’Tis the season – for holiday shopping, that is. The shopping season in America runs from Black Friday to Christmas for most people. Black Friday kicks off the shopping frenzy with the lowest pricing of the year on consumer goods at almost every store in the United States. Taking advantage of Black Friday deals is one of the best ways to save money on your shopping list this year. Use the following tips from First Federal Bank to map out your perfect holiday shopping experience in 2018.
Earlier Sale Start Dates (Don’t Wait Until Black Friday)
Research shows that consumers are getting a jump on their holiday shopping earlier each year. Many major stores, including Walmart and Best Buy, start promoting holiday deals at the end of October and beginning of November, rather than waiting until Black Friday to start. Black Friday weekend, however, still sees the highest spike in holiday shopping. According to the eMarketer report, 54 percent of Internet users in North America completed their holiday shopping by Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving) in 2017.
You don’t have to wait until Black Friday to start getting amazing deals on holiday gifts. In fact, more stores are starting sales early for shoppers who don’t want to participate in the madness that often occurs the day after Thanksgiving. Search for pre-Black Friday deals and sales to start saving on popular gifts now rather than waiting. While everyone else wakes up at dawn the day after Thanksgiving, you can stay in and spend time with your family – while knowing you already got great prices on your purchases.
Small Businesses Reign Supreme
The big box stores may get the most press attention for their unbelievable deals around the holidays, but small businesses are giving major enterprises a run for their money this year. A report from ComScore supports the fact that many companies are starting holiday-related promotions earlier than Black Friday – including small businesses. Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) has gained traction over the last few years. In 2018, small businesses are getting a jump on holiday sales opportunities by advertising low prices earlier than usual.
Supporting a small business this holiday season can give you a holly jolly feeling that major corporations simply can’t match. Not only are you helping a local business owner thrive; you’re benefiting from unique (often handmade) gifts your loved ones will actually want. You’ll also benefit from personalized customer service, friendly faces, and low or no shipping costs. Consider saving your big spending for Small Business Saturday this year instead of going all-out on Black Friday. You’ll beat the crowds and still get awesome deals on local goods.
Smart Items Are the Smart Choice in 2018
Smart goods are the top trending gift items in 2018, and a central part of most consumers’ holiday shopping lists. Invest in popular smart devices that optimize convenience for loved ones, such as smart bike locks and trackers, Tiles to find lost items, and smart energy solutions. Tech gifts are sure to wow even the pickiest people on your shopping list this year – and retain value over time. Smart holiday shopping in 2018 means more than just getting the best deals; it means purchasing smart tech as well.