The holiday shopping season is starting a little earlier this year. Retailers began promoting holiday ads on social media as early as September, with more following in October.
According to McKinsey, 40% of consumers said they intend to start holiday shopping in November — up from 35% last year — showing retailers that November and December are still critical shopping months.
However, you don’t have to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get the best deals. Here are several ways to save on your holiday shopping:
Start Holiday Shopping Now
Many retailers start their Black Friday sales early, so you can avoid the crowds and compare prices to find the lowest prices.
Mathew Isaac, professor of marketing at Albers School of Business at Seattle University, told Lifehacker that Black Friday shopping is a lot more fluid this year, and it’s less about a single day and more about retailers trying to “tee off” the holiday season. It’s also a strategy that allows them to avoid risk by not relying too heavily on Black Friday sales themselves.
As far as inventory goes, supply won’t be the driving force behind Black Friday pricing and promotions, Isaac said. “We should see a lot of early good deals that will not be inventory-driven,” he said.
Some Stores Price-Match Amazon
Shoppers love Amazon for its two-day or three-day delivery, but it’s not always guaranteed. If you’re getting close to the holiday shipping deadlines, you can still find Amazon prices at other stores.
The Krazy Coupon Lady recommended downloading the Amazon mobile shopping app to compare prices as you shop in stores. When you go to checkout, show the cashier the Amazon listing. Call customer service to request a price match if you’re shopping online.
Here are some stores that price match Amazon:
- Office Depot
- Staples (in-store)
Sign Up for a Free Trial of Amazon Prime
You can take advantage of Amazon Prime shipping without paying for a Prime membership. If you sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime on November 19, you’ll have access to free shipping from Black Friday through peak shopping week in December, according to The Krazy Coupon Lady.
Set Up Alerts for Price Drops
If you have specific gifts in mind, you can set up price alerts to ensure you’re getting the best deal. According to Lifehacker, you can set up browser extensions, such as Capital One Shopping, Honey or CamelCamelCamel, to check price history and set up alerts to be notified when the price of an item drops below a certain amount.
You can also track prices through Pinterest when a Buyable Pin that you saved drops in price. When the price goes down, Pinterest sends you an email, and you can make a purchase within the Pinterest app, The Krazy Coupon Lady reported.
Download Each Stores App for Coupons
When you shop in stores or online, download the store’s app on your phone to look for coupons. Some shopping apps also let you save shopping lists and will send you sale alerts, discount codes and coupons, special promotions and other rewards.
Combine Several Shopping Rewards Programs
You can combine several shopping rewards programs to maximize discounts, points and cash back you receive on a purchase, CNBC Select reported. This shopping strategy is also known as reward stacking. You can even buy a gift using a credit card that allows you to earn cash back and use a browser extension, such as Rakuten or Fetch Rewards, to earn cash back there, as well.
More From GOBankingRates