Local merchants offer tips for those last-minute shoppers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Local merchants offer tips for those last-minute shoppers


If you still have some last-minute Christmas shopping--or if you still have to ship those last few Christmas gifts--some local experts are encouraging you to hurry and finish those to-do lists.

"People don't really have a whole lot of time left. Right now, everything FedEx or UPS Ground, there's no guarantees on it, especially to the coasts. So if you're trying to get it there, it's going to be one-day, two-day service," said Sam Brown of USA Shipping Center in Tyler.

That means shipping by Thursday at the very latest-- but despite the price you'll pay for overnight or one-day shipping, Brown said there's still not a guarantee your gift will get where it needs to go.

"The only thing that's going to have any problems now is any weather delays. I mean, as busy as it is and then the weather gets bad, they're going to push out the most priority-type packages at this time," he said.

And even if your gifts are staying local, it's time to get out there and get them picked out, even if your favorite store will be open Christmas Eve.

"Usually by Christmas Eve morning, it's pretty picked over. There's still some items and this type thing around, but it's pretty picked over at best," said Pam Gabriel, owner of Sweet Gourmet in Tyler.

Gabriel offered a small piece of advice for all of you last-minute shoppers.

"You need to come with a list. We see shoppers come in and they don't have a list and they're just -- they just get nervous and upset and they can't think and it's hard for us to help you when it's like that," she said.

Gabriel said the best time to shop is early in the morning-- those stores are packed by early afternoon.

"Get up and get going and get to your stores so they can help you beat the crowd," she said.

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