Saturday, November 28, 2015

Holiday Shopping

Because I haven’t had enough to do lately, I have also been looking around and taking care of some holiday shopping. In addition to the “Black Friday” and “Lightening Deals” that are found all over now, there have also been some moments over the past couple of months when better deals were found. And some of those discounts didn’t even require haggling like at Raymour and Flanigan. At this point, because we started so early, we are basically done our holiday shopping. We have either already ordered or picked up gifts or we know exactly what we are getting for some people.

Of course, that has only been half of the purchasing equation lately as many of our orders haven’t been for others but rather for things that we need around the house. Furniture obviously being the biggest of these expenses which would have cause a coronary had we not known the total beforehand and certain death had we not negotiated a decent discount. Most of the other exciting things have been replacements for what was obviously worn out and we had been putting off purchasing until now.

While there is a little more of a sense of immediacy in these orders, especially for our kitchen, I was still able to wait on a number of items and get really lucky on others. Most of the effort was actually in scanning through the Amazon “lightening deals” while keeping a slightly open mind as to brand and style. We managed to get a lot of the things we need for a significantly lower price than we were expecting to pay and, in most instances, the quality of the product was much better too.

With all of this said, there is a word of warning that I would like to share with you. While most of you are aware of this fact, the reality is that Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t always the best days to find deals. I spoke with one retailer who specifically said that those days might be the worst times of year to find deals as they already know people are going out to shop so they specifically offer a smaller discount compared to other holidays throughout the year (President’s Day was mentioned as an example). My response to this and my advice is simple… keep shopping around, track the prices of what you are looking to buy, and never be afraid to either price match with another retailer or haggle them down beyond the sale price.

We are all watching our pennies and, like taxes, why pay more than you absolutely have to… a good rule of thumb is to never accept a discount less than 40% during Black Friday sales. This is the generally accepted bar for a good deal. If you take your time, shop around, get to know some retailers and salespeople, and sometimes price match, you can get the best deal no matter what time of year no matter what you are buying. It really is that simple.