According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans expect to spend about $715 this year on holiday gifts. That amount is almost unchanged from last year.
In the current economy it’s no surprise that families will be watching their holiday spending closely. Consumers are expected to use every tool at their disposal to get the best value for their shopping dollar.
Among those tools are the daily deal type sites that offer a variety of special deals, many targeted by city. I use one myself occasionally.
I wanted to get a feel for how consumers might use these sites during this holiday shopping season. To help me answer that question I spoke with Gary Lipovetsky, president of DealFind.com.
The first question I asked Gary was do you expect many shoppers to take advantage of daily deals this holiday season? “Absolutely people love deals and daily deal sites are positioned to help people stretch their money further than ever.”
According to his research, Mr. Lipovetsky expects customers to save around $100 million just during November and December this year.
He also expects that certain product categories will be more popular than others. “In our experience, the favorite deals for holidays are stocking stuffers, spas or facials. Restaurants and getaways coming in close second – they are great as gifts and a wonderful treat for one-self as well. Magazine subscriptions did very well last year and even useful presents like lost and found security tags for your phone, keys, wallets, etc.”
I also wondered whether there was any way to tell when the best deals would be available. In a tough economy I’d be tempted to wait until desperate retailers were forced to offer above-average last minute discounts. Would that apply to the deal sites?
So I asked Lipovetsky when would be the prime time for daily deals – Black Friday? Nearer to Christmas? “It has already started, its happening now and will continue through November with the last week of December being most busy. There is always a huge influx of last minute shoppers or people buying additional gifts.”
Finally I asked him what his favorite method for getting the best deal? “We recommend the following tips: Buying deals early, buying multiple deals if the price is great, buying as gifts – you can find so many items that you would otherwise buy full-price or wait for after-Holiday sales.”
Naturally, Lipovetsky is a big believer in deal sites. You’d expect that. But, I agree that for the consumer who knows what they’re looking for and what a good sale price is for that item, the deal sites can give them another tool to use this holiday season.
My warning would be to be careful to avoid a rush decision that hasn’t be researched. Deal sites can offer savings. But, if it’s not something that you need or want or the price can be beat, you don’t want to pull the trigger on the purchase. As always, think before you pull out your credit or debit card!
Keep on Stretching those Dollars!