Holiday shopping has started earlier this year than in the past, and everyone is looking to shop smart and find the best deals online and in-person. Shopping and Trend Expert, Sara Skirboll, shares some tips to help us sort through it all!
How to Shop Smart This Season:
Start shopping NOW! With the anticipated delays, you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where a gift doesn’t arrive on time or where you’re paying huge fees for rush shipping. Many stores already have discounted prices and holiday sales. Plus, it’s smart to shop earlier based on what we saw with out-of-stock items in the spring, lack of pickup windows and delivery delays earlier this year.
Look for retailers offering new services like “Buy Online Pick Up in Store”. Most retailers will continue to offer buy online, pickup in-store (53%) or, return in-store (56%) during the holiday season this year. Curbside pickup has also grown considerably during this pandemic. According to RetailMeNot research, 52% of retailers say they plan to deploy it for holiday shoppers this year.
Examples of retailers making safe shopping easier: Target, for example has added more parking spaces now dedicated for Drive Up customers
Best Buy now takes returns curbside
Install the RetailMeNot Deal Finder™ Browser Extension. This free browser extension finds and applies coupons & cash back for you. No effort required and takes out all the guesswork.
Check the carrier deadlines. The major shipping carriers have already holiday cutoff dates, so you know the last day you can order and receive your gifts on time.
UPS Ground - Dec 16
FedEx Ground/Home Delivery - Dec 19
USPS Retail Ground: Dec 15
Compare prices on BlackFriday.com: Before you start shopping, check out weekly ads on BlackFriday.com where you’ll find all the best Black Friday deals before they go live. This is a great resource to do research and price compare before you make any purchases
Check shipping deadlines with the online retailers. All the online retailers want to make sure you get your gifts on time and will be upfront about their deadlines. We’re still waiting on most of those retailers to announce this year’s dates, but you can still shop in the meantime to ensure your items arrive with plenty of time to spare.
Best things to buy on Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Electronics: This category will sell out the fastest and likely be one of the most discounted categories. If you see a good deal on a TV, computer or a phone - pick it up quick!
Smart home devices: Like electronics, smart home devices like Ring, Google Nests, Google homes, Amazon Alexa and Echo will be heavily discounted.
Video games/consoles: Black Friday is a big time for gamers so look out for savings on video games and video game systems. Shoppers will find deeper savings by looking into great offers on gaming bundles that will come with a console, a combination of accessories and sometimes video games.
Small appliances: While there will be big-ticket items deeply discounted on Black Friday, don’t discount the smaller kitchen appliances you’ve been eyeing. Look for items like coffeemakers, electric skillets, slow cookers, toasters, deep fryers, blenders and rice makers. Retailers make more mass orders than they usually stock, and prices drop much lower than normal retail.
Clothing: Black Friday is sure to bring savings on all forms of clothing - from shoes and accessories, to pants and tops. While it’s not usually the best time to buy in-season clothing, Black Friday is the exception as many retailers will be discounting winter coats and cooler weather apparel. Now is a good time to gear up for the cooler months ahead.