Holiday shopping season fraud stats revealed

There’s a 1% decrease in suspected online retail fraud worldwide during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season compared to the same period in 2019, a 59% increase from the same period in 2018 and a 14% increase from all of 2020 so far, TransUnion research reveals.

shopping season fraud stats

Holiday shopping season fraud stats

The findings are based on the same-store sales analysis of e-commerce customers during the traditional start of the global holiday shopping season, Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.

These findings mirror the recent conclusions in the report that found 50% of U.S. consumers are concerned with being victimized by fraudsters this holiday season. The concern is relatively uniform across generations, though Gen X are the most worried about being victimized at 53%.

Heading into the holiday shopping season, the study conducted from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5, 2020 found 37% of 9,515 consumers surveyed globally said they had been targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19, a 28% increase from the same survey the week of April 13, 2020.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the move from offline to online transactions, detecting digital fraud attempts has become paramount for e-commerce providers,” said Shai Cohen, Sr. VP of Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion.

“In order to avoid cart abandonment with all of these new sales opportunities, it is equally if not more important to ensure consumers are able to make friction-right digital transactions.”

Shopping fraud trends from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30

The percent of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions during the start of the holiday shopping season and entire year since 2018:

  • 15.54% from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30, 2020. 13.67% so far in 2020.
  • 15.70% from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 2019. 9.80% all of 2019.
  • 9.76% from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26, 2018. 11.12% all of 2018.

The days with the highest percent of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season:

  • Cyber Monday, Nov. 30: 26.03%
  • Saturday, Nov. 28: 12.39%
  • Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: 12.29%
  • Black Friday, Nov. 27: 12.02%
  • Sunday, Nov. 29: 11.68%

The global countries/regions and U.S. cities where the highest percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions originated from during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season:

Country/region

  • Puerto Rico: 44.4%
  • Greece: 30.9%
  • Hong Kong: 28.3%

U.S. city

  • San Francisco: 9.8%
  • Pittsburgh: 9.7%
  • Los Angeles: 9.6%

Mobile transaction and fraud trends

Also, consumers used a mobile phone or tablet for 58% of their online retail transactions during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season. That is slightly down from 62% for the same period in 2019 and up from 55% for the same period in 2018.

For the holiday shopping weekend, retail transactions from a mobile phone compared to all e-commerce transactions were:

  • 62.84% on Saturday, Nov. 28
  • 62.68% on Sunday, Nov. 29
  • 60.09% on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26
  • 57.90% on Black Friday, Nov. 27
  • 50.37% on Cyber Monday, Nov. 30

“Customizing a transaction to the type of device a consumer is using contributes immensely to providing a smooth customer

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Shop Drew Barrymore’s Holiday Gift Ideas From Small Businesses

Drew Barrymore is encouraging everyone to shop small this holiday season. The actress’ talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, is sharing Drew’s Little Book of Small Businesses Gift Guide — filled with the star’s handpicked holiday gift recommendations from small businesses from across the country. 

The show has curated the list from suggestions sent to Barrymore’s Instagram, which resulted in over 70,000 submissions. The gift guide features a great range of small businesses from Wichita-based pottery company Del Norte Studio to Boston’s first Black-owned bookstore Frugal Bookstore. Check back on Barrymore’s gift list as more small businesses will be added throughout the holidays.

Be sure to also check out ET Style’s expansive gift guides, such as gifts under $50, home devices, stocking stuffers, fashion favorites, gifts for teens, gifts for men, candles, pajama sets and more. Holiday shipping deadlines are fast approaching, so ensure your gifts arrive on time by reviewing important cutoff dates and delivery options. 

Ahead, shop gifts from small businesses featured on Drew’s Little Book of Small Businesses Gift Guide. 

Del Norte Studio



a cup of coffee: Del Norte Studio Sprinkl Mug


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Del Norte Studio Sprinkl Mug

Del Norte Studio

>Del Norte Studio

Mexican artist Armando Minjarez’s Del Norte Studio is based in Wichita, Kansas. The studio creates handcrafted, one-of-a-kind ceramic designs such as bowls, mugs, vases, plates and tumblers, “exploring design concepts within the context of public and domestic space,” according to their website.

