There’s Still Time! Nab More Holiday Savings Before Christmas
Save big in the two weeks left before December 25.
Shopping this time of year can be overwhelming. The parking lots are full, the stores are packed, and you may think that all the good gifts will be gone by the time you start. But, take heart! There are actually lots of smart and simple ways to save big in the two weeks left before December 25. Use these tips to nab the best holiday savings.
Visit stores in person now.
After December 15, brick-and-mortar stores are forced to charge higher shipping fees to online shoppers because mail carriers like FedEx, United Parcel Service, and United States Postal Service raise their rates to ensure delivery by December 25. So store managers know that once it gets too late to ship for free or with cheaper standard delivery, online purchases plunge. On top of that, shelves are brimming with an unprecedented glut of inventory that was caused when clogged shipments of merchandise finally arrived. So how is that good news for you if you shop now? Retailers are cutting in-store prices as low as they can go, offering buy-one-get-one-free deals and giving away bonus gifts with a purchase (like free perfume when you buy earrings) to ensure they sell all their products by Christmas Eve!
Tip: Want to skip the high cost of expedited shipping when shopping online? Good news: Many retailers are still offering curbside pickup as an option, saving you time and money.
Spot real online deals here.
Searching online for a great deal on holiday gifts, such as a Bluetooth speaker or air fryer? Head straight to a free price comparison shopping website, like Shopping.com or SlickDeals.net. You’ll find all the current deals in one place and can sort them by price to quickly spot the best offer. Best of all? You’ll find deals that you’d likely miss by doing a general search on Bing, Google, and other search engines. Why? During the holiday season, 76 percent of large companies and 68 percent of smaller companies pay search engines to put their store’s products at the top of search pages. This means you’ll see these items first when you type them in a search query, but they may not be the best deal.
Look for seasonal merchandise.
While many items go on sale during the last two weeks before December 25, a recent analysis of discount data by RetailMeNot.com found you’ll see an average of 27 percent off electronics (including mobile phones, smart speakers, and smartwatches), 25 percent off holiday-related food and entertainment (such as centerpieces, champagne, festive dishware, and seasonal food), 22 percent off health and beauty items (like perfume and cosmetic gift sets) and 19 percent off traditional presents (for example, gift baskets, stocking stuffers, and kids’ toys). These types of merchandise are seasonal, so stores cut their prices the most to ensure they’re sold before the holidays end.
Tip: Head to thrift stores and consignment shops. They’re slashing prices on already heavily discounted items to make room for an influx of new inventory from annual donations and unwanted holiday gifts.
Snap up bonus gift cards.
A whopping 56 percent of Americans are hoping to get at least one gift card this holiday season, making it one of the most requested gift items of the year — great news for you since many retailers, restaurants, and other businesses offer bonus gift cards or other free rewards when you purchase a gift card. For example, last year, Denny’s, IHOP, Noodles & Company, and Red Robin restaurants gave away a $5 bonus gift card when you purchased a $25 gift card in the weeks leading up to Christmas. And DSW, Famous Footwear, and Cinemark movie theaters offered a $10 bonus gift card when buying one worth $50.
Intend to shop for a sentimental gift? Make a plan to compare prices and visit coupon websites (like CouponCabin.com and Hip2Save.com) to find ways to save. Otherwise, you’ll likely skip money-saving offers altogether. University of Colorado Boulder researchers found that when it comes to sentimental purchases, we spend more and avoid cost-cutting because we subconsciously feel it’s wrong to save cash on thoughtful gifts — even when the recipient won’t know.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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