Have You Started Holiday Shopping?

Whether you’re a seasoned Black Friday warrior or you prefer to sit down, relax, and sleep in following a delicious Thanksgiving meal, there is no denying that retailers are anxiously awaiting your arrival in the six weeks leading up to the New Year. In the actual brick and mortar stores, you’ve seen the holiday décor go up and you’ve probably begun to come across a few of the ads for the ‘Super Deals’ stores will be offering. What is your strategy? Have you already begun checking items off of your holiday gift lists? Have you even made your list? For many, Black Friday marks the terrifying moment of realization that the new year is only 33 days away, Christmas is in less than 4 weeks, and all of the shopping, party planning, and decorating for the holiday season and festivities still needs to happen. 

Lucky for you, many retailers are now trying to get you into their festively decorated stores even earlier! I’m not just talking opening their doors at 8pm Thanksgiving night as opposed 2am Friday morning. Many stores will be offering ‘super deals’ in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. So when is the best time to score those awesome deals on all the hottest gift items this year?

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The Wall Street Journal has put together a Christmas Sale Tracker tool to investigate when the best deals can be found on hot items. So, rather than taking your chances and risking physical injury at the doors on Black Friday, maybe it is wise to look at the statistics of years past and do your shopping online. The WSJ used data from Adobe Systems Inc. to compile this tool to track the 10 hottest gift items for 2014; collecting the prices once an hour from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 to determine the best times to buy those products, how early retailers offer their best deals and how quickly rivals match lower offers.

Online holiday shopping has certainly increased in popularity, but hasn’t come without growing pains. Last year saw quite the debacle with last minute shopping overwhelming the shipping companies and postal service (leading to many delays in gift delivery). Inc. Magazine offered this guide to e-commerce firms suggesting that they too need to find a creative way to entice customers into their stores in the weeks leading up to the New Year. Entrepreneur Magazine also compiled this Infographic to help explain Black Friday and the impact online sales have had on retailers and consumers alike.

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Whatever your strategy to complete your 2014 holiday shopping, be safe and best of luck snagging that awesome deal!