$45 at Del Norte Studio

Iyanla Vanzant



map: Acts of Faith: 25th Anniversary Edition


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Acts of Faith: 25th Anniversary Edition

Frugal Bookstore/Simon & Schuster

>Iyanla Vanzant

Frugal Bookstore, operated by couple Clarissa and Leonard Egerton, is the first Black-owned bookstore in Boston. The bookstore promotes literacy among children, teens and adults in their community. Ninety-eight percent of their books are authored by people of color, featuring a range of genres in fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. 

REGULARLY $16.99

$15.29 at Frugal Bookstore

Estelle Colored Glass



Estelle Cake Stand in Blush Pink


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Estelle Cake Stand in Blush Pink

Estelle Colored Glass

>Estelle Colored Glass

Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Estelle Colored Glass creates stunning hand-blown colored glass cake stands and stemware. Named after founder Stephanie Summerson Hall’s grandmother who loved antiques, Estelle Colored Glass combines vintage style and modern sophistication in each piece. 

$225 at Estelle Colored Glass

Queen Bee Jelly



Queen Bee Jelly


© Provided by ETOnline
Queen Bee Jelly

Queen Bee Jelly

>Queen Bee Jelly

Queen Bee Jelly is an online fabric boutique in Washington, D.C., offering beautiful Ankara fabric, also known as African wax fabric, in striking vibrant patterns and colors. The brand also has a collection of beautiful trims, pins, brooches, lace and mud cloth. 

REGULARLY $8.99

$1 per yard at Queen Bee Jelly

Keller Works



Keller Works Elliott's Care Set (Raw)


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Keller Works Elliott’s Care Set (Raw)

Keller Works

>Keller Works

Founded by Krystn Keller in Mobile, Alabama, Keller Works makes skin and body products for sensitive skin that’s formulated with natural ingredients, free of irritants and allergens. This set includes Elliott’s Body Butter, Elliott’s Salve and Elliott’s Oatmeal Soap — named

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Weekend Sip’s 12 bottles of Christmas has gift suggestions for everyone on your holiday list

Let’s put aside all the problems of 2020 and turn our attention to the holidays. That means it’s time to joyfully head off shopping for friends and family, for colleagues and neighbors and maybe even for ourselves.

And that means it’s time for a Weekend Sip tradition: the 12 Bottles of Christmas.

Once again, we’ve compiled a list of a dozen bottles, covering the categories of wine, beer and spirits. (And ice cream, too!) We’ve selected items at varying price points, so you can gift anything from a simple stocking stuffer to the sip of a lifetime. Needless to say, the list doesn’t strictly apply to Christmas — the picks will generally work for any holiday or occasion.

Need more suggestions? You can always refer back to our picks from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Oh, and one more thing: Happy holidays!

The ugly sweater bottle (er, can)

We’ve never quite understood the ugly Christmas sweater thing. Such apparel may represent a gleeful way to subvert the season, but it’s still, well, ugly. But we can embrace the ugly sweater when it comes in liquid form. And that is the idea behind Almanac Beer Co.’s Ugly Sweater LOVE Hazy IPA ($16.99 for a four-pack). The Northern California craft brewer, which specializes in what it calls “farm-to-barrel” beer, describes this super-tasty IPA as a “jolly” sip with notes of mango and cantaloupe. But it’s the image on the can of an ugly sweater that may be the real selling point for some. Almanac also puts together other festive holiday items, including a 12-can Christmas sampler and an eight-can Hanukkah one.

