Retailers look for any opportunity to lure customers through their doors, leveraging holiday sales as a way of creating urgency among shoppers. The notion of a limited-time deal sends consumers into a frenzy, pressuring them to buy and stock up before the discount disappears. While Americans have been conditioned to associate holidays like this upcoming Columbus Day with big savings, not everything is a smart buy.
Follow this Columbus Day shopping guide to figure out what to buy and what to skip this weekend.
BUY: NEW CAR OR TRUCK
With 2016 models dominating dealership lots and year-end quickly approaching, sales associates are anxious to move 2015 cars and trucks. This means more bargaining power for you! To make the process of negotiating with car salespoeple a little easier, use HaggleChamp.com to send a bid to several dealers and let them fight over your offer.
Though we have yet to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and with it comes even more deals. Considering Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer the best sales of the year on gadgets like laptops, smartphones and TVs, holding off just a few more weeks will pay you back in extra savings. The only exception is 55″ HDTVs which will see great prices this weekend, according to a recent post from US News & World Report.
As I mentioned in a recent TV interview, back-to-school shopping reports point to October as the best time to buy denim. You can find discounts ranging from 30 to 50-percent off women’s jeans at Nordstrom, or an average of 40-percent off men’s denim selection at JCPenney. Seek additional savings with coupons, like this JCPenney promo code for $10 off $25 found at deals’ site Coupon Sherpa.
While temperatures begin to dip and prices on certain fall and winter apparel go on sale, the real deals will be offered after Christmas when you can expect savings of up to 75-percent off. Until then, make do with your whatever you have in your current wardrobe, or purchase a few pieces on consignment to get through the first few weeks of cold weather.
For whatever reason, shoe retailers have chosen Columbus Day to promote some of the biggest sales on footwear of the year. Check out e-stores like 6pm and ShoeBuy to compare prices quickly and benefit from free shipping both ways on your order. Outlet centers are also a good place to snag savings on brand names like Nike, Adidas and Skechers. Plus, you can use printable coupons like 15% off your purchase at Adidas Outlet for extra savings.
SKIP: SNOW & RAIN BOOTS
Though footwear deals abound, bigger discounts on winter boots designed for the snow and rain will come in late December and early January after the holidays. If you can get through the beginning of winter with what you have, you’re looking at savings of up to 65 percent. Otherwise, check discount retailers like TJMaxx or Marshall’s for savings on rain and winter boots.
BUY: KIDS COSTUMES
With just a few weeks until Halloween, time is running out to get the look requested by your little one. Waiting until the last minute offers the deepest discount on costumes, but your choices are limited and you don’t want to miss out on this year’s hottest looks. So take advantage of this weekend’s sale on Halloween dress-up must-haves, including up to 30% off costumes from Sears and Kmart, and buy-one-get-one free on select kids’ costumes from Target. (These sales expire Oct. 10.)
SKIP: CHRISTMAS & HANUKKAH DECOR
Christmas creep is in full swing with department stores to warehouse clubs to small boutique shops already putting winter holiday decor on display. I recently received Columbus Day sales offering discounts on various holiday items like ornaments, wrapping supplies and serveware. While these sales are tempting, the savings are insignificant. Do your finances a favor and hold off until after December 26 to update your collection of decor with discounts of over 75-percent off.
Guest post by Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes and many more. In addition, Andrea’s stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, CNN Money, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. Check out Andrea’s demo reel or visit her website at AndreaWoroch.com for more information about booking an interview or requesting an original written article. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook for daily money tips.