Holiday shopping may look a little different during this unusual year, but one thing is the same as ever — there are great holiday deals to be found if you know where to look! Here, retail pros reveal savvy ways to increase your savings on gifts for everyone on your list.
Sign up for alerts.
“This year’s holiday deals will be stretched out,” reveals Neil Saunders, a retail analyst with Global Data. Which means you’ll still nab savings after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To find bargains: Download stores’ free apps to get alerts sent to your phone, or visit their websites to sign up to receive emails to your inbox or flyers via snail mail. Also smart: Follow retailers on Facebook and place their posts at the top of your newsfeed so you never miss a deal. Here’s how: Click the down arrow in the menu on the upper right corner, click Settings and Privacy, then News Feed Preferences, then See First. Then simply select the stores you want to hear from!
Pay attention to this date.
Circle December 15 on your calendar and keep an eye on sales leading up to it. Non-expedited delivery (which means no extra rush fees) ends on or around this date for the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS. So, stores who use them will be offering bigger deals if you place your order before then. “Shipping carriers are getting aggressive about cutoff dates for delivery, plus retailers are concerned about this year’s higher volume of shipped parcels,” says Saunders. By offering you money-saving incentives, businesses hope it motivates you to buy early enough to guarantee on-time, no-rush delivery.
Look for bonuses.
To make up for a lackluster sales year, retailers are competing for your business by offering even more bonuses that can save you cash. “You’ll find e-gift card offers for sure,” confirms Sucharita Kodali, a retail analyst with Forrester. For example, you may get a bonus $10 e-gift card when you buy a $50 one, or a free $5 e-gift card when you buy a certain product. To find e-gift card offers, visit Gift Card Girlfriend. Other bonuses to look for: Discounts for curbside pickup, no-fee layaways, and reward points or cash back on purchases. To find deals, visit TheKrazyCouponLady.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.