Charlie Graham, Founder of Shop It To Me, shares his thoughts on shopping smartly this holiday season:
Holiday season seems to start earlier every year – and that’s okay with me, as long as it means I can find great deals on the things I want to buy. As my family and friends will attest, I love sales (well, they might put it a different way).
Last year, holiday shopping season deals weren’t that great. We scrutinized the data we collected from more than 100 retailers, looking at the number of new items on sale and the percentage discounts. Only the “Black Friday” post- Thanksgiving sales days offered discounts of 40% or more.
This year, will be different. Here are some trends to watch this holiday season:
1) F****ree shipping is the big story for Holiday 2010. Several retailer Web sites have already eliminated the minimum purchase requirement for free shipping, and others are sure to follow. Expect free shipping at major retailer Web sites through the end of the year, not just on Free Shipping Day (December 17, 2010).
2) Watch the major department store sites and you might not have to wait until Black Friday for some really great sales. Throughout October and November we’ve seen several Friends and Family sales, “flash” sales and other major sale events at the department store sites. Our members have been snapping up in-season designer merchandise at 25%-40% off from Bloomingdales.com, Nordstrom.com and Saks.com. Many have scored free shipping along with it.
3) Be ready for the post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend. You’re going to see many 40% off and higher offers between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, based on last year, that weekend’s discounts likely will be the deepest of the season until after New Year’s.
4) Expect different offers from retailers on different days. It will be important to monitor your favorite retailers or brands religiously this year, so you don’t miss out on flash sales when they pop up. If you’re a member of Shop It To Me, of course, we make that part easy.
5) If you’re shopping for yourself rather than for someone else, remember New Year = New You. During the past two years, sales on January 2 and 3 averaged upward of 45% off making them two of the best days of the entire year to shop on sale.
Enjoy your holidays – and your holiday shopping. On Black Friday, CyberMonday and Free Shipping Day, we’re going to send you special editions of Salemail that will streamline the sale noise of those chaotic promotional days and make the markdowns personally relevant to you. And, you can Tweet to us at any time (@shopittome) when you need a little extra personal shopping assistance.