There are people who have finished their Christmas shopping. These are the people who are not bothered by Christmas decorations in stores in September. The rest of us are just starting to think about shopping.

Christmas is a time of shoving, pushing, and fighting for that last copy of the most requested video game. It is a time of parking a mile from the mall because the lot is full. It is the time that people are incredibly unpleasant. There is a secret to avoiding all of it.

Online shopping is the paradise of holiday gifting for those who do not wish to enter the dreaded malls. It is a quiet place, especially if you mute your speakers in case of spontaneous caroling, where you can browse and shop in peace.

Nielsen has reported the top ten merchandise websites used by shoppers everywhere. This is a great list to use for first time online shoppers. These are the reliable sites that have the most traffic and use.

At number ten, we have QVC. I’ll admit that I was surprised. I’ve seen QVC on television, but never really considered their website. They have everything from toys to skincare to clothes. Very comprehensive and some have “4 easy payment” options. These are a mix of celebrity brands and popular brands seen in stores. Just as on their channel, some items are the specials of the day or hour, so you never know when you’ll hit the jackpot.

Nine is Costco. I’ve heard of Costco, but never shopped there. It appears to be a warehouse-type of store like Sam’s Club. This being said, they also have a little bit of everything. Make sure you look closely at brands so you can be sure of quality. Also, beware of warehouse fever. Lured into thinking everything is going to be a deal, you may make purchases without comparing prices.

Barnes & Noble, Target, and Walmart aren’t surprises at numbers eight, three, and two respectively.  Overstock dives in at number seven as an interesting challenger. My experience is that there are some good deals on the site, but you need to know what you’re looking for and be prepared to find “similar” products rather than exactly what you were seeking. Also, check prices. They might be overstocks, but that doesn’t always mean they cost less.

AliExpress, at number six, is a new one on me. It appears to be an everything store with automotive items to beauty and health. It mentions that it ships to US, so it is a foreign based store. Check brands and shipping times and costs to be safe. A brief look around shows that a lot of items do not list brands.

Admittedly, I didn’t expect Staples to be on the list, let alone at number five. My guess is electronics make up a lot of their internet sales.

Etsy is actually number four. Congratulations to all of the crafters who make items appealing for purchases. The nice thing about Etsy is that you can often personalize gifts.

Of course, is anyone even surprised that Amazon is number one? It has more than double the traffic of Walmart. Amazon has top brands of everything. Books, electronics, clothes, accessories, and the list just goes on. The company does everything first-rate, so ordering from them is a safe bet and those express shipping options cater to procrastinators.

There you go! No need to go to the mall. Pick a web store and order away. You’ll have your list done in time to go watch the game.

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