The red bottle

You’ll need to have deep pockets for a bottle of Beringer’s Eighth Maker Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — it’s a whopping $400, which is pricey even by California trophy-bottle standards. But this sip, from the producer that calls itself California’s longest continuously operating winery, may just be worth it for its hearty taste (think blackberries and black cherries, says the Beringer team) and yet surprisingly delicate texture (the tannins are “fine grained,” the producer notes). The packaging is as superlative as the bottle, with the glossy wooden case almost worthy of being used to store prized jewels. The bottle’s name refers to Mark Beringer’s role as Beringer’s eighth winemaker — the company was founded in part by his great-great-grandfather Jacob.

Mijenta ($50) is a clean-tasting tequila with a variety of flavor notes, from honey to pineapple.


Mijenta

The green bottle

In this case, we mean “green” not in the color-minded sense, but in the save-the-planet one. And Mijenta, a small-batch tequila producer, says it takes the environment seriously. The company’s sustainable practices include ensuring all of its packaging — the label and box — utilizes the waste from agave, the plant that goes into making tequila. It’s a laudable mission, but the tequila itself — in its “blanco” (meaning un-aged) iteration ($50) — deserves praise as well. The sip is clean-tasting with a variety

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Shippers scramble as holiday shopping goes online

COLONIE — Merchants told us to shop early. Health officials told us to stay home.

The result? An avalanche of online purchases that is burying parcel delivery trucks and postal carriers.

UPS, which normally operates one daily round-trip from Albany International Airport, upped that to two round-trips by early November, then doubled it again.

This week, UPS began operating four round-trips from Albany most weekdays. Each of the Boeing 757s can carry up to 88,000 pounds, or 44 tons, of cargo.

“It’s an indication of the online shopping that’s going on nationally and in the Capital Region,” observed airport spokesman Doug Myers.

UPS has also altered some of its package pickups to match demand with its capacity, UPS spokesman Jim Mayer told the Times Union, after The Wall Street Journal reported that drivers had been instructed not to pick up some packages from its largest customers following Cyber Monday promotions.

“Agreed upon strategies for our largest customers include shifting package volume away from the heaviest demand shipping days, fully utilizing weekend capacity, and aligning promotional strategies with capacity,” UPS said in a statement.

The early shopping advice did help reduce Black Friday crowds as the coronavirus accelerated its spread. And consumers  benefited from sales that began as early as late October.

“More than half of holiday shoppers took advantage” of the early promotions, said Melissa O’Connor, president and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State.

The number of consumers shopping online only during Black Friday weekend surged 44 percent, according to the National Retail Federation, to 95.7 million.

The state Retail Council this year established an online shopping portal for smaller merchants who otherwise might not have an online presence. So far, the retailnewyork.com website has more than 550 participating retailers, said O’Connor.

They, too, needed to ship, said UPS.

“UPS is committed to maintaining the reliability of its network for other customers, including small- and medium-sized businesses, which have been hit hardest during the pandemic and are also seeing an increase in holiday volume,” UPS said. “The network capacity for our SMB customers must also remain strong to help the recovery of this vital part of the economy.”

The online surge didn’t come as a surprise, and shippers tried to prepare. UPS added flights, while FedEx hired 70,000 extra employees for the holidays. The U.S. Postal Service also ramped up hiring for the period.

“America is moving its shopping online in massive ways and while USPS is ready to do its part, we are greatly encouraging our customers to do their part as well,” U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Maureen Marion told the Times Union. “That means order and mail as early as possible.”

At Albany-based CommerceHub, which provides order fulfillment technology for major retailers including Best Buy and Walmart, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Promotion Erik Morton wrote that the pandemic brought online shopping “to a new level, and it’s here to stay for the holidays.

“What’s more, in-store Black Friday is gone as we know it,”

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Holiday online shopping surge tests UPS network

In a year when consumers have turned to online shopping more than ever, holiday purchases for delivery are already starting to test the shipping capacity at UPS.

Drivers for UPS — the world’s largest package-delivery company, based in the Atlanta metro — wrote in online forums this week that they were instructed not to pick up packages at some major retailers as e-commerce orders hit an all-time high Monday.

