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From iPhones and Android smartphones to the iPad and various tablets, mobile devices are at the top of everyone's Christmas lists this year. And with ongoing deals and more affordable tablet options surfacing, they make for the perfect gifts. But the worst part of the whole process is tracking down the deals and fighting the ever-worsening crowds to get dibs on the hottest items.

Ironically, according to a recent study by Equation Research, a large chunk of holiday shopping will be done via tablets. Equation Research reported that 87 percent of tablet owners will be purchasing gifts for loved ones without ever leaving the couch. What's more is that they spend an average of $325 on gifts. About 49 percent of tablet owners plan to continue shopping via tablet after the holidays.

Aside from the convenience of never having to leave the comfort of home, Samantha Murphy of Mashable explains that "respondents also noted that they felt more 'excited' to make purchases this way than in stores, online or via smartphones." Equation Research finds that of the 238 tablet owners surveyed, the most preferred way (50 percent) to shop with a tablet is from a couch. Additionally, 20 percent prefer to shop with their tablet from a bed, six percent prefer to use their tablet to shop at the mall (huh?), five percent at the kitchen counter and three percent on public transportation.

So what are these tablet shoppers spending their money on and what kind of gifts are they buying? A full 38 percent use theirs for buying clothes. Likewise, 38 percent of tablet owners use their slate to purchase toys. And as you would expect, at 24 percent, jewelry is also a hot item for tablet owners to buy. When you break it down by gender, men plan to spend between $201 and $500 on an item, while only 37 percent of women spend in this price range. However, 52 percent of men and women consider themselves savvy shoppers.

First, I must say that I'm surprised that "in a coffee shop" didn't make the cut for most preferred places to shop from a tablet. I do almost all of my online shopping via tablet, and a large portion of that is done at coffee shops. The rest, of course, is done from my less-than-comfy couch.

Out of all of the shopping I do, I would say at least 75 percent of it is done online. I can thank Amazon and my Prime membership for that. But more so than prices and free shipping, it amounts to not having to deal with "consultants" and "representatives" that know their product. If I am making a big investment, even cheaper items sometimes, chances are I've done my homework and know what I'm getting myself into. Nothing gets under my skin quicker than an employee giving me their unwarranted opinion on how I should buy something newer, better or more/less expensive. I am very much an independent shopper, and nothing accommodates to that quite like shopping from home.

However, I don't plan on doing a lot of my holiday shopping online this year for several reasons. For starters, I'm getting a late start and shipping will be a nightmare by the time I get around to it. Several of the gifts I'm planning on buying can't be found online (like a local artist's work). And I like the idea of someone being able to return or exchange an unwanted gift (which doesn't bother me in the least) on their own account. If I purchase something for someone through Amazon and they want to exchange it for something that might work a little better for them, I will be the middleman in that in that transaction.

To me, unless you're 100 percent certain you are getting the right gift and that it will arrive on time, buying online is somewhat risky. I will hold on to buying Christmas gifts and birthday presents from brick and mortar stores as long as possible. But when buying for myself, I always check online before heading out the door to a retail shop, and nine times out of 10, I'm checking from my Galaxy Tab (or Kindle Fire now).

So, tell me, readers. Have you done any holiday shopping from your tablet? What is your preferred place to shop from? The couch? Your bed? Do you plan on shopping from your tablet in the future, too?


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