As Tet (Lunar New Year) approaches, shoppers are increasingly turning to online gift delivery services to avoid crowded market and shopping centres.

Supermarkets and shops are busy as demand for Tet gifts increases and the economy sees signs of recovery. Outlets have been serving both on the-spot customers and those who have turned to online shopping.

“This is the second year I’ve decided to buy gifts for my colleagues through the internet because it’s easy to select what I want,” said Nguyen Thanh Binh, director of the DSC Information and Technology Joint Stock Company in Hanoi .

In the last two weeks, online Tet gift service providers have launched a series of promotional programmes to attract more customers; with some companies offering between 5 to 10 percent discounts for bulk orders made via the internet.

The online Tet gift delivery service providers have established 24 hour hot lines to receive orders and have also launched consulting services for customers.

Tet gifts can be searched for using various criteria, be relatives, friends, counterparts or lovers. According to online gift providers, Tet gift baskets remain the favourite gift of choice among customers.

The average price of a gift basket with 5-10 commodities stands between120,000 VND (7 USD) to 1 million VND (56 USD).

The gifts include a variety of traditional products such as banh chung (square rice cake), dried fruits, confectionery and alcohol to modern products, electronic goods.

Nguyen Van Hai, at online distributor Vietnam Development and Investment Research joint Stock Co, said that the company had prepared more goods for sale than last year.

“To date, few individuals are ordering via internet, but companies are in bigger numbers,” said Hai.

Nguyen Thu Hanh from the Thang Long Flower Delivery Company also said that the number of orders prior to Tet will double due to rising demand.

However, consumers have been warned that before clicking their mouse and making an online purchase that they check that they are dealing with reliable suppliers. The number of online-swindles has increased in the recent period.

Customers should select well known online service providers to guarantee good quality products, said Ho Anh Tuan, director of the Atech Communication Informatics Technology Co./.