good and there aren’t ten thousand people all clambering for that same ‘on sale’ item. Which honestly, didn’t I see that a few months ago for a cheaper price?
Now that the scene is set, you can probably tell that I now do a lot of online shopping. So, I have experience in what I am about to tell you. There are 3 (in my experience) great web-sites to go that will donate a certain percent of your purchase to a charity that YOU choose. Here are the facts based on what has happened with me:
- No, the prices are not increased at all for the company to donate money to your chosen charity. I have done many product/store comparisons with and without the sites I am going to tell you about and never have the prices been different.
- The whole process of purchase, mail time, etc is the same. Actually, I find the 1 place I am going to tell you about, even better than the regular website as you can track your history of purchases too.
- No money comes out of your pocket for the charity! The company that you order from is the one that sends money to the charity. Some do it on a monthly basis. Others have different contracts (between the store and charity).
- You can choose 1 charity, do your purchase and next time you can change to a different charity or keep the same one (default option).
OKAY ON TO WHAT YOU WANTED TO KNOW….
1) http://www.goodsearch.com/ – is my FAVORITE. They have a history area of all your purchases. They have COUPON CODES all ready for you, you choose what one you want. No hunting on the internet to find/try them. A tool bar can be installed into the browser you typically use. I did and NO virus! Whoo hoo. Simply search the internet with their search site and automatically if a store you go to will donate, on the tool bar it will show up with the percent it will donate and the coupon codes. You have to use the link within GoodSearch to actually have the donation work. This site has also expanded to dinning out. If you set up your card with them, and use it at the restaurant they have on their list, the donation will happen (provided you use the card you set up on the site). I have not tried that part yet, as there are no restaurants in my small town that does that.
2) http://givingworks.ebay.com/ — do you shop at E-BAY? If so, be sure to enter into E-bay with the “Giving Works” link, set up who you want as your charity and start shopping! If you sell on E-bay, you can have a percent of your sale go to the charity too.
3) http://smile.amazon.com/ – Amazon does the same thing as E-bay. Again you must enter into Amazon under the “Smile Amazon” site and set up your charity.
As a reminder if you do not go into Amazon or E-bay via the links above, then when you buy something, your charity will not get credit. Be sure to have these as your bookmarks and not the links you normally use.