Christmas Shopping Tips with Garth Allan (brandsExclusive)

Garth Allan is the head buyer for Australian private shopping website, brandsexclusive. With internet shopping becoming increasingly popular, we spoke to Garth about how to shop successfully online this Christmas:

How far in advance should we plan our Christmas gift shopping online?

It’s always best to start planning at least 6 weeks before Christmas – work out your budget, who you wish to buy for and what sort of presents they’d like. If you’re buying online (a smart way of getting great prices and range of brands), allow time for delivery.

What are your top tips for grabbing a bargain online?

Head online: Make sure you browse online retailers such as brandsExclusive. This is a convenient and reliable way to keep up-to-date on all sale information and products available for purchase.  brandsExclusive members receive email invitations to daily flash-sale events, giving them exclusive insider access to limited time-offerings from designer labels.

Move quickly: When browsing sales sites, it is best not to wait too long or procrastinate over purchasing an item that you desire.  Sale periods generally last for a limited amount of time and popular items can sell out quickly so jump on a good bargain as soon as you spot one!

Be technologically savvy: Downloading an app such as the brandsExclusive iPhone/iPad app will make sure you are always kept up-to-date on the latest products available. If you spot an item that would be a perfect gift for your loved ones (or yourself!) you can shop on the go.

Do you have any suggestions for those hard to buy for people like dads and brothers? 

There are so many gift options that are available for brothers, dads and boyfriends.

Some of my never-fail gift suggestions include cologne, board shorts, sunglasses, wallets, watches and sporting goods.

garth allan

What do you predict will be popular online purchases in the lead up to Christmas?

The most popular gifts during the Christmas season are fragrance, beauty and eyewear products. These categories seem to be the easiest option for most consumers as not only do they have a very reasonable price points but are not too specific in terms of personal taste and preference -making them a safe gift option.

If we are looking to purchase clothing or shoes as a gift, how do we get it right?

Make sure you shop from a website that offers high-resolution photography – you should be able to view the product from multiple angles and be able to zoom in to see details.

brandsExclusive is an exclusive sale website, what do we need to keep in mind before shopping there?

I think the most important thing to understand is that we are not a daily deals site or group buying site, which work primarily with redeemable vouchers and third-party merchants. brandsExclusive is an exclusive shopping club that sells top-quality, genuine products as we work closely and directly with leading brands. Our offers are available for a limited time only, so make sure you snap them up!

Are online stores required to offer refunds?

All online stores are built on different conditions and requirements so it’s always best to read the site policy notice before making a purchase. brandsExclusive prides itself on dedication to customer service offering 30 day return and refund policies on purchases.

Do you think online shopping will eventually replace in store?

The advent of online shopping and its growing popularity in recent years has certainly changed the face of retail.  Nonetheless, there are still many people today who value the traditional shopping experience as they can observe and physically try on items before committing to the purchase.

On the other hand, online shopping has proven itself to be a convenient, hassle-free way to purchase.  Most shoppers will agree this is due to the time and effort saved when being able to buy products at the click of a button, not to mention the ability to access a broad range of brands and categories and products in one go.

Tell us a little bit about brandsExclusive?

brandsExclusive has become Australia’s leading online shopping club for fashion, footwear and accessories with over 2 million members joining since launch. We offer up to 70% off more than 800 local and international designer labels, providing a convenient and enjoyable way for our members to purchase top brands at the best prices.

To ensure the most user-friendly, innovative service for our members, brandsExclusive became one of the first Australian fashion retailers to launch an iPad application. Recently awarded Best Mobile Commerce at the 2012 Online Retail Industry Awards, this universal application runs across both iPads and iPhones, taking the convenience of online shopping to a whole new level.

What makes it different to traditional online stores?

brandsExclusive is designed to fill a niche in the local market. It gives consumers online access to products from well-known brands, at significantly reduced prices. The concept is so well received by Australian consumers it has grown to 2 million members, with 80,000 new members joining each month. The business has expanded into many new segments –homewares, wine, beauty and baby products.

What role do you play in the company?

I am the head buyer for brandsExclusive and livingExclusive.  My job entails overseeing relationships with the 800 brands we partner with and managing an experienced team of buyers, specific to each of the product categories. We work together to acquire leading brands for our members.

What do you want for Christmas this year?

A bottle of Acqua Di Parma…or a French bulldog!

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