The shipping restrictions affected retailers including Macy’s, Gap, Nike, New Egg, L.L. Bean and Hot Topic, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Instead of visiting stores during the coronavirus pandemic, a growing number of customers are ordering goods online from stores, which then ship the goods to customers’ homes.

Consumers spent $34.4 billion from Thanksgiving through Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, according to an analysis by software firm Adobe. Monday was the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, according to Adobe.

UPS is trying to spread out shipments over peak and nonpeak times through a longer holiday shopping period to avoid big spikes in volume. It said it set “specific capacity allocations” last weekend and through the holiday season, and worked to ensure large retail customers “are aware of how much capacity is available to them.”

The shipping giant also said it wants to maintain reliability for other customers including small- and medium-size businesses, “which have been hit hardest during the pandemic and are also seeing an increase in holiday volume.”

An overloaded shipping network could mean delays for online shoppers waiting for their items to arrive. Industry observers have warned that this year more than ever, consumers should order items early to ensure they are delivered in time for the holidays, or arrange to order online and pick up items at stores.

UPS spends much of the year preparing for the peak holiday season, including settings plans with some of the nation’s largest retailers on how much they will ship and when.

UPS also imposed higher holiday shipping surcharges on some of the biggest retailers this year to cope with rising costs and deter retailers from putting in a surge of orders at one time.

The shipper said it has added 20 facilities and 14 planes for the peak holiday season, and is hiring more than 100,000 temporary workers.

E-commerce behemoth Amazon also has been hiring more workers and is encouraging customers to consider consolidating their deliveries or having items delivered to Amazon Hub pickup locations.

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The Best Gift Baskets For Everyone On Your Holiday List

It’s fair to say that gift baskets have a bad rap. Typically, they contain too many snacks and nicknacks that no one wants because they’re mediocre at best, all wrapped up in an absurd amount of cellphone. But while that may be the case for most, there are some actually good gift baskets out there that deliver joy.

Several worthwhile options exist, from large companies that sell gourmet products—Stonewall Kitchen and Williams Sonoma come to mind—ands boutique brands that make curation and presentation a priority, to local purveyors who hand-package their artisanal products.

There are also sites such as Mouth that allow gift-givers to create personalized boxes for recipients. And the platform Goldbelly, which brings food from local restaurants all over the country right to peoples’ doorsteps—something that’s particularly useful to those small businesses right now.

Here’s a rundown of some of best gift baskets you can give this holiday. With treats and goodies anyone would enjoy, there’s bound to be something here for everyone on your list.

Best Gift Baskets For a Taste of Everything

Balducci’s Hostess With the Mostest Basket

This gift basket is filled with superb savory items—and a few sweets thrown into the mix. Perfect for the person who loves to sample products with different flavor profiles, it has everything from Kalamata fig spread with almonds to Sable and Rosenfeld olive bruschetta, plus caramelized walnuts and Balducci’s delicious sea salt caramels.


Harry & David Season’s Best Gift Basket

Harry & David is famous for their bountiful holiday gift baskets, and they’re popular for a reason. All the sweet and savory treats are solid quality and the fruit is especially flavorful—and great to have around midwinter when the selection at the supermarket is less than stellar. This basket includes pears, gouda and hickory-smoked summer sausage, plus everyone’s movie night favorite: Moose Munch.


Best Gift Baskets For Brunching

Zabar’s Quintessential Zabar’s Basket

If you know someone nostalgic for New York comfort food, this gift basket is the perfect gift. Zabar’s is an institution that’s been around since 1934, and this package includes nearly everything it’s famous for. There’s classic LBC (that’s lox, bagels and cream cheese), plus ingredients for a hearty pastrami on rye with deli mustard. There’s also a ceramic Zabar’s coffee mug thrown in as a keepsake to remember the extravagant feast.


Stonewall Kitchen Taste of New England Gift Basket

It’s tough to go wrong with anything from Stonewall Kitchen, as their dry mixes, jams, condiments and other products are all excellent and reasonably priced. The lucky person who receives this gift basket will get cozy New England winter vibes delivered straight to their home. Inside is pancake and waffle mix and Maine maple syrup, along with orange cranberry scone mix and assorted jams for spreading.


