With just two weeks until Christmas many people who haven’t hit the stores yet will be hustling around to get their shopping done. Stores will be overflowing with people as some shelves begin to empty.
But don’t worry. There are still plenty of holiday sales to help you save money.
Or are there? Sure, you will probably still see signs advertising decent savings on holiday merchandise. But I guess what I am really asking is whether or not you will actually save money from these “sales”.
With Christmas becoming so commercialized we all know many stores are just trying to increase their profits before the year ends. They employ lots of tactics to help them do this.
So let’s talk about some of the best ways to avoid holiday sales traps.
Make a List
I almost always make a list before I shop. It doesn’t matter if I am getting groceries, other household goods, or Christmas presents. Having a list prevents me from forgetting to buy important stuff I need.
In addition, I try to stick to what’s on the list and stick to what’s in my budget.
But when I prepare the list I also figure out ahead of time about how much I am willing to spend on each person. This helps me stay on budget and avoid holiday sales traps when I shop.
Before making a shopping trip I like to compare the prices at two or three stores. This is something I especially like to do if I am making a larger dollar purchase.
Sometimes comparing prices has saved me from $20 to $50 or more. This is one of the best ways to avoid holiday sales traps so you can avoid overspending.
Watch for Sneaky Sales Tricks
If you pay attention you will notice some of the sneaky sales tricks retailers use to suck you into a holiday sales trap.
For example, there is FOMO, or fear of missing out. Stores will offer a fantastic sale on a high dollar item but only have a few available.
Because you fear missing out you will go to the store hoping to snag one of these great deals at rock bottom prices. However, once you get there you find the store