Why did I choose to shop for Christmas exclusively online? As a full-time+ professional and part-time graduate student, my time is limited and I value every spare minute. Online shopping saves time, plain and simple.
My one rule? I will not pay for shipping. Although shopping online provides convenience, it is not a convenience I am willing to pay for. Being able to buy something online at the same price I would pay in the store is important. Paying a premium for online gifts is a total waste.
The Investor's Business Daily recently explored the topic of online shipping fees in an article called "Will Free Online Shipping End?" They note that free shipping will likely be phased out. Because free shipping is practically universal, I cannot see consumers accepting this reversal. If and when free shipping becomes a thing of the past, I will gladly return to the brick-and-morter stores.