Not so secret Santa: How to keep gifts a secret when you're holiday shopping online - News Certain Network

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Not so secret Santa: How to keep gifts a secret when you’re holiday shopping online

The days of keeping holiday gifts a surprise required only a secret stashing space in your home; now you have to cover your digital tracks from nosy family members trying to get a heads-up on what Santa’s bringing are long gone.
According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday sales reached a record $11.3 billion, a 5.8% increase over last year. According to the National Retail Federation, the number of online shoppers increased by 2% over Thanksgiving weekend compared to 2021.

That means that if your nosy relatives peek into your laptop or a joint Amazon Prime account, your web searches and browser history could reveal the Christmas surprise. Here’s how to keep Santa’s’secret’ this year:

Using a gift card to shop
A gift card can save the surprise by allowing you to keep the purchase on your bank statement. According to Athena Valentine Lent, author of the upcoming book Budgeting For Dummies, it’s also a good way to help you stick to your budget because you won’t be able to spend more than the amount you put into the gift card.

Gift cards can also be used to save money by savvy shoppers.
“Sometimes you can buy discounted gift cards on sites like Gift Card Granny,” said Trae Bodge, a shopping expert. “Target frequently runs promotions in which you can get a free gift card if you spend a certain amount in a specific category.”

Ship the order somewhere else.
If getting the package delivered to your door might ruin the surprise, you can always ship it somewhere else such as your office (if you’re allowed). Some stores, such as select UPS and FedEx locations, allow you to ship to an alternate location, according to Bodge.

Gifts that come in obvious packaging, such as televisions, should be avoided. Retailers like Amazon will let you know if an item comes without outer packaging, Bodge said.
Amazon Prime members can also ship items to a locker to avoid arousing suspicions when the parcel is delivered, Valentine Lent said. Amazon Lockers are a self-service delivery location to pick up and return orders.

How do I hide my Amazon orders for Christmas?
If your family shares an Amazon Prime account, keeping gift purchases secret might be tricky. But there are steps you can take to keep your order under wraps.
The e-commerce giant’s Amazon Household feature allows users to share Prime benefits with family members while keeping accounts separate.
“This is a really good way to avoid having people seeing what you’ve bought,” said Bodge, noting that there are limitations on the number of profiles that can be created under the same Prime account.

If you prefer to not set up Amazon Household, Bodge said, you can always archive your orders to hide gifts from your purchase history.
More Amazon order concealment advice:
Do this before you begin your holiday shopping to conceal your Amazon gift purchases.

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