Every year, more and more people are opting to avoid crowded stores in favor of doing their holiday shopping online.
In 2012 alone, U.S. consumers spent over $42 billion shopping on the internet in November and December—a 14% increase from the year before—according to comScore, a company that tracks digital statistics.
Shopping online can be especially useful if you’re sending a gift to long-distance relatives, in-laws and friends. But which mail-order companies truly deliver the best product for your hard-earned cash?
Is sending chocolate-dipped berries really a good deal? And who sells the best bouquets, anyway? Read: The flowers shouldn’t wilt after just two days.
We asked three consumer experts to weigh in on the most reliable, high-quality and unique mail-order companies to use this holiday season.
Best for … Sweets
You’ve seen the company’s mouthwatering ads for strawberries dipped in milk, dark or white chocolate and then covered with such delicious toppings as walnuts, salted caramel almonds or crumbled cookies.
But when it comes to quality, does the company deliver? The answer: yes.
“Every time that I order through them, I always get great feedback,” says Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert based in central California. ”I got two dozen strawberries dipped in a variety of chocolates and toppings for my friend’s 30th birthday party—and everyone devoured them.”
Woroch is also a fan of the company because it usually offers stellar deals online. For instance, if you Google “Shari’s Berries coupon code” or if you search for “Shari’s Berries” on FreeShipping.org, you’ll often find ways to save. “Sometimes I’m able to use a 20% off coupon and a free shipping code, which I love,” says Woroch.
If your friend or loved one isn’t into strawberries, Shari’s Berries offers plenty of other sweet treats, including dipped apples, cherries, pretzels, cookies and more. Gifts from $19.99.