Holiday shopping tips to stay safe against covid

Ailene Amaro
Dec 05, 2020
Holiday shopping tips to stay safe against covid

The ber months are coming to a close, which means that the holidays are just around the corner. With the pandemic putting a strain on holiday traditions, Christmas and New Year’s will be a little different this time around. But that doesn’t mean that you have nothing to look forward to. There are still little ways you can make someone’s day extra special–whether family, friends, orphans, or strangers. A little Christmas gifting goes a long way in a time where physical contact is not an option, after all! 

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Malls are usually packed with early gift buyers at this time of the year, and despite all odds–COVID-19 or not–there’s no stopping eager shoppers from hitting the stores to find the perfect presents for loved ones. But going into battle unprepared is dangerous–literally. Even with protocols against the pandemic put in place, you should personally put an extra effort into ensuring your and other shoppers’ safety while packing your cart with all sorts of goodies. Here are some holiday shopping tips to stay safe against COVID-19. 

Schedule your in-store trips 

The majority of malls, shopping centers, and street stores are now in operation, giving you plenty of brick-and-mortar shopping options. Some things are best purchased in-store, after all. That includes interior decor, furniture, gadgets, plants, and perhaps even a pet fish or a furry friend–the list goes on.  

One of the best ways to stay safe despite flitting from store-to-store is to be smart about scheduling your trips. Purposively shop on days and times that are the least busy–that usually means weekday mornings and early afternoons. Avoid going on weekends and the evening, where crowds of people will make social distancing an impossible affair. 

Use cashless payment methods 

Using cash for all your transactions isn’t the best idea because exchanging money can allow any possible virus cues to transfer quickly over a large number of people. Going cashless is a much safer alternative as you can sanitize your credit or debit card after every use or completely avoid contact by making payments through a third-party app. 

Swiping your credit card is an easy way to purchase items now, pay later, and earn points, but don’t forget to follow through with your repayment scheme to avoid piling on credit debt. Alternatively, if you determined that taking a loan from loan apps to shop for Christmas gifts is a move you want to make–given your financial situation–then you can have the money remitted to your savings account and use a debit card to make payments. You can also transfer the money over to Gcash, Wechat Pay, or Alipay, which plenty of stores now accept. 

Follow safety protocols 

Upon stepping foot inside a busy mall during peak hours, you’ll notice that not everyone is entirely diligent with following safety protocols against COVID-19. Apart from making sure to only shop during calm hours, make sure to be the better person and follow through with all the sanitation requirements:

  • Wear a face mask and a face shield.
  • Sanitize your hands once in a while.
  • Keep as socially distant from others as possible. 

The same goes for your trips to 7-11 or remittance centers to pick up the cash you received from pautang services and loan apps. If you’ve incurred shopping loans to pay for your holiday splurge, then make sure to also follow safety protocols when making a repayment at the bank. Otherwise, you can opt to use GCash or mobile banking to pay off your credit card to avoid outside contact altogether! 

Opt to shop online 

Despite the active availability of in-store shopping options, try to shop online whenever possible to avoid contact with others. With e-commerce sites capitalizing on 11.11 and 12.12 sales, there are plenty of shopping categories to appease the holiday shopping fever at discounted rates. From BeautyMNL to Zalora, Lazada, and Shopee, you’ll surely find something for all the special people in your life. The best part is that you can opt to pay with a credit or debit card instead of cash on delivery (COD) and have the products delivered directly to the recipient’s home–that’s less work playing Santa on your end! 

pera247’s range of pautang services includes the eShoppingLoan, which allows you to pay for Lazada purchases in installments. With some of the best brand-owned store options through LazMall, you can buy authentic items and pay for them over the course of six months. That’ll help make scoring great deals guilt-free and lighter on the pockets! 

Don’t be a last-minute shopper

This tip applies every year, but it takes a whole new meaning amid the pandemic. Just a year ago, last-minute shopping meant having to fall in extremely long lines, endure crazy traffic, and scrape through leftovers from the holiday sales. This year is–as always–a little bit different. 

You can expect a larger volume of in-store shoppers rushing to cross off everything on their Christmas checklist, but rather than an inconvenience, this may pose a health risk that isn’t worth the gift or two that you were planning to buy. Online shopping sites may also expect a large volume of orders, which is a common cause of shipping delays, so your presents may not arrive on time. Be ahead of the rest and start your holiday shopping as early as now to save yourself the headache later! 

Final thoughts 

Believe it or not, shopping benefits the economy, so if you have extra disposable income, it might be a good idea to pick up a couple of things for not only loved ones, but also orphanages and charities that help people in need. You may want to put in a donation of relief goods, clothing, and other essentials for people hard-hit by the pandemic and typhoon Goni. 

Remember–gifting is only a minor aspect of the holidays, so don’t overdo it and stick to a realistic budget. Only choose to get the help of loan apps or a credit card when you’re sure that you can commit to a reasonable repayment scheme. Most importantly, don’t forget the essence of Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever end-of-year event you celebrate! 

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