Holiday Shopping Made Cheap & Easy

31 October 2011

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and digital sales experts predict the biggest ever online shopping season for 2011. As a result, consumers can expect a flood of virtual promotions in the form of coupons, daily deals, social offers and free shipping. Add to that increased competition among big retailers, resulting in layaway programs, early Black Friday promotions and price-matching strategies. With all this information to absorb, how will consumers know where and when to get the best prices?

Holiday Shopping Made Cheap & EasyAs a nationally recognized media source for all things consumer and money-savings related, I’ve compiled several holiday segment ideas to help your viewers understand their options for getting the best deals this season. I am available for an in-studio, satellite or Skype interviews and am always willing to discuss new ideas.

For more information about my experience, visit my website at or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Layaway Programs: A Smart Plan?
Credit card spending nearly banished layaway programs to the dust pile, but they’re back at Walmart, Sears, Best Buy and TJ Maxx and other major stores. While layaway may seem a logical way to avoid running up debt, it’s not necessarily a money-saving strategy. What you need to know before you layaway:

  • An origination fee and down payment is required
  • Many sale, clearance and/or promotional products may not qualify for layaway
  • Payment must be made in full by the expiration date to avoid cancellation fees

Black Friday Do’s and Dont’s
There’s an art to conquering Black Friday and it doesn’t include joining the early a.m. stampede.

  • Schedule Thanksgiving dinner early to hit late afternoon and midnight sales
  • Research and compare prices as many markdowns are misleading
  • Advertised door busters are limited in quantity
  • e-Retailers will offer free shipping as an added incentive to shop Black Friday sales online
  • Negotiate! 82 percent of consumers who haggled last year were able to score better prices on various goods

Retail Therapy: Holiday Trends that Save You Big
Merchants are gearing up for a promotion heavy season in an effort to increase sales in what’s expected to be a close-to-flat year. Here’s a look at the new sales gimmicks that could save you big:

  • Price matching PLUS (i.e., Sears and Home Depot will price match competitors and throw in an added 10-percent off)
  • Ubiquitous free shipping offers
  • Extended no-interest loans, up to 6 years in some instances
  • Layaway programs
  • Free merchandise
  • Early Black Friday sales

Thanksgiving Travel for Less
Americans are expected to spend $100 billion more on fuel this year than in 2010. That’ll make turkey-day travel a high-ticket item once again, so it pays to follow a few clever tricks for increasing your mileage and finding better gas prices.

  • Find cheapest gas prices using various sites and smartphone apps
  • Use discount gas gift cards available online
  • Consider credit cards that offer gas reward programs
  • Reduce luggage weight, remove roof racks and check tire pressure

Gift Giving Made Cheap and Easy
Shoppers are dumping the “toy of the year” syndrome and shifting towards more affordable gifts. We’ll discuss:

  • The proper etiquette of re-gifting;
  • Sharing a memorable experience;
  • Alternative wrapping ideas; and
  • Where to find discount gift cards for savings of up to 35-percent off.

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Posted by at 01:54 AM
bargain news |

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