HOUSTON – Cyber Monday saw a 30 percent rise in online sales this year compared to last, according to an IBM survey. If you’re still looking for the perfect Christmas or holiday gift online, no, you don’t always have to worry about shipping and handling.
Here are a few unique ideas for 2012:
== Facebook iTunes gift card ==
Facebook this week added the ability for users to give their friends iTunes digital gift cards. You can choose amounts ranging from $10 to $50. Your friends can choose to spend it on movies, music, TV shows, e-books and more. They can also trade it back in to use on other Facebook Gifts, which leads us to our next option (see below). >> Click here to visit Facebook Gifts
== Facebook Gifts ==
This Facebook feature launched in September, offering up gift cards, chocolates, clothes, jewelry, and more. Any of it you can “gift” to one of your Facebook friends with a custom message. They’ll receive a notice about the gift on their Facebook wall. >> Click here to visit Facebook Gifts
== Blurb, Lulu ==
Sites like Blurb and Lulu let you upload your photos and make high quality, hard cover books. Pricing starts at around $10, but don’t expect that to get you much. You can select the style and add captions. A newer option on Blurb allows you to make your photo book into an e-book for use on tablets and e-readers. >> Click here for Blurb, >> Click here for Lulu
== YouBar ==
YouBar has been around for a few years now, and while it’s not the cheapest e-gift option, it’s certainly unique. Essentially you run through a list of options to build out your own custom energy bar, complete with the flavorings you think your friend might like. It’ll even tell you the nutritional value, and at the end, you get to name it so the bar has a custom wrapper. The cost runs about $3/bar. >> Click here for YouBars
TIPS: Before you buy any digital gift card, make sure you read the terms of service. Does it expire? Can you use it in a real store or only online? Also, look for contact info on any online store. If they don’t have a customer service phone number, then you might consider buying from someone else.