It’s that time of year. The air is crisp, trees are decorated beautifully, celebrities are promoting products on Instagram, and you’re looking at a list of people you need to shop for. But throwing your credit card around in hopes of buying all the gifts you need isn’t always the smartest shopping. The smartest way to shop, as it turns out, is to do some work beforehand to sniff out the best deals. Some people are great at this—others aren’t.
No matter what category you fall into, we’ve compiled a list of tips to get the best deals on your Christmas shopping.
The Early Black Friday
Around the weekends following Halloween, companies tend to start rolling out some ‘early Black Friday’ deals that drop prices—with the median range being around 20%. This means you should start shopping a bit earlier. Companies often rebrand products to have that holiday feel, yet there isn’t much wiggle room in the price. Be sure you’re not being duped by a façade and that the product you’re buying is discounted to an extent that justifies it being a ‘deal.’ You might want to use a website that helps compare prices, just to make sure you’re indeed getting a deal.
Find Products That Actually Get Discounted
There are certain types of products that will accrue bigger discounts than others. Technology is always rendering the last ‘hot new product’ obsolete with the newest update which arrives (conveniently) during the holiday season. In which case, electronics of any kind are usually a great bet. If you’re thinking of gifting someone a new TV, or any sort of gadget, you can rest assured there are going to be some great deals on older models (by that we mean not even a year old).
Know What You’re Buying
Companies across multiple industries are rolling out all of their marketing tools to sell their products. They’ll drop prices, promise grandeur, and even falsely promote products that have yet to be reviewed. That’s why it’s important to have an agenda when you’re doing your Christmas shopping. Don’t stop at the most discounted item just to save a buck, try to find the best discounted product within the criteria you’re shopping for. If you’re going to buy something random—especially if only for the price tag—we encourage you to seek out resources like this MVMT watch review, which explains the ins and outs of the product without bias.
If You’re Spending Big, Make Sure You’re Rewarded
Maybe this is a big year for you. Perhaps you’ve increased your friend roster. Or maybe Christmas shopping is always extensive, being that you have a big family. Whatever the case may be, if you’re planning on spending some serious money, then consider putting it on a cashback credit card. If you have the money in the bank, it might be worth looking for a card that’ll reward you for your purchases. You can pay the credit card right away and still receive the benefits.
Some Products Won’t Budge
There are going to be products that will have minimal or even nonexistent discounts. We don’t mean from the company itself, we mean across the board. Unless you’re buying an iPhone 5, you’re probably not going to get a deal on the flagship product from Apple. Okay, maybe you’ll find some deals up until the iPhone 7, but don’t hold your breath. Our points is that, if you have your mind set on what you’re gifting those you love, then be prepared to bite the financial bullet on certain products.
Are You Brave? Try Black Friday
While many say that Black Friday isn’t worth it, it’s really a matter of perspective. The doorbuster deals are astounding—especially when it comes to electronics—but you usually have to camp out to find the right purchase. If you can stomach the crowds, late night, and the chaos, then Black Friday could certainly be a way to get a great deal(s) on your Christmas shopping. Here’s a pro tip: know what you want going into it and camp out at a store you’re certain sells it; people that wait for Black Friday deals usually have pointed motivation and will snag the best items right away.
The holiday season is wonderful. It rekindles relationships, bring families together, and provide tons of festivities. Christmas shopping, on the other hand, can be overwhelming—both on the person and their bank account. Be sure to prepare, do you research, and find the best deals on your Christmas shopping. Remember that the act of giving itself is the gift, whatever comes of it is just a cherry on top.