Make us your home page
Instagram

Shop early for best holiday deals

Last year, most stores didn’t discount goods to get rid of holiday merchandise because they sold out of their stock early on.

Associated Press (2009)

Last year, most stores didn’t discount goods to get rid of holiday merchandise because they sold out of their stock early on.

NEW YORK

Before you head into the final stretch before the holiday rush, when stores lose all subtlety in the ways they push gift-buying, you may wonder whether to pass up November bargains in the hope that some prices will keep falling.

Last year, most customers who waited until the final days before Dec. 25 found empty shelves instead of bargains because stores had sold most of their stock, and so didn't have to cut prices to clear out holiday merchandise.

This year, most stores are heading into the holidays with only a little more inventory, so again few are desperate. But many are discounting holiday goods earlier than last year because shoppers remain cautious.

Generally, "retailers are going out with their best prices of the season around the Thanksgiving week," said John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon Associates.

Tips for timing your purchases

Hot toys: If you want the season's hottest toys, buy between now and Black Friday. Many retailers, including Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart, have already discounted some of them. Wal-Mart has cut prices on WowWee's Paper Jamz Guitar and Mattel's Loopz electronic memory game. Prices can even rise on the hottest toys by mid December as supplies dwindle, analysts say.

Flat-panel TVs: Particularly for lower-priced models, the time to act is now through Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, analysts say. Wal-Mart discounted a 26-inch Vizio LED HDTV from $298 to $198 last weekend, for example. Don't hold your breath for discounts on the latest and greatest. For 3-D and TVs that connect to the Internet, shoppers will have to wait until after Christmas for discounts, said Craig Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners.

Computers: Laptop computers are cheapest around Black Friday. Look for deals offered online by manufacturers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, recommends Dan de Grandpre, editor-in-chief of dealnews.com.

Clothing: Many stores may cut prices on clothing items like sweaters and jackets up to 50 percent this weekend and next, said Marshal Cohen, chief analyst for market research firm NPD. He said stores aren't expected to cut prices any further for Black Friday, but may deepen discounts after Dec. 26.

Shop early for best holiday deals 11/11/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Appointments at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and the Straz Center highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Charities

    The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has named Matt Mitchell its new chief executive officer, effective Oct. 16. Selected by the Y's CEO Search Committee following a five-month search, Mitchell will succeed Tom Looby, who is retiring. Looby has served the Y Movement for 37 years, the past 10 …

    The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has named Matt Mitchell as its new Chief Executive Officer. [Handout photo]
  2. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  3. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  4. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  5. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]