Fortnum & Mason Deluxe Tea Bag Assortment

Send someone the gift of proper English tea with this lovely set from the London’s Fortnum & Mason, filled with 120 sachets of their fine teas. All the familiar standards are included,

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Where to shop for Christmas gifts and more this holiday season

After a tumultuous year, the holiday season is finally upon us.

Whether you’re buying for a child, spouse or best friend, we’ve created a list of locally made items and places to visit. Check it out.

Clothing and Jewelry

Bittersweet Ivy Boutique sells woman’s clothing, jewelry, shoes and more ranging from $6 to $119. Receive 10% off your first online order and free shipping on purchases of $40 or more. 6990 Main St., 469-475-8001, bittersweetivy.com.

Blue Door Boutique sells jewelry, home décor, candles, furniture, wall art, special-ordered tennis racquets, tennis accessories and more. Lake Tennis Academy, 4000 Legacy Drive, 214-705-7701, laketennis.com/bluedoorboutique.

Dancing Starfish Designs sells handmade leather earrings, customer design earrings, spirit wear earrings and more. DancingStarfishDesigns.com.

Tumbleweed Texstyles sells Texas-based items, including clothing, hats, drinkware and more. The website has a “soon-to-retire” section with various sale items, ranging from $14 to $20. 7511 Main St., Suite A120, tumbleweedtexstyles.com.

Spirit Sprinkles is an online woman’s spirit wear store. The store is currently offering 12 Days of Christmas deals with a different deal each day and free shipping on purchases of $49 or more. spiritsprinkles.com.

Cookie Society of Frisco is owned by Jeff and Marissa Allen.

Food and drink

Cookie Society’s holiday gift crate was featured on Oprah’s list of favorite things in 2020. The crate comes with a dozen cookies for $55. 9320 Dallas Parkway, Suite 160, 214-618-0651, cookiesociety.com.

Huckle Bee Farms of Celina offers raw unfiltered honey infused with various fruits and vegetables. 724-747-7855, hucklebeefarm.com.

Poparella’s Gourmet Popcorn & Treats sells more than 60 flavors of popcorn, candies, fudge and candied nuts. A regular three-cup bag of popcorn ranges from $3.09 to $8.59, depending on the flavor. The large Holiday Wood Panel Wagon can contain up to three flavors of popcorn for $12.69. 8873 Coleman Blvd., 214-705-9666, poparellas.com.

Game Day Style founder Brittany Cobb models a jacket for a photo at her shop across from The Star in Frisco.

Home goods

Heart’s Desire is a widely stocked gift shop with clothing and jewelry, Yeti cups, stationery, home décor, soaps, candles, seasonal decorations and more. 4760 Preston Road, Suite 200, 972-335-1800, heartsdesiregifts.com.

The Sample House and Candle House has thousands of scented candles, home décor items, pet accessories and more. 3231 Preston Road, Suite 6, 972-668-6208, samplehouse.com.

Storied Roots sells furniture, statuary and home décor made of natural rattan, wood and stone. 7227 Main St., 400, 972-266-2479, storiedroots.com.

The newest Tiff's Treats is located at 1070 South Preston Road in Prosper.

The Community Grill is a casual dining restaurant with various dishes. 2525 Main St., Suite 400, 214-494-4548.

Didi’s Downtown serves a range of food, including the grilled Atlantic salmon salad and chicken noodle soup. 7210 Main St., 469-888-4020.

Eight11 is a locally owned wine bar with a food menu of shareables, soups and salads, artisan pizzas and more. 7080 Main St., 469-888-4037.

J. Theodore Restaurant and Bar is the former Bonnie Ruth’s. It serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch dishes — and has dozens of martinis on its bar menu. Next door is a secret speakeasy, owned by the same couple. 6959 Lebanon Road, Suite 110, 214-705-7775.

