What procurement can teach us about Christmas shopping

Daniel Ball
18 December 2014

Daniel BallBetter planning and thinking who you’re buying for are just two of the best practice procurement tips Christmas shoppers would do well to adhere to this year, as it’s revealed we Brits are set to waste more than £1 billion on unwanted gifts.

We recently carried out a Christmas purchasing survey, which revealed that many of us get our gift buying all wrong, as close to two thirds of the UK population will either give away, sell on or re-gift an unwanted present.

The top two reasons people get rid of their gifts are because they already have the item (69 per cent) or have no need for it (65 per cent), suggesting many gift-givers are not really thinking about who they are buying for.

Some 26 per cent will sell on Christmas gifts for cash, most commonly through online auctions such as eBay, used by 48 per cent of people.

So what professional procurement practices could help Christmas shoppers ensure they get their present buying right this year?

1. Have a plan. Don’t go near any form of retail outlet (online or on the high street) until you’ve worked out your budget, what you want to buy and where to buy it from.

2. Think about the recipient. It’s not all about the price! You’ve set your budget, now you need to find the perfect gift.

3. Secure best price. When you’ve decided on what to buy, you can then try to secure it for the best price. Shop around and use price comparison sites where appropriate.

4. Supplier knowledge. You’ve got a plan, so now you need to know where to turn to get the item. Stock availability and delivery in time for a certain date are all important at this time of year.

5. Think before you act. Last but not least, don’t even think about making a purchase until you know what to buy, you’ve secured it at best possible price and you’ve checked stock availability.

☛ Daniel Ball is director at Wax Digital.


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