If you are anything like me you find yourself on the Amazon.com website, a lot. I am on there almost daily. Not because I am a shopaholic, but I am an obsessive reviewer of products. I am only interested in professional reviews of gear when I truly don't know anything about its form, fit, function or capability. What Amazon does better than anyone online is provide a tremendous database of real life reviews. I want to know what I am getting and what is similar and what compliments it as an accessory.
For years I just scrolled reviews and bookmarked items in my own browser folders. A few years ago I stumbled upon Amazon Wish Lists. When you sign up to sign in to Amazon you get a button next on each items page asking if you want to place this item in your Wish List. Then you can come back and look at these items later, see newer reviews, if the price has dropped since you placed it in the wish list. Its a great fast tool for holding potential future purchases.
If you have a smartphone, I suggest downloading the Amazon application. This app has a function that allows you to scan the SKU number of items you see at a store you are in. Click the scan app, it turns on your phone camera, then line the SKU bars up in the phone screen and it automatically finds that item on their website with their price. Great comparative shopping. If its something I want but don't neccesarily want to buy it right then, I put it in my wish list.
I mostly use my Wish list as a way to identify what I want to buy and if I haven't bought it by Christmas, I forward the list to my family members.
I also have a separate Wish List set up for my loved ones. If my wife says she really like an author or item I find it on the website and put in that list. My kids are always telling me they want this or that toy or item. If we are in a store, I use my Amazon app to scan the SKU and put it in my gift wish list. Then if they are still talking about it later, I can decide if we are going to buy it or not.
Don't get me wrong, I always prefer to buy from smaller local businesses but the fact of the matter is that local doesn't always equal me getting what I want and I will always include my effort to source and drive around to find what I want locally verse online. Even larger national chains don't carry items I want in their shelf items. Point in fact, the Sear store next to my house carries the Fiskar line of tools but did not carry the exact size ax I wanted. Their price to order and ship to the store was over 25% more than buying it online. That is not in my best interest.
Simply put, I am merely stating that Amazon has a tool called Wish Lists that make it infinitely simple to store your impulse gear ideas, products you want to review and buy for yourself or others. Sharing the list with hyperlinks and prices make it so much easier on older family members in the holiday season. Or those that are still in this age, not technically savvy to shop online.