At Luminova Holidays, a new festival at Globe Life Field in Arlington, visitors can skate on a 10,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink.

Experiences

KidZania is an indoor city for kids with real-life experiences. Tickets are free

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This year, give a holiday gift that evokes your favorite city or state

In July of 2018, I walked through downtown Juneau, Alaska, with Midgi Moore, who founded and runs Juneau Food Tours. She took me and a handful of other tourists to a smattering of small restaurants, trendy breweries and outdoor waterside vendors selling everything from freshly shucked oysters to provisions like locally pickled kelp. I bought a few items to bring home, which I stockpiled for gifts. All joyfully received in subsequent months, I’m happy to say, by giftees who reported a newfound interest in visiting the 49th state.



a plate of food on a table: The Nashville Hot Chicken Gift Batch.


© Rob Williams/Batch
The Nashville Hot Chicken Gift Batch.

This past April, with the pandemic in its nascent stage and Americans blissfully unaware of the devastation ahead, I received an email from Midgi notifying me that she launched a new enterprise: Taste Alaska! The subscription box service operated on the philosophy, “If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.” The boxes, also available as one-offs, contain a changing inventory of Alaskan food items, like reindeer sausage and smoked salmon. In every mix are visitor guides from different parts of the state and a Native Alaskan Ulu knife.

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Taste Alaska! is one of the newer examples of a growing number of companies that act simultaneously as curators, agents and advocates for small artisanal businesses, affording everyone the opportunity to shop like a local, even when they aren’t. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on small businesses. In New York, a report by the Partnership for New York City projected a third of the 230,000 small businesses could close. If ever there was a time to shop independent, this is it.

And beyond the opportunity to help, there is the payoff. Buying from small makers — be it in your own city or another — is sure to yield more original, memorable items than something off the shelf in the nearest big-box store. Moreover, in addition to providing a sense of discovering something new, the way travel would, gifts from far-off places offer the giftee a pleasant reminder of traveling. When the pandemic started, I wrote a story for these pages about the joys of collecting souvenirs. I spoke to Sam Gosling, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and author of “Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You.” He explained that joy we get from travel — or any special occasion — comes on both sides of the actual experience, both in anticipation and memory. Part of the joy of these offerings is the thought of traveling again.

[The Washington Post 2020 Holiday Gift Guide]

In early 2013, Michigan native Cory Wright moved back to his hometown, outside Detroit, after several years managing a restaurant in Manhattan. He had gotten used to geeking out, he says, with the chefs about local farms. But back in Michigan, the locavore movement hadn’t quite caught on yet. So he launched Mitten Crate to spotlight the region’s native agriculture and creative producers.



text, letter: The Taste Alaska Box from Juneau Food Tours.


© Juneau Food Tours
The Taste Alaska Box

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Holiday Gift Guide 2020: The Best High-Design Bongs

Sometimes the best high comes from taking a good old-fashioned bong hit — a true and well-deserved pleasure in the surreal holiday season of 2020. And no cannabis connoisseur’s collection is complete without a prized piece of glass (or ceramic). A bong, technically known as a water pipe, was first used (and named) centuries ago by the Hmong people in Laos and Thailand, as a natural filtration device made from bamboo for smoking tobacco, cannabis and other herbs. Today, bongs are more beautiful than ever with cannabis companies elevating over-the-top ornate offerings from traditional head shops into minimal, modern works of art. Here are eight high-design bongs to gift the cannabis purist on your list this year.

Long live bonging! 

