We SAID: Ready… Set… SHOP!

Staff Writer

It seems like the Holiday Shopping Season comes earlier every year. No sooner do Halloween decorations come down… Christmas lights go up. Thanksgiving is passed over as little more than the ultimate sit down dinner; and long before Black Friday, holidayshoppingshoppers are already out and about scouring for the best holiday bargains.

What you need to know this year is that there is no overstock. Retailers ordered less than in previous years, so there’s less of a chance for blowout sales so stores can dump overstock. Instead, sales will focus more on promotions, gifts with purchase, free shipping and limited edition items.

If you’re looking for toys… take your time. Experts say that most toys (including electronics) don’t really hit the sale section until after Black Friday. That’s the best time to get all of the holiday shopping done for the kids or kids-at-heart in your life.

Ditto for clothing. The longer you wait, the cheaper clothing is likely to get. Right now, retailers are rolling out specialty holiday apparel, suited to the office party or night out on the holidayshopping2town. While there are some promotional sales, clothing won’t really get cheap until mid to late December. So if you want to score the perfect NYE party get-up at the last minute… remember that fabulous deals come to those who wait.

Free shipping is a big deal this time of year, and online retailers are jostling for the best strategy to capture the most sales. If you’re not a fan of holiday shopping crowds and prefer to most of your business online, now is the time to score hefty (both in weight and price) items and take advantage of getting it delivered at no additional charge.

No matter what you do, set a budget. Sales and bargains aside, nothing quite says ‘Happy Holidays’ like a few extra dollars to carry into the New Year.

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