SAN ANTONIO – Move over, ghouls and goblins. The holiday jingle is on - in October.
Nearly half of holiday shoppers will start buying gifts before Halloween, according to a Bankrate survey. Spooked by inflation, many are looking to spread out the expenses.
“We actually start this month,” said Angel Tapia. “Money gets a little tight at the end of the year, so the earlier, the better.”
Retailers are accommodating. Weeks before Black Friday, major retailers are competing for early shoppers’ dollars.
Amazon on Tuesday launches a two-day Prime Early Access event for Prime members. Target is boldly advertising weekly Black Friday deals. And, Walmart has rollbacks - especially on toys and tech.
“I think this is the season of the consumer,” said Coresight Research CEO Deborah Weinswig.
Savvy shoppers, she said, will be able to find discounts earlier and deeper.
“This year, because there is much excess inventory, and retailers want to protect their bottom line as much as they can, they are treating October as an experiment like they’ve not done before,” Weinswig said.
To stretch holiday shopping dollars amid historic inflation, she suggests shopping early, take advantage of free shipping offers online, shop in store and even negotiate for a lower price.
“If it’s a technical product, push for a discount above and beyond what it appears they are offering,” Weinswig said.
And, keep receipts. If you buy something in October, but the price drops in November or early December, many stores will refund the difference.