By Leo Gutierrez
As November comes to a close, we enter the season of holiday shopping. While this can be a stressful time for some, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, holiday shopping can be a fun and worthwhile activity — as long as you’re ready for it! So let’s take a closer look at 5 ways to prepare for holiday shopping during the 2020 holiday season!
Make Your List Well in Advance
Shopping for different people can be difficult. However, if you have young children, you probably have a good idea of what they’d like to receive during the holidays. So, make a list of all the presents you’ll need to buy and for whom you’ll need to buy them.
Without a list, you’ll be more inclined to make last-minute purchases that could cost you more and potentially disappoint the recipient. So get organized as soon as possible. If you’re not sure what people want to receive, don’t be afraid to ask the question directly!
Find Alternative Ways to Save Money
Most people assume that saving on holiday shopping is all about finding the best deals from retailers. However, retailers don’t control all of the bargains. In fact, you hold many of the best cash-back deals in your own pocket.
If you have a credit card that offers cash-back deals, see where you can get the most value. For example, some credit cards offer extra cash for purchases made from brands like Apple or Nike. Similarly, some credit cards offer better deals if you buy online versus making a purchase in person. Check out what your credit card provider currently offers and compare it to what other credit cards can do. You might find that there’s a better credit card out there now that our former regular is no longer!
Make Virtual Shopping a Priority
With COVID-19 spreading throughout Canada and the rest of the world, many stores will have to practice safety protocols and limit the number of customers in their stores. This could lead to long lines and long wait times at popular retailers. It could also lead to an increase in infections.
As a result, it might be a good idea to make virtual shopping a priority. That said, some would argue against online shopping, as it takes revenue away from small businesses without an online presence. But many of our local stores now do offer online or phone ordering and curbside pickup. Ultimately, you’ll have to make the decision for yourself.
In any case, many businesses offer plenty of “cyber deals” to entice online customers. Now more than ever, companies will want to attract consumers who are less inclined to venture out into holiday shopping crowds. So be sure to know when and how to access the best online deals. Typically, Cyber Monday (November 30th this year) is the best time to take advantage of virtual bargains.
Make Your Purchases ASAP
When it comes to holiday shopping, timing is key. If you wait too long, retailers might sell out of the items you want. Even if retailers still have the items on hand, they may increase the prices for purchases made just days before the holidays begin. This goes without mentioning express shipping! So do your best to buy gifts and decorations ahead.
That said, you don’t have to feel rushed if you want to save money. In fact, if you’re primary goal is saving money this holiday season, you could take an alternative route…
Save Your Holiday Shopping for Later
A lot of people get so caught up in the craze of holiday shopping that they temporarily lose their sense of fiscal responsibility. While you can always celebrate holidays on their traditional dates, you don’t have to exchange gifts on a specific day. If you really want to save as much money as possible this holiday season, wait until the holiday rush is over. Prices will be reduced and you’ll likely find amazing deals on a wide range of gifts. We hope you found these 5 holiday shopping tips useful! Remember, while it’s important to keep your family and friends happy this holiday season, it’s more important to keep them safe. So, if you choose to shop in-person on Black Friday or some other time this season, be sure to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands regularly. Otherwise, try to do at least some of your shopping online, with local merchants.