Thursday, November 29, 2012
Before I had toddlers, I used to love bargain hunting and stalking clearance racks. And then I discovered exactly what sticky fingers can do to a perfectly good rack of sweaters. These days I get my retail kicks online. We use the heck out of our Amazon prime membership, and I’m an easy mark for “free shipping” codes elsewhere.
I like the steady stream of diapers, coffee, computer parts, office supplies, and playmobile people that arrive on our doorstep. I avoid dragging kids to big box stores and I save money. And this time of year, I love finding gifts while wearing my pajamas and having them arrive in boxes that are easy to wrap. WIN! And if you’re doing #NaNoWriMo or on deadline for a book, online shopping means more time to write. My favorite bargain sites this time of year:
· Think Geek. Check out their stocking stuffers section for cheap gifts for your favorite nerd boy (or girl!) And watch for their t-shirt and mug sales as easy, crowd pleasing gifts.
· Vista Print. Have cute kids or family pictures? You can accomplish all the grandma, aunt, uncle, and extended family gifts in minutes. I’m a big fan of the magnets as stocking stuffers and the desk calendars as universally pleasing relative gifts. Need gifts for your writer friends? Turn your RWA chapter logo or blog header into unique gifts. Their emails can get annoying, but it’s worth being on their mailing list for the amazing freebies and offers.
· Scholastic Book Club. If you have school-aged kids, your school most likely participates in this program. The website is far easier to navigate than the zillions of flyers and is a great way to give books on the cheap AND help your school. At our school, book orders are put in brown paper bags for pick-up and stapled shut. I use the $1 books as good friend/cousin presents.
· Zulily If you want to give kids’ gifts that look like they came from an expensive boutique without boutique prices or parking and hassles, this upscale kids’ bargain site is fabulous. I use this to stockpile emergency birthday presents for kids with hard-to-please parents or show-stopping shower gifts.
· Overstock. I get my mom’s gift here each year because they’ve got the best prices on things like bedding and house wares, and the reviews are usually accurate and helpful and the shipping is often free or super cheap even on huge items.
For the most part, though, my purchases are fairly tame. Boring even. However, the heroine of my recent release RETURN TO SENDER buys something online she doesn’t want anyone to know about. When her naughty mail gets discovered, the games begin:
Jack Donovan and Bree Hendricks have been in hot competition since their school days, whether it’s tussling over the best apartment or bickering over local leash laws. Bree never turns down a challenge, so when her new toy in its brown paper packaging is delivered to Jack’s doorstep by mistake, he seizes this perfect opportunity to make her act on the long-simmering attraction between them.
Bree is determined to set a good example for her teenage daughter, and that means no flirting, no flings and definitely no one-night stands. But a bout of saucy cybersex demonstrating her new dildo? There’s no danger in that. Unless Bree allows her heart to become involved…
You can read an excerpt here.
Do you like to shop online or do you prefer brick and mortar stores? Any favorite online retailers? What’s the craziest thing you’ve bought online?
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.
She often tweets about her latest online bargain finds, newest keeper shelf books, and other random tidbits and loves chatting. @AnnabethAlbert
You can also find her at http://www.annabethalbert.com and http://www.facebook.com/annabethalbert.com
Buy RETURN TO SENDER from your favorite e-retailer—out now with Amazon, Nook, and other sellers. Buy links here: http://annabethalbert.com/books/return-to-sender/
Posted by Meg Benjamin at 6:53 AM