The 2013 holiday season is in high gear. But before you work off your Thanksgiving turkey by doing an all-night-standing-in-line endurance challenge to grab that latest gadget, you’re going to need to know the hottest trends of the season so you can plan your shopping warm-up and workout effectively. From retailers’ plans to the best days to find bargains, PennySaver has got your holiday shopping marathon mapped out.
1. Caffeinate to counteract the tryptophan and warm yourself by the glowing light of the Internet
According to the Adobe Digital Index Online Shopping Forecast, millions of shoppers will be flocking to the Internet on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of online shopping deals. Sales of merchandise online on Thanksgiving will most likely bring retailers into the black. Forecasts predict online retailers to rake in a collective $1.1 billion in sales that day. Expect deep discounts from large shopping sites as well as the smaller mom and pop operations. All of the major department stores want in on the cyber action, so places such as Macy’s for example, will be jumping into the online Black Friday discount scene. Be sure to log on as early as possible. Have the kids do the dishes while you enjoy uninterrupted shopping. Fight the food coma with the thrill of scoring deals.
2. Make sure those electronics are in working order and load up on apps (the sans calories kind)
Much of this year’s holiday shopping will be done remotely, so you’ve got to make sure your electronics are up to the task. Grab spare batteries for your cell phone so you don’t miss important discount alerts. Get a cover for your iPad to reduce the chance of any damage to your shopping companion. If it’s time to update your chargers, go for it. Some retailers are planning on offering mobile-only discounts that can’t be found in stores. The mobile app Swirl will send you exclusive markdowns in exchange for access to your personal data. They’re going to do it anyway, so you might as well make the most of it. Another useful app, The Access Mobile Discount and coupon app, provides information on more than 100,000 retail locations offering bargains.
3. Don’t overlook Cyber Monday
Even some of the most tech-savvy among us have never heard of, or have simply forgotten about, Cyber Monday. This year, the Cyber Mondays in November and December are going to be epic. Your favorite major retailers will offer deals on all kinds of merchandise. You can sign up to receive alerts on the best offers through you go-to gadgets.
4. Gift cards are really OK
Great news for frazzled and overwhelmed shoppers. Gift cards used to signify an impersonal gift given to someone you didn’t know very well. Not anymore! We can all breathe a sigh of relief this season, as gift cards have become completely acceptable to give to even our closest confidantes. A majority of Americans now say they would rather get a gift card than anything else at all, according to an official survey of the National Retail Association. So go ahead with the guiltless gifting. They can be purchased nearly anywhere. Consider converting the majority of your gift giving into gift cards, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle this holiday season.
5. If you’re going in person, go early
You know what they’ve always said about the early bird, right? The old adage still holds true in this day and age. Nothing has changed with regard to arriving at the store early; in fact, this season it’s more pertinent than ever. Retailers are going to offer spectacular sales and savings, but sometimes when they run out of inventory, that’s it. Period. Don’t miss out on the best goodies by being a lazy bones. Double-check that your alarm clock is plugged in and arrange a back-up wake-up call from Wakerupper. No one can get the better of you when you rise with the sun.