Some opting to surf online for holiday needs

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 26, 2007

Carol Jackson of Hazlehurst said while everyone else is bravingthe post-Thanksgiving sales, she will be happy at home.

Jackson hasn’t even set foot in a store this year for holidayshopping. But that doesn’t worry her. She plans to do all herholiday gift-buying this year from the endless supply of onlineshopping outlets.

“I buy my grandchildren’s clothes mostly from the GAP Web site,and some from Abercrombie,” she said. “And my husband likesgadgets, so I like to play around on Sharper Image’s site too.”

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She is just one of many people who will be doing at least someof their shopping online this year.

Brookhaven’s Ronnie Bass said there is one distinct advantageabout shopping online.

“I kinda like it because you don’t have to deal with thecrowds,” he said.

Meanwhile, statistics show it’s not all about the crowds. TheWeb site said 87 percent of online shoppers arecomparing what they find online with what they find locally andtrying to find the best deals.

Jackson said while she never goes into the stores during theholidays, she does that during the year.

“I only stay home to shop at Christmas,” she said. “But duringthe year, if a store in Jackson or Brookhaven or McComb doesn’thave something, I’ll get online to see if the Web site has it instock. Sometimes it’s cheaper.”

Some Web sites are specifically tailored for warehouse prices,like one of Mae Butler’s favorite sites,

“The jewelry is cheaper than a department store, and I lovebeing able to shop without fighting the crowds,” said Butler, ofBrookhaven.

Renee Richardson said she has several favorite sites, such asthe Cabela’s Web site, Christian Book Distributors, and eBay. Shesaid the convenience makes shopping online most appealing toher.

“I’m doing about half of my holiday shopping online,” she said.”It’s so much easier and more convenient, and you don’t have to getup at 4 a.m. to do it.”

Henry Hankins of Lawrence County said he also appreciates theconvenience of the delivery when he shops online.

“It cuts out a whole entire step,” he said. “I don’t even haveto wrap it. I can just ship it straight to the person I ordered itfor.”

He said that also helps on the other end of Christmas, too.

“If they don’t like it or it doesn’t fit, well, they can justsend it back,” he said.

Hankins said the other thing that makes online shopping easieris that geography is not a factor.

“I also give gift cards so they can get what they want. One timeI called Mom and told her to go to a Web site and pick somethingout, so it didn’t even matter we weren’t in the same part of thecountry,” he said.

And Jackson said for her, the online shopping experience can bejust as much fun as any day at the mall.

“You brew up your cider, put on your fuzzy slippers, and curl upin front of the computer,” she said. “Baby, it’s cold outside. Or,it should be, because it’s November, so we can pretend.”