When the holiday shopping season begins, so many consumers are ready to spend. Many look forward to the deals at department stores, online marketplaces, and other retailers. In fact, last year’s holiday sales were a record-breaking $11.6 billion. But there is much more to know about today’s consumer climate than just that. Here are some tips for how you can get the most out of your shopping experience this season without losing your budget in the process:
Businesses Understand Consumer Spending Habits
Businesses understand that people have money to spend right now. This is because about two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and half of them have less than $1,000 in savings. Obviously, people simply cannot spend as much as they would like to.
There are also several factors that influence consumer spending, such as housing costs, the rise in gas costs, and even things like how much people pay for regular services.
Shop Around to Get the Best Deals
Businesses are always going to have sales, but they are especially prevalent during the holiday season. It is worth shopping around to find the best deals. Most department stores will likely have a sale on items, but online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay will likely have even better deals. Remember, though; not all deals are created equal. Be sure to read the fine print, know what you are getting, and check reviews if you are buying online. Keep an eye out for coupons and sales, and note when your favorite brands have sales. If you are willing to buy things that you do not need, you can get some great deals. If you are only buying things you need and can afford without a sale, you can also get some great deals.
Don’t Be Afraid to Buy Both Online and In Stores
Online shopping has become extremely convenient, but there are certain items that are best purchased in stores. Toiletries and other hygiene items, for example, can be contaminated if you order them online. They also often come in smaller packages that are not worth the cost of shipping. Toiletries and other small, light items can be purchased online. But products that require installation, large quantities, or a high level of customer service are better bought in physical stores.
Be sure to review your options for free shipping and in-store pickup for online purchases. Some online retailers will let you return your items to their physical stores for free. Physical shopping has also become more convenient with services like Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe, which lets you try clothes for free before you buy them. You can also shop online without a computer or smartphone with Amazon’s new device, the Amazon Echo Look.
Businesses Must Keep Shoppers Safe
While you are ready to spend, businesses are ready to be generous with their discounts, but they must keep you safe while doing so. It is the business’s responsibility to keep everyone inside and outside their store safe, so long as that person is on their property. If you ever go to a store and you do not feel safe, that business has failed its consumers in some way. According to SteinLaw Injury Lawyers, a negligent security attorney law firm in Florida, “businesses must always put the safety of its consumers and employees above everything, ensuring the safety of everyone at their location.”
Take Advantage of Discounts
The best way to save money is to take advantage of discounts. This is something that almost every type of business offers at some point, but especially during the holidays. The trick is knowing where to look for discounts. Department stores can offer coupons, but there are also online marketplaces like Amazon that offer discounts. There are even websites that offer discounts just for being a student. These are not just one-time coupons, but they can also be applied to your regular purchases.
Don’t Forget About Shopping Holidays Like Black Friday or Cyber Monday to Save Even More
The most obvious time to shop is during the holidays. However, there are other times when you can save even more. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most well-known shopping holidays that take place around the holidays. Amazon Prime Day is also a shopping event that will take place during the holidays. There are also other days to keep in mind throughout the year. One great day to shop is Veterans Day. This is a day to recognize those who have served in the military and is also a day where many businesses offer discounts to those who have served.
The holiday shopping season is a great time to purchase items you want or need, but there are other times of the year to save even more. This is also a great time to spend time with family, and it can be a great way to help others in need. Be sure to stay on top of your spending and savings during this time to make the most of the deals available.
Lynn Martelli is an editor at Readability. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has worked as an editor for over 10 years. Lynn has edited a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more. In her free time, Lynn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.