Session Goods Bong

Founded by five friends in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a side hustle, Session set out in 2019 “to create moments of indulgence, thoughtfully expressed through permissible vices.” Its debut designer bong is made of borosilicate glass with a sleek, tapered shape and molded indent for an ergonomic grip. An intuitive silicone footer protects the glass from inevitable damage (and also hides unsightly dirty water). $120, sessiongoods.com 

GRAV Small Wide Base Water Pipe

From GRAV, the pioneer in scientific cannabis glass, comes its beloved Wide Base Water Pipe in an updated version, fabricated in translucent grey colorway with clear accents. This longtime favorite has all of the same features from the original like the wide conical fission percolator, which diffuses smoke through water and a narrow neck that prevents splash-back. $134.99, grav.com

Elevate Jane Mimi

Meet Mimi, a delicate minimalist pipe that delivers the most proper of highs from the contemporary smoke shop Elevate Jane. Founder Angela Mou commissions all of the Long Beach-based store’s custom pieces from a locally-based glassblower in Orange County. $149, elevatejane.com 

K.Haring Water Pipe

Inspired by the late visionary Keith Haring, the K.Haring Water Pipe (center in the photo above) features the artist’s iconic artwork and signature on precision-crafted, thick borosilicate glass. Its removable, diffused downstem fits a spacious bowl with an airtight, ground glass connection, while a seven-slit showerhead percolator produces smaller bubbles to moisturize, clean and cool your smoke (there’s also a built-in ice-catcher). $160, haringglass.com 

Summerland

“Made from the earth, by hand, in California,” Summerland’s uber-cool collection of opaque bongs (and other “stonerware”) stands out for its clean lines. Constructed in lead-free, food-safe glaze and ceramic, its silicone grommet ensures easy hits and airtight carbs every time. Choose from three designs (Pleasure Point, Chongo and Land Yacht) in three shades (Dust, Charcoal and Terracotta) — or go for the original in glossy white. From $165, welcometosummer.land

Marley Natural Water Pipe

Utility meets design in this classically shaped water pipe, which seamlessly blends sustainably sourced black walnut with hand-blown borosilicate glass. The flush-fit, five-hole downstem and ice pinch make for cool, smooth and slow draws. The wood smoke chamber that connects to the

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How to gift stock market wealth to loved ones during the holiday season

This holiday season give the gift that can keep on creating wealth: stocks. Along with appreciating value, the gift of a stock will also serve as a valuable learning experience for any investor.



a group of teddy bears hanging from the ceiling


© Provided by CNBC


But you can’t order a stock off Amazon, nor will Santa be sliding down the chimney with blue-chip stock certificates. If you want to gift stock to loved one, there are several options, as well as a few important points to keep in mind.

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Among the most convenient ways to gift a stock, according to James Royal, author of The Zen of Thrift Conversions and a Bankrate analyst, is via a gift card. “Stockpile allows you to buy a gift card for a stock and then the recipient redeems the gift card for ownership.”

With a Stockpile gift card or e-gift card you can give between $1 and $2,000 to buy shares, or fractional shares, of a stock. Your recipient can then redeem the gift card and create an account with Stockpile.

Stockpile also offers custodial accounts, which allows guardians to monitor minors’ investments.

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You can also give stock via brokerage accounts. Royal recommends using brokerage accounts for anyone that wants to set up recurring fund transfers.

If the recipient has the same brokerage firm as the sender, the process is as simple as transferring shares electronically. However, if the recipient is outside of the sender’s brokerage firm, Royal says it will take more time to get the gift set up. “You’ll need information like their Social Security number, account number, and name. Obviously, this is all very sensitive information and needs to be handled with care. You can’t surprise someone with this sort of gift,” he said.

It should be noted that the recipients will pay a capital gains tax when they sell their gifted stock. The severity of the tax will depend on how long the individual holds onto the stock. If they sell within a year of receiving the stock, they will be subject to short-term capital gains, which are higher than long-term capital gains — investments held for over one year.

For anyone wishing to give over $15,000, you will incur a gift tax. If you are looking to transfer a substantial amount, you might want to consider a trust. A trust will allow you to postpone the recipient’s access and ensure that the money will be used for its intended purpose.

If you wish to give investment wealth to a child, Royal suggests a 529 savings plan. “With a 529 anyone can contribute. They’ll be investing in that child’s education.”

529 plans allow parents to save after-tax dollars for education expenses. The savings grow tax-free as long as they are ultimately used for qualified education expenses.

Savings bonds are another

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