Saving for the Season: Shopping

November 19, 2008 6:57:06 AM PST
Next Friday is traditionally one of the biggest shopping days of the year and as you start to get your holiday lists together, you may be worried about how much money you have to spend this year. Tod Marks of Consumer Reports shares some tips for finding what you want to buy without paying top dollar. A recent survey by Consumer Reports found that 6 percent of Americans are still carrying debt from the holidays last year.

Because of the economic situation, 59 percent say they are going to be buying fewer gifts this year. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are ways to get the gifts you want.

"A lot of retailers are ordering smaller inventories so that they don't want to get stuck with leftovers that they'll have to dangle clearance prices at the end of the year. So therefore, if you're ordering less and you wait until those last-minute super sales, you might get shut out from the color, the style, the design you want so it might pay to buy a little bit sooner," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports.

There are deals in the stores this year and we tend to believe that those deals get better the closer it gets to Christmas but Tod says there are plenty of deals out there right now if you know where to look.

"We've seen deals that are unprecedented this year. Starting in late Sept. buy one, get one free, free shipping. If you have a favorite merchant, go online and sign up. They'll offer special deals 10 to 20% off. You'll get alert and sometimes you get a bonus for signing up and you'll be notified of any sales not offered to general population. You can really save a lot this year. Don't ever pay retail for anything because the sales are plentiful and they're legitimate," said Tod.

Tod has one last tip that can save you big bucks and it's really very simple.

"Know the person on your gift list. Know what they want, know how much how spend. It doesn't matter what you get. You should people that you care by thinking about them. It doesn't matter how much you spend. Buy something that's going to be affordable that says I care," said Tod.


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