If you’ve been wondering, like me, how in the world to start holiday shopping for your kids, look no further.
Toy Expert Elizabeth Werner has all the latest and greatest toys for this year. Find out how to make your little girl feel like the “belle of the ball” what’s new from Lego, which trains will capture your little one’s heart, great educational toys and more. Get the newest ideas from Lego, Leap Frog, Jakks Pacific, The Bridge Direct, and TOMY.
Werner is well-known as an expert in children’s toys and entertainment, having been featured in ivillage, MSNBC.com and Todaymoms.com and on “The View.” Here Werner speaks to Family First Editor-in-Chief Marijo Tinlin about the trends in toys this holiday season.
Marijo Tinlin is the Editor in Chief of Family First, one of the oldest family-oriented websites on the internet. She writes for www.OnTheCulture.com, is the Managing Editor of www.myColoradoview.com and she runs a small business with her husband. She is also the author of the famous book about teaching patriotism to our children called “How to Raise an American Patriot, Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American.” It features 13 interviews with patriotic Americans including Ed Meese, Erick Erickson and Jackie Gingrich Cushman. Your signed copy, along with a FREE copy of the Constitution, is available at www.raisinganamericanpatriot.com.]]>
The frenzy is over. The chaos complete. Now, comes the returns…
For most stores, they try to make returning as easy as possible. Here are the top retailers and their return policies made simple:
You have 90 days for most items to be returned in new and unused condition. The website states that if you have an item bought through the mail, you need to have the original packaging and accessories packed with the item. Of course, there are exceptions and you should check the receipt for specific instructions.
For certain items, you only have 45 days – Computer Hardware like tablets and eReaders, camcorders and cameras, gift cards, prepaid cell phones, or any other prepaid cards such as those for music or games.
NON-RETURNABLE ITEMS include: music, movies, video games and software. These items may be exchanged.
If you bought an item on-line, you can, in most cases, return it to the store as long as you have the packing slip or the credit card used for purchase.
If you return something you were given as a gift and don’t have a gift receipt or packing slip, you will be given a Target gift card for most items. Some exceptions apply – you’ll need to check with the store.
Please check the Target Return Policy website for further details.
With Walmart, you also have 90 days to return items. They have extended their return policy for Christmas. Any exception that normally has a 15 or 30 window purchased from November 1st to December 24th will be counted from December 26th forward, not the date of purchase.
These items include TVs, computers, camcorders, digital cameras, digital music players, e-tablets, e-readers, portable video players, GPS units, video game hardware, pre-paid cell phones, and post-paid cell phones.
If you bought an airbed (maybe for a visiting relative) and decide to return it after it was used, you can only get another airbed or equal or greater value so it’s probably best to keep it. If the airbed was defective, you have 90 days to return it.
If you bought someone a swimming pool, chainsaw or compressor (among other like items), you only have 30 days to return those items.
You have 90 days to return music, movies and games if they haven’t been opened for either a refund or an exchange.
If you got anyone a tree, shrub or perennial, you have one year to either get a refund or an exchange on that.
Walmart will give refunds without a receipt – for items $25 and under, you can get cash. For items over $25, you get a Walmart shopping card of the value of the item or you can do an even-up exchange.
You can return 3 items within a 45 day period. If you try to return more than that within that time frame, you’ll get flagged and a manager will have to approve the transaction.
Please check Walmart’s Return Policy page for more details.
Best Buy is also offering extended holiday returns through January 24th, 2012. Of course, their normal stipulations apply such as non-returnable items so please check their policies specifically if you have a question.
You must have a receipt, gift receipt or packing slip and if you are returning to a store, a photo id is required for all returns.
You have 14 days for items such as desktop and notebook computers, tablets, monitors, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, DJ equipment and lighting, pro audio and home recording equipment.
All other items are allowed 30 days for returns, unless you are a member of their Reward Zone® Premier Silver program and then you are lucky enough to have 45 days.
They have a long list of restricted items you cannot return, such as the soda you purchased after standing in line to check out. You also can’t return earbuds, microphones or harmonicas, understandably. If you lost pieces, broke something or had something etched or personalized, you will not be able to return it.
