Last Posting Dates

>> Last Posting Dates
One of the most useful sites you’ll find as you try to finish your Christmas shopping online: Last Posting Dates not only tells you the Post Office’s dealine to get your cards and presents in the post, but also pulls together information from many of the biggest and most popular online shops about when you need to place your order in order to ensure that it reaches you in time for Christmas Eve.

Give Or Take

>> Give Or Take
I’ve talked about charity shopping portals and cashback sites before on the programme. Give or Take lets you do most of your Christmas shopping online but gives you the flexibility to choose whether you’ll get cashback for the privilege or donate to charity at no extra cost to yourself.
The site is well laid-out and easy to use with simple instructions. Say you usually buy books or cds online from WH Smiths, Woolworths or Amazon … You can still buy from them, but instead of going straight to their site, you start by going to GiveOrTake, which generates a comission fee from your chosen retailer. You then have the choice of getting that commision as a cashback, or donating it (in full) to the charity of your choice.

Greener Offers

>> Greener Offers
We’ve talked about charity shopping portals before on the programme, but Greener Offers is one of a new breed of shopping sites which lets you offset your carbon emissions while you’re doing your online shopping.
Think of a shopping portal as an online equivalent to Bluewater or an Arndale Centre. You find a large range of familiar retailers under one virtual roof, and if you’re not sure which site to visit to buy a particular item, you can shop by category.
If you already shop online from sites like Amazon, Toys R Us, Next, Wickes, Dixons, Expedia or Eurostar, you can still make your purchase from your chosen site (and at no extra cost to you). But if you access that site by following a link from Greener Offers, you’ll ensure that your chosen retailer pays a commission which gets passed on to an organisation called Climate Care to spend on CO2 reduction.
On average, every £75 you spend offsets 1 tonne of carbon dioxide emissions.

Online Charity Giftlists

OxfamunwrappedLast week I featured a couple of new sites which help charities benefit as a result of your routine online shopping (more info here). Since then a number of listeners have asked me to repeat the details of the sites I featured last year which allow you to create an online wishlist of charitable donations.

Charities including Oxfam and Sightsavers have their own sites which enable you to choose a value of donation and see exactly what your gift will be spent on .
The Alternative Christmas List lets you create a gift-list of donations to different charities including Barnardo’s, Help the Aged, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Save the Children and Farm Africa.

Useful Christmas Shopping links

>> Last Posting Dates
>> Last Delivery Dates
The former site is self-explanatory. The latter is partiularly useful as it pulls together information from many of the biggest and most popular online shops about when you need to place your order in order to ensure that it reaches you in time for Christmas
>> GiftGen – Generate gift ideas according to budget and age of recipient
This is handy if you’re having trouble choosing a suitable gift for friends or family.  Start by choosing how much you want to spend,  then enter the age and gender of the recipient and finally choose from a list of hobbies or interests in order to get a list of present suggestions.
>> Retail Charity
>> Charity Checkout
By starting your Christmas shopping at one of these sites, you get to buy from most of the biggest names on the web or the high street knowing that they’ll donate a percentage of whatever you spend to the charity of your choice. It doesn’t cost you a penny extra, so you get the goods you’ve ordered with a side order of altruism and compassion!

My Supermarket

>> My Supermarket
Regular listeners will know that I’m a bit of an evangelist for online shopping in general and for price comparison sites in particular.
But I’ve always found that doing your grocery shopping online can be a frustrating experience, partially because the supermarket sites can be slow and tricky to navigate and partially because (until now) no single price comparison site has enabled you to compare the cost of your weekly shop at all four of the big online supermarkets.
MySupermaket’s pre-launch hype claims that the site “promises to shake up the online grocery market” – and on early inspection the hype seems to be justified.
This is what I’ve been waiting on for several years – an easy-to-use, free price comparison service for online supermarkets. It promises to save you money on your weekly shop and it’s easier to navigate than any of the supermarkets’ own sites. Well worth a look.

Does My Bum Look Big

>> Does My Bum Look Big
Thanks to listener Ollie Schofield for an email tipping me off about this, and correctly surmising that this would be top-notch Website of the Day material. Ollie describes the site as “a sort of a cyber Trinny and Susannah kinda thing” – which is bang-on really.
The site encourages you to turn the whole interenet into your personal style guru – Every time you’re about to buy some new clothes, you can upload a photo of each garment to the site (either from your computer or sent directly from your cameraphone) and invite other site users to rate each garment according to whether it’s a fashion faux-pas or a subliminal stylistic statement.