A ‘professional’ shopper’s guide to online deals

Amazon Prime Day is a big event in our house. It may not be a notable holiday for some, but for me, a professional shopper (at least that’s how my husband sees me), it’s a great time to start Christmas shopping early. “Christmas shopping in October?”, I hear you cry. You might think I’m crazy, but when you have a lot of gifts to buy, spreading them over a few months can be a big saver – not to mention it takes the stress out of last minute purchases. Both Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday in November are traditionally when I do all my shopping, with bits and pieces bought in between. I very rarely make purchases in December – the whole month is set aside for decorating and wrapping: the presents are put under the tree to enjoy all month long. It drives my husband crazy!!

“I’m not a shopaholic, I’m helping the economy.” — Anonymous

Making a list and checking it twice

Christmas shopping can be stressful. What to buy the mother-in-law? Do we really need to buy something for every cousin?! Before the holidays it’s best to make a list of everyone you’re going to buy for, then allocate a budget for each person beforehand so you know roughly how much you’re going to spend in total. If you’re over budget, trim down what you spend per person, or cut people from the list – harsh but fair. Unless you’re a parent or sibling, if you’re over 18, you don’t need a gift.

I find it best to brainstorm what you think everyone will like before jumping right into the sales because it can get overwhelming. Another tip is to group people based on interest. For example, if we’re making appearances at three different Christmas parties and I want to bring a hostess gift, I’ll group them together so if I see a ‘buy two, get one free,’ deal that fits, I can save money too.

The best Amazon Prime day deals

Amazon Prime Day is a great chance to jump into the sales, especially if you’ve got tech gadgets or gaming your list. Amazon, a holding in Guinness Global Innovators^ and Rathbone Global Opportunities^^ had a number of its own products on sale this year, including the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite which the Telegraph included as one of the best deals alongside the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One S and Samsung Galaxy S20.

The Nintendo Switch is great for kids and adults alike. Perhaps this is because Nintendo, a holding in both Baillie Gifford Japanese^^ and Baillie Gifford Japanese Income Growth^^, has that nostalgia feel so many crave. But gaming is a multi-billion pound industry, so it’s no surprise Xbox is topped the list of deals. Microsoft, the makers of Xbox, and a holding in Brown Advisory Global Leaders^^, Premier Diversified Growth^^ and M&G Global Dividend*, which recently raised its dividend by 10%*, had a number of products on offer too: a new tablet or laptop and also simply updating your Office 365 subscription.

If you’ve been toying with the idea of upgrading your phone, or even getting your children their own, the Samsung S20 was reduced by £150 and available in four colours. Samsung, a holding in Invesco Asian^^, Schroder Asian Alpha Plus^^ and T. Rowe Price Asian Opportunities Equity^^, is no stranger to deals and can be a life-line for bargain hunters.

Looking forward to Black Friday

While Amazon also has a great Cyber Monday offerings, Black Friday is a good time to look at specific brands as well. Last year I got an excellent bargain at Ted Baker, a holding in Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth** fund, with 30% off deals. I’m hoping the deal comes around again in 2020. Dutch jeweller Pandora, a holding in Marlborough European Multi-Cap*** is another good chance for a deal. They have everything from BOGOF deals to limited edition charms and gifts.

^Source: fund factsheet, 30 September 2020
^^Source: fund factsheet, 31 August 2020
*Source: M&G Global Dividend, View from the Desk, Sept 2020
**Source: Marlborough September 2020 commentary
***Source: Marlborough August 2020 commentary

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