With most states still on lockdown due to COVID-19, Mother's Day -- which falls on May 10 -- won't be quite the same this year. Strict social-distancing guidelines mean no treating the special ladies in your life to brunch at their favorite restaurant or surprising them with concert tickets. In fact, 66% of the 8,294 consumers surveyed by the National Retail Federation (NRF) said they plan to celebrate virtually -- for example, hosting a family video chat using Google Hangouts or Zoom in place of an in-person event.
Even gift-giving will be different. Most of us won't be personally delivering gifts to our beloved mothers or grandmothers; instead, we're shopping online and having the items shipped directly. However, some e-commerce sites have been slammed by the sudden surge in online shoppers, resulting in major shipping delays. “Consumers will need to start shopping a bit earlier this year,” advises Sara Skirboll, RetailMeNot.com's shopping and trends expert. Plan on ordering coveted items, such as flowers or jewelry, at least a week in advance, she adds.
We examined a few of the top Mother's Day gift product categories for 2020 and asked smart shopping experts to steer our readers to the best product deals and free-shipping offers. Here's what they had to say.
Floral arrangements are a go-to for many gift-givers, no matter the holiday. 1-800-Flowers is offering one of the best Mother's Day flower sales right now, says Michael Bonebright, a consumer analyst for DealNews.com. Gift-givers can get free shipping and no service charge on a select variety of bouquets starting at $29.99 -- including spring lilies, roses and orchids -- by using the MOMFREESHIP promo code at checkout. The deal is valid on weekday deliveries only on May 6 through May 8. “That's a savings of at least $15,” he notes.
Keep in mind that free shipping doesn't always mean free shipping at online flower sites, Bonebright advises. Watch out for free-shipping offers that hide handling fees in the fine print or surprise you with them at checkout.
And for the best deals on fresh flowers (and to support local businesses during this recession), turn to your local florist to cut out the middleman.
Digital gift cards are a hassle-free gift for Mother's Day. You don't have to worry about shipping delays since they are delivered straight to your mother's inbox, says Trae Bodge, a smart shopping expert at TrueTrae.com. You can score discounts on a wide variety of e-gift cards -- from clothing to restaurants -- at GiftCardGranny.com, she adds. We perused the site and found some noteworthy deals, including a Land's End $100 e-gift card for $90 -- a 10% savings. Also, you'll pay about $96 for a $100 e-gift card to On the Border or Maggiano's restaurants. Both are currently taking contactless delivery orders, so your loved ones can use the cards right away rather than having to wait until restaurants resume normal dine-in service.
If your Mom has a sporty sense of style, you'll want to take advantage of Adidas's latest gift card offer (which can be purchased directly from the retailer), says DealNews.com's Bonebright. You'll get 20% off when you buy a $50 e-gift card for just $40 on Adidas.com. No promo code is needed. The discount will automatically be taken at checkout.
You can also stack up on e-gift cards at Maurices.com, a women's apparel shop that sells everything from regular to plus-size clothing, shoes and accessories, Bonebright mentions. For every $50 in gift cards purchased, you'll get a $10 coupon that you can pass on to the person receiving the card as a gift -- or keep for yourself to use later. This deal is available through May 10.
When buying clothing as a gift, be safe and stick to something you're certain she'll wear. Pajamas and loungewear are smart bets, especially while we're all sheltering in place. TrueTrae.com's Bodge's top pick for this product category is KateSpade.com, which is offering 50% off all items featured in the site's Mother's Day gift guide using the FORMOM promo code. (All sales are final, and the promo ends May 2 at 11:59 p.m. PST.) You can purchase a Jersey Blend Sleeveless Pajama Set for $39 (reg. $78), as well as a Jersey Blend Bow Chemise for $29 (reg. $58) among other similar options. The site also offers free ground shipping on all orders, which can take up to seven business days. The site is currently promising delivery by May 8 on orders placed by May 2.
If you want to give a gift that sparkles, but don't want to break the bank, check out the online jewelry site SterlingForever.com, Bodge recommends. It specializes in sterling silver and fashion jewelry pieces, and has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and on People.com. For Mother's Day, the site is offering 25% off your purchase with the MOTHER25 promo code. Bodge points out that their Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Inside Out Hoop Earrings are timeless and will appease a wide range of personal styles. You'll pay $76.50 for them after the discount (reg. $102). Sterling Forever also offers free shipping on orders over $50.
RetailMeNot.com's Skirboll recommends treating Mom to a bit of decadence in the kitchen with a Nespresso by Breville VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle, which is on sale for $162.49 (reg. $249.99 -- that's 35% off) at Bed Bath & Beyond. (It's listed at full price on the manufacturer's website.) At Bed Bath & Beyond, the coffee maker has a 5-star customer rating. The bundle deal comes with an Aeroccino Milk Frother and a 12-count sample coffee capsule pack. It qualifies for free standard shipping (for orders over $39), which can take up to six business days.
Quality candle sets are one of those gifts that are practically fail-proof. The Garden Soy Lotion Candle Gift Set (available on AnytownUSA.com for $31.50 -- marked down from $42) gets the seal of approval from TrueTrae.com's Bodge. The four-piece mini candle set comes with free standard shipping. The set serves double duty, because soy lotion candles can be used as a lotion or massage oil once the wax (which is made from soy wax, natural oils and essential oils) starts to burn and melt. AnytownUSA sells handmade goods crafted in the U.S.A., by independent marketplace sellers (think: Etsy). If you shop this site, keep in mind that sellers have up to seven days to ship sold items. If you're planning to make a Mother's Day purchase, you'll want to act fast to make sure it gets delivered on time.
Another one of Skirboll's gift picks is the InnoGear 150ml Essential Oil Aromatherapy Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier Gift Set. Priced at $29.99 on Amazon.com, it comes with six natural essential oil scents and has an automatic shut-off feature that kicks in once the filled water has run out. The diffuser has a 4.5-star customer rating (5 stars is the highest) and is Prime-eligible. If you're an Amazon Prime member, this item ships free, and your gift recipient will receive it within three to seven days of purchase. That's longer than the two-day shipping guarantee that Prime members pay a monthly or annual fee for, but Amazon is currently prioritizing the shipment of essential items (i.e., medical gear, non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies and the like). If you're not a Prime member, you can still score free shipping on eligible orders over $25.
Is Paying for Expedited Shipping Worth It?
We're in unprecedented times. Warehouses that ship the goods we order are working overtime to meet the high demand, and that continues to result in delays. And paying for expedited shipping may end up being money wasted, suggests RetailMeNot.com's Skirboll. Paying for expedited shipping generally doesn't rush it out of the warehouse any faster; it only ensures a fast shipping method, she tells procrastinators. The best move is to start shopping early, so that you have plenty of time to order a gift and get it delivered by Mother's Day.
Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for Kiplinger.com covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.
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