Like the others, you cannot return opened music, movies or games but you may exchange them for a like item.
Again, please check the returns website for specifics on any items you might be wondering about.
Happy Return Shopping!
Marijo Tinlin is the Editor in Chief of Family First, one of the oldest family-oriented websites on the internet. She is also the author of the new book about patriotism and teaching our children to love this country. It’s called “How to Raise an American Patriot, Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American” and features 13 interviews with patriotic Americans including Ed Meese, Erick Erickson and Jackie Gingrich Cushman. It’s available at www.raisinganamericanpatriot.com.]]>
Congratulations – if you are reading this and you are already finished with your holiday shopping, you can stop reading right now.
If, however, you are still in the throes, or maybe you haven’t even started, here are 5 tips to help you keep your credit card spending under control during this frenzied time and not end up with a shopping hangover come January.
Harvey Z. Warren is a credit expert and author of “Drop Debt: Surviving Credit Card Hell without Bankruptcy” (Greenleaf Book Group LLC, August 1, 2010, 978-1929774920). His website is www.askdoctordebt.com where he offers help with credit and debt questions and issues.
Here are his 5 tips:
Make a list and set the price you want to pay for each person- also known as “a budget.” A $15 budget for your niece goes out the door when you find a cute purse for $50. That slip might be ok for one person on your list but if you have 30 people to shop for, Warren says, you’ll find yourself in big trouble very quickly if you go over for everyone.
“Whether you are naughty or nice, impulse buying is what gets most holiday shoppers into trouble,” says Warren.
Wrap up your credit card. Warren says just like when you put a picture on your refrigerator of an out-of-shape person to remind you about your diet, if you wrap up your credit card with a plastic sleeve, it may make you think twice before spending.
“The only thing more dangerous to your well being than a fat belly is a stress inducing fat balance that you cannot pay,” he says.
Give gifts that keep on giving. He particularly likes books because knowledge stays with a person unlike the latest Xbox game or a doll.
“The knowledge that you have put in a loved one’s head is going to continue to serve and bring value to them,” he says.
Make it personal. Make something by hand such as a cake or cookies to give. Warren notes how beautiful a gift is from food mailer Harry & David so why not make your own beautiful gift of food? You’ll save money and your loved one will understand how much you care about them.
“There is something so beautiful and so appropriate for the season in baking a cake or cookies or some other fantastic treat that can be shared and enjoyed by the entire family,” Warren says.
Make a small charitable donation to your favorite cause in someone’s name. With a small $10 donation, you can help someone else in need while controlling your spending and making others feel good.
“That’s a better plan than another striped necktie or argyle socks. Whatever you choose to give, give it from your heart with the certain knowledge that it really is the thought – not the price tag – that counts,” he says.
So, while Warren warns you must be careful if you’re still paying for last year’s holiday shopping or even the year before, he isn’t being a Scrooge about spending. Be smart and do what your budget and income affords for you. It really is the thought that counts, not the price tag.]]>
Moms want to make sure they are being smart with their spending for every single purchase and making the most of their money for their holiday spending.
Here to help: Megan Calhoun, founder of TwitterMoms, a community of influential and opinionated moms who love sharing ideas and advice for each other about all kinds of things from favorite cleaning products to how to con 2 year olds into eating their veggies.
Here is the interview Calhoun gave with Family First this week. In it, she’ll tell you about the most efficient use of your time while shopping this holiday season and a new paradigm in how to find favorite products – the TwitterMoms Seal of Approval.
Interview with Megan Calhoun 11-10
Here are the bullet points she mentions in the interview:
Note: This interview is provided by Ultra Concentrated Dawn
The TwitterMoms network reaches more than 7 million monthly unique in the United States, making it one of the biggest “mom networks” on the web. TwitterMoms mission is to bring influential moms opportunities to grow their personal brands through social media.
