It's a holiday shopping season like no other. Black Friday deals weeks before Thanksgiving, there are big discounts now and promises of more to come. It can leave you wondering, should you buy now or buy later?
You can start by grabbing a calendar, a folder, and a lot of persistence to get the best deals.
You might want to mark a two week window in which you might see the best prices. You might want to start with Black Friday and count through the 12th of December. That's when you might want to buy because you'll most likely get the best discount.
Your folder helps insure that you get the best deal after your purchase. Keep every receipt, and every sales flier that contains the items you want, and then spend the next two weeks playing the "Refund and Price Adjustment" game.
For instance, Target has a 90-days return policy like Walmart and it has price matching. Just bring in a competitors ad and those stores will well you that exact item at the competitor's price.
If your Target purchase goes on sale for a lower price within one week of your purchase, Target will also refund the difference to you.
It's important to keep your receipt and keep collecting those weekly ads in your folder, because Target will also match the competitors ad prices the week after your purchase and refund the difference.
The key to getting the best price is to continually adjust the price if a store allows it. If not, return the item and repurchase at the lowest price, until it's time to give your gift.
Electronics are a whole different ball game. Most retailers have smaller return window of 15 to 45 days for these, so watch those closely.
The promotional prices are great at Best Buy, but time your purchase carefully. You only have 14-days to return a computer, digital camera and some other items.
You may also pay restocking fees of 15% if some items are opened.
You'll pay no restocking fees at Costco and you have 90-days to return electronics.
The longer and more flexible the return policy, the greater your chance of snatching the best deal. It's very important to be familiar with a store's return policy before buying. Also, many retailers plan to limit quantities of popular items this year. You may want to make those your first purchases of the holiday season.
So bottom line, watch the ads, return and adjust, until you get the best deal possible.
It may take some work, but it's money well earned when your gifts end up beneath the tree.