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Why you should start buying Christmas gifts now, and how to save money

For years, Thanksgiving and Black Friday have been the official start of the holiday shopping season and the time of year when shoppers focus on holiday spending. Last year, amid the pandemic, retailers extended their shopping season by increasing online sales. This year, the third week of November is too late to start shopping. Edition USA Today told why it's time to start shopping for gifts now.

Photo: Shutterstock

With widespread supply chain disruptions and ongoing labor shortages, delaying the purchase of certain gifts, especially toys and electronics, could ultimately wreak havoc on your wallet.

Prices are also rising and stocks will be more limited due to consumer demand.

“The biggest feature of the holiday season is the availability of goods, so you might not be lucky if you wait too long to buy a toy from a child's wishlist,” explained Laurie Schacht with The toy insider... “Buying holiday gifts in October may sound strange, but this is how you should do it this year.”

According to RetailMeNot surveywhich attracted around 1100 consumers, 37% of shoppers started their holiday shopping between August and September, if not earlier. Another 22% said they would start shopping in October, and 24% plan to start in November before Thanksgiving.

On the subject: Five American Savings Secrets That Are Worth Adopting

“Black Friday and early December will be at the center of a perfect storm of high demand, staff shortages, slow delivery and difficult restocking,” warns Christine McGrath, shopping expert and editor of the RetailMeNot deals website.

For the most part, retailers have yet to share their holiday plans, but details are being released gradually. Amazon has already started early sale for Black Friday.

Even the White House knows that it will be difficult for people to find gifts.

"There will be things that people cannot get," said a senior White House official.

Basic tips on how to buy gifts now and save money

Buy on early sales

Take advantage of early sales. Last-minute shoppers may struggle to get their hands on the in-demand products and pay more for them.

"This fall, time and money may be working against consumers," said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners in Bethesda, Maryland. "The pressure in the supply chain makes products more expensive and harder to find when consumers need them."

Use programs like Target's price match Guarantee

You're worried about not getting the gift, but you also don't want to miss out on deals that might come later if the price drops.

Many buyers wait for the best offer for a very long time and end up without a gift at all. It is better to buy at the discount that is now, while the product is still in stock.

Target has a very good price adjustment feature. WITH Target's price match Guarantee buyers can request price adjustments for all items purchased between October 10 and December 24 if the retailer “lowers the price at the end of the season”.

Save receipts and check return periods

Extended Amazon and Target return periods make early shopping easier. Be sure to save your receipts and check return periods with other retailers.

For a guarantee, attach the check with tape or something else to the box, and take a picture of the check on your phone.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

Set availability alerts

Sometimes it's not a deal, but getting an item on your list, be it a toy, a TV, or a sweater. Some products sell out very quickly, so it will be convenient to subscribe to the stock notification. And when you receive a notification, you can quickly place an order, saving yourself the hassle of looking for a product and wasting time. Once you receive a warning, you will need to act quickly, as stocks can quickly sell out, which can take several tries.

Follow offers in Facebook groups

Not all of the best deals are widely advertised, so one way to find out about the biggest discounts is through crowdsourcing. Some of these groups include Costco Fans и Costco Products & Reviews; Target Deals, Clearance & Couponing и Target Couponing; Walmart Clearance Finds.

Sticking to groups associated with a particular store is helpful, but: Seeing that everyone is buying in bulk can make spontaneous and unnecessary purchases, which means you spend more.

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