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Christmas Shopping: Bargains For You!

This Christmas season promises to be one filled with exceptional sales and across the board bargains for eager shoppers. With fuel prices running high, interest rates climbing, and consumer sentiment mixed, merchants know that they must slash prices in order to move merchandise. Let’s take a look at some of the types of sales certain to greet price conscious shoppers this holiday season. Early Bird/Late Night Bargains – Well before Thanksgiving some retailers are already opening early or staying open late in order to accommodate shoppers. A big lure: Get ten percent back/off of select purchases over $50. Depending on the details of the offer, you can either apply savings to your current purchase or as credit toward future purchases. Variations of this lure include incremental rewards, i.e. $15 off of purchases of $75 or more, $20 off of purchases of $100 or more, etc. Read the fine print as exceptions do apply! Friends and Family Sales - One big retailer is offering to their employees a way in which they can pass on their employee discount to select family members and friends. By offering the same discounts that the employee receives, the employee will then mail directly to select people a discount card allowing the customer to get the same discount as the employee. For example, if the employee receives a 20% discount, the family member or a friend will get a card allowing them to get that discount too [for a limited time only]. Many times this discount can be applied alongside of sale prices for exceptional savings. Let’s just hope that an employee selects you to be part of this plan! Secret Sales. Okay, they really aren’t all that secret. However, if you are a holder of a certain particular retailers’ charge card, you will be invited to a special cardholders only shopping event. Usually this event coincides with an existing sale and essentially allows “secret sale” participants the opportunity to shop one or two hours before the store opens for business on a particular day [usually a Saturday]. You get a “private” time to shop, at least 10 percent off of sale prices, and the opportunity to delay paying on purchases until well after the new year if you use the store’s charge card. Certainly, not all merchant enticements are worth the bother, especially if you are unable to pay off your charge card purchases immediately. A 2

1.6% APR can eat up any savings you gain in no time. So, shop with wisdom to reap the greatest benefits.


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