Halloween is right around the corner, and if you’ve been in the stores recently you know that Christmas arrived early as usual; time passes quickly, so contemplating your holiday shopping isn’t out of the ordinary. Normally I like to wait with purchasing Christmas gifts until Thanksgiving, but the stress isn’t worth it. This year I decided to get a head start by researching some online shopping sites, in hopes of finding that unique gift that stuns everyone.

Most of us know that Amazon has the corner on many markets, even unusual gifts. But what I discovered was the price difference, once I found a unique item; Amazon wasn’t cheaper at all. An example being…I found a flip top dish for butter (by Butterie) on the site www.grommet.com  for $12.99 and on Amazon it was $19.00. My point being…that shopping takes time, a little research and patience; so, it’s not too early to think about Christmas. The Grommet had numerous unique items, including personalized family items and pet extras. I had no idea they made small animal burial pods for your deceased pet, so it can be placed in your garden or yard. While other sites claim to have unique items, be sure to check out their clearance or sale sections first, to get an idea of what you might be looking for (for whom) and the amount of money you’re willing to spend. Don’t forget to check out shipping costs, another site may offer it for free.

One of my favorite sites for unusual items has been around for 170 years and offers items exclusively by them, claiming that they cannot be found anywhere else… https://www.HammacherSchlemmer.com . I can spend hours browsing the different genres of totally unique gifts they offer, but some have very large price tags, depending where it’s made or coming from. Their gift list ranges from the unexpected, to exclusives, with personalized gifts and even special values; there’s no shortage of ideas here. I was able to find some common items between most of the sites I studied, such as the butter dish. Another web page is www.odditymall.com … also offering noteworthy gift ideas for any age. There was a newer site I was drawn to this year after seeing an advertisement, somewhere…I don’t know where I first saw it though; www.moderntouch.com . This company came out in 2012, but one must sign up to even browse their pages. It’s not exactly what one might think, as the adult section has cigar boxes with stylish cutters, some lingerie and other discreet items. It’s uniqueness of household items and personalized ones are very tasteful; like Hammacher Schlemmer.

These are my top picks for online shopping this year, but beware…last year I ordered a lighted bar sign (from a site NOT listed here), with my son-in-law’s name in it. It didn’t arrive when they said it would, in fact…it would have never arrived if I hadn’t called; the company making it came from Japan, and the site was unaware that I hadn’t received it by the promised date. However, it was received within 24 hours after I placed the call. It was (is) a reputable site I ordered from, but you need to be made aware of possible issues, depending on its origin. The gift should have arrived before Christmas, and it was 2 days after the fact. So, this year… I can honestly say, it’s not too early to begin your holiday shopping, especially if you’re interested in unique items which need to be ordered. Just be cautious, and happy shopping.

Make your week count.