Take advantage of free shipping, price matching and super sales this month to maximize your savings.
Kitchenware: “Something people might not think to buy this month is cookware,” says Lindsay Sakraida, features director at consumer website DealNews.com. “[There are] 25 percent more cookware deals in November above average, which is useful if you’re preparing for the big Thanksgiving meal.”
Tablets: Tablets will continue to reduce in price as competitors attempt to create inexpensive alternatives to Apple’s iPad, says Fiona Dias, chief strategy officer at ShopRunner. The newest, and what will possibly be the most successful attempt, is Amzon’s Kindle Fire.
“The Kindle Fire is on fire, and they’re having to make millions more than they anticipated,” Dias says. “Without a doubt, it’s going to be the number one item this season. For consumers, you can get a tablet for a couple hundred dollars. It’s practically a stocking stuffer.”
TVs: “There are going to be great values on TVs,” says Dan Butler, vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation (NRF). The increase in popularity of Internet video streaming services like Hulu seems to be driving down prices on traditional sets, he says.
“It’s been a tough year for television sales. People have chosen to get programming through their computers.”
Deals (through group-buying sites): Dias says the over-saturation of the deals market will result in great prices this month. “They’re absolutely going through a shakeout, because there’s no way you can have 500 daily deal sites,” she says. “This is a make or break time for many of them. That’s going to create a tremendous opportunity for consumers.”
When brick-and-mortar retailers start to discount merchandise, these sites will have to discount even further to compete, Dias says.
Anything with free shipping: Nordstrom led the pack in August by announcing free shipping on any item, with Best Buy following suit by announcing free holiday shipping last week. According to the NRF, nine in 10 online retailers will offer some version of free shipping this season.
“I think that is going to cause a wave of copy cats,” Dias says. “I think the bar is going to be raised. People are going to want free and fast — you’ll see more retailers advertising that we can get it to you in two days, three days, four days.”
Also keep an eye on: apparel, cosmetics, laptops, furniture
Toys: It might be tempting to do your toy shopping on Black Friday, but research shows that the lowest price during the holidays is the 14 days before Christmas, Sakraida says.
Video games: “The consoles that are out right now are actually really old systems,” Sakraida says, noting that Wii and Xbox will both release upgrades next year. “They’re going to drop the retail prices on those items when the new ones come out.”
What gifts (or self-gifts) are you looking for this holiday season?
Going shopping on Black Friday? Follow Lauren on Twitter for info about lines, parking and deals.
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter