Good Reasons To Finish Your Christmas Shopping Early

Good Reasons To Finish Your Christmas Shopping Early


My mother had a friend who was a consummate Christmas shopper. Unlike some shoppers who started to patronize stores around Thanksgiving, Eileen had her shopping done and presents wrapped early. Before Labor Day!

Christmas cartNot everyone can finish their shopping early nor do they want to. Eileen hated the Christmas season crowds, but loved yuletide. When the holiday season rolled around she merrily celebrated, but avoided the retail hustle and bustle. All of her shopping was done from presents to tinsel.

Black Friday

Many consumers prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving in search of the best bargains of the holiday season. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally launches shoppers out of the home and into stores, with some of the best deals of the year found at the wee hours of the morning and up until noon.

Retailers use Black Friday as a means to hook in shoppers with loss leaders which are those products sold below cost. By offering a handful of money losing items, they know that they’ll have you in the store long enough for you to pick up other displayed items. And that’s how they make their money.

Economic Woes

This year, a number of retailers are rethinking their strategy as they worry that high unemployment (10.2% in October), a vexed real estate market, and consumer angst will keep people away from their stores. You can’t spend what you don’t have and, with many consumers having reduced credit to work with, the available dollars pie has shrunk considerably.

What this means is that some stores will be holding their Black Friday specials early and often. Sears, for example, says that they are holding Black Friday specials every Saturday in November and December. This means that if you were in a Sears store this past Saturday, you may have noticed some items priced exceptionally low.

Early Shoppers

Sears is finding competition from other retailers namely Best Buy, Dell, Toys ‘R Us, WalMart, and even Saks who are running their own variations on the early sale theme. Indeed, in a recent WalMart survey the retailing behemoth learned that at least 50 percent of mothers expect to have their Christmas shopping done before the Thanksgiving dinner table is set.

Unlike last year when many goods were sold at a loss, expect retailers to carefully manage inventory and control prices. That’s because in 2008 many store owners were caught with excess inventory having stocked their shelves to the hilt or had goods on order when the stock market collapsed in September. Deals will be had in 2009, but don’t expect prices to plummet as we move closer to Christmas Day.

Though my mother has since passed away and Eileen herself moved many miles away, I’m sure that she is still shopping early. After all, when you’re good at finding specials no matter the season, then you can get everything done and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas.

Adv. — No matter who you are buying gifts for this Christmas, you can find what you want online. Visit nBuy to see our In The Home gallery as well as to find helpful party planning ideas!


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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".