About Megan Calhoun
Megan Calhoun is the founder of Twitter Moms unique network of highly influential, active, and “networked” moms.]]>
Chris Byrne “The Toy Guy” and Jim Silver editor-in-chief from Time to Play Magazine talks to Marijo Tinlin, editor-in-chief of Family First about all the fabulous new toys out this year for the holiday season. From Lego to Tonka to Disney, there’s something here for every age and each gender.
This video is shot from the showroom floor at the Altman Building, in New York City, for The Time to Play Magazine’s Holiday Showcase– the official industry kick-off to the holiday family entertainment editorial season.
To vote for your favorite toy this year, go to http://www.peoplesplayawards.com/ for all the details about this contest.
For more description for each toys described in the video, check the list below, listed in alphabetical order:
(Spin Master/Ages 8 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
(JAKKS Pacific/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $49.99)
(Mattel/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
(LeapFrog/Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $69.99)
(LEGO/Ages 7 years & up/Approx. Retail Price $29.99)
(Mattel/Ages 7 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $29.99)
(Mattel/Ages 6 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $16.99)
(Hasbro/Ages 8 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $49.99)
(WowWee/Ages 5 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
(JAKKS Pacific/Ages 5 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $24.99)
(Hasbro/Ages 8 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $29.99)
(Mattel/Ages 3 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $12.99)
(Blip Toys/Ages 4 years & up /Approx. Retail Price: $6.99)
(Hasbro Playskool/Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99)
(VTech/Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $59.99)
(Spin Master/Ages 4 years & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $4.99)
www.TimetoPlayMag.com provides information, entertainment, and services on what’s fun for children and their families. One of the most highly trafficked family-friendly websites, www.TimetoPlayMag.com offers parents and gift givers tons of content including hundreds of toy reviews and recommendations; hot toy lists and editors’ picks; a product/gift finder; informative and amusing blog entries from leading toy, family entertainment and parenting experts; seasonal stories; safety tips and recall information; daily giveaways of in demand toys and more. The site is also fully COPPA compliant.
For fifteen years, Silver, Byrne and their seasoned editorial team have accurately predicted each season’s hottest, best-selling toys and correctly identified the industry’s most prevalent product and financial trends.
Chris Byrne, (The Toy Guy), Content Director TimetoPlayMag.com
Chris is an expert on toys, play and children’s trends. Chris is quoted widely in the media and appears regularly on many local and national television stations commenting on the business of toys and licensing demonstrating new products. He’s a regular on Live! with Regis and Kelly, and has spoken around the world on toys, marketing and product development. He is also a partner in aNbMedia, publishers of the trade publications Toys & Family Entertainment and Royaltie$ and the consumer Web site TimetoPlayMag.com. .
Jim Silver, editor in chief of TimetoPlaymag.com
Jim Silver is recognized as one of the preeminent experts in the toy, licensing, and family entertainment industries. Currently, Silver is editor-in-chief of www.TimetoPlayMag.com a playful destination website which provides adults with information, entertainment, and services on what’s fun for children and their families.
Called DealofDay.com, this site lives up to its name by featuring the daily deals from both internet and stores from all over. The site features a wide range of products, from art and baby items, to travel and tupperware. Some of the deals featured today are from Old Navy, Amazon.com, Buy.com, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and ToysRus. There is a chat area to talk with other shoppers, both to share experiences and other deals. Some of the other areas featured are deals that , , , what and are hot, and even an .
There is quite a bit to see and do at this site. Why not take advantage of the latest technology, save your gas, avoid the long lines, and still fill all the requests on your Christmas list. I can almost guarantee you that you will be able to find something for everyone here, from the youngest to the oldest, and in-betweeners as well.
Called gifts.com, it is an Internet shopping site that has some interesting twists. You can shop on line for the usual gifts and knick-knacks, or you can look for something off the wall. There is something for everyone here, and if you can’t think of what you want to get, there are some helpful online suggestions. You can search by topic such as electronics, entertainment, etc., or you can look under such categories as Fun, Practical, or Romantic gifts.
If holiday shopping is not something you look forward to, then this site may be for you. So stop on by and look it over. It is a unique way to window shop.