This article, entitled "Ways to save by starting your Christmas shopping now," comes from partner site Money Talks News.
As a huge advocate of saving every penny you can, I want to encourage you to start your Christmas shopping NOW. The benefits of less stress, better selection, and more competitive pricing are all pretty compelling against wanting to wait until it feels more Christmas-y. I’m all about Christmas-y but I want you to not still be paying for your Christmas-y come next July. Here are some of my favorite ways to save by starting your Christmas shopping now!
1. Supply and demand in your favor.
When you shop earlier, retailers (especially online retailers) aren’t running low on inventory. The closer it gets to Christmas, the harder it is to get excellent deals, especially on hard-to-find or unique items. Think of it this way: If you looked on Amazon today for a particular item, it’s likely that numerous sellers have it and they are all competing for the next sale. The price is bound to be reasonable or even low. But as sellers run out of stock, the price climbs due to dwindling competition.
2. Time to wait for coupon codes.
If you don’t wait until so close to Christmas that you have to order to beat the shipping deadline, you have time to play the “entice me to return” game with online retailers. Most retailers will offer you an additional discount if you “abandon cart” without completing your purchase. Be sure to leave your email address so they can send you the deals.
3. Plenty of time to comparison shop.
Just like waiting for coupon codes, you have time to really hunt down the best prices on what you want. Whether it’s online or in-store, you can compare retailer-to-retailer to find the absolute best price. Conversely, if you’re in a hurry, you end up grabbing and going, just paying whatever the price is.
4. Earn with Swagbucks.
I’m a huge fan of Swagbucks because you can earn cash back for so many activities. While you’re already comparison shopping online, you can earn using their search. You can earn taking advantage of their offers, too, once you do pinpoint that perfect deal. You can even earn if you want to purchase experiences as gifts.
5. Plan, don’t wander and buy.
Using online research, you can also save a bundle if you have no idea what to buy. If you’re stuck for gift ideas, you have a few weeks to think, look online, get suggestions and plan every purchase. When you wait, you end up just wandering around the department store or mall until you find something, with little chance at much of a deal.
6. In-store and online clearance is abundant.
Just like the supply and demand example above, this time of year, retailers still have a lot of clearance to shop – in nearly every category. Wait too long, though, and the inventory will be sold out and you’ll be left with only higher-priced merchandise.
7. Avoid credit card debt.
When you shop early and a little at a time, you can spread the cost over a couple of months instead of stuffing it all into December. That allows you to avoid using the credit card, eliminating paying more later in interest and stress.
8. Take advantage of “early Black Friday”.
Retailers have started so early we’ve already seen some “early Black Friday” sales and it’s only the third week of October. By shopping this trend, you can snag deals that are just as good – or perhaps even better – than the real Black Friday, all while avoiding the frenzy and the short supplies of Black Friday.
9. Find dual-use coupons and codes.
With time to wait for them, you can find an abundance of dual-use online coupons. In years past, promotional codes tended to be only for either a specific amount (usually percentage off) OR free shipping. But retailers have begun offering both to remain competitive.These offers take the form of either dual-use coupon codes or by the retailer simply offering free shipping on any (or low threshold amount) orders, plus a coupon for money-off. Even if you’re not sure, never complete an online checkout without trying to input savings codes for both money-off and shipping. Some online retailers already allow this. If you’re unable to use more than one, the checkout page will simply give you an error, so no harm in trying.