Be a Smart Shopper for the Holidays

I know this is a little early, but the holidays are creeping up on us. PriceGrabber.com just completed an interesting consumer survey.

New trends are shaping up when it comes to holiday shopping.  According to PriceGrabber.com consumers are still impacted by the economy and are making adjustments.  The company recently surveyed more than two thousand people. 

It found 70% of consumers are doing more research and comparison shopping online compared to 38% last year.  That's good news.  The more you know about the product you want to purchase, the better.  You want to compare warranties.   You want to know the experience of previous customers. 

 The most important component is usually price. Online shopping allows you to see what every store is charging for that particular  item.  And you often can save money online... if the store you're dealing with is not located in your state.

Here's an example.  Since there isn't a Bloomingdale'sdepartment store in Colorado...you can buy Juicy Couture Scottie Dog ipod speakers and not pay any state tax.  I added it up.  The speakers are $68.00 and the shipping $10.00 for a total of $78.00  When you go to Juicy Couture's web, the speakers are the same price at $68.00, but because there is a Juicy store in Denver, the company has to collect state tax.  The price at the Juicy site, $68.00 for the speakers, $11.50 for shipping, and $2.31 for state tax.  Altogether it's 81.81.  A difference of $3.81. 

You may say no big deal... but if you're buying several items or one with huge dollar signs... it adds up.

The survey also found consumers are buying fewer gifts.  53% say they won't be getting gifts for coworkers.  44% say they're leaving service workers off their list this year.  The reason... they're making less, they don't have much confidence in the economy, and the price of necessities has increased.

With all that in mind...  save money by being prepared.  Here's a few suggestions:  make your shopping list early, continually check for sales, and look for those days when stores are offering free shipping.  Every penny counts!

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