Last-minute Christmas shopping tips to save you time

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The shopping countdown is on. Last-minute Christmas shoppers are flocking to stores trying to check everything off their list.

Store employees are working as hard as they can to keep shelves stocked, but anyone looking for the most sought-after gifts will find slim pickings and will need to pack patience.

One option to make last-minute shopping easier: shop online and pick up the item curbside. Once you buy it online, you'll get confirmation it's ready for pick up and you just pull up to the curbside location and an employee brings your purchase right out to you.

Kristin McGrath, a shopping expert with RetailMeNot said, "Same day curbside pickup and most major retailers these days, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy's, Target all have it and some retailers also offer same-day delivery as well for items available locally if you're willing to pay a fee."

Some retailers even offer discounts if you order online and pick it up at the store or curbside. At Bed Bath and Beyond, you'll get 20% off your entire order with a 1-hour store pick-up. World Market offers 10% off. Apple is offering two-hour courier delivery on most in-stock items if you order by noon Christmas Eve. If you order online at Target, some items can be delivered by a Shipt shopper.

Another last-minute gift option is gift cards. Many restaurants and retailers are offering bonuses or discounts right now on gift card purchases. Don't just think about the traditional gift cards to big box stores and restaurants--thinking outside the box could make a great gift.

"You can give them an experiential gift card if they like to travel, maybe hotels.com," McGrath said. "If they like concerts and events StubHub is great, and you can also subscribe them to meal kits or give them a gift card for meal kit services like Home Chef if they're a foodie."

No matter if you buy curbside, in-store or online, don't forget one very important thing.

"A gift receipt is going to make everything so much easier. A lot of retailers will accept a shipping confirmation or shipping label as well if you received the item via shipping," McGrath said. Always look at the return policy and see if what you're buying comes with any warranty. You'll want to include that information with the gift so it makes it easier for the recipient if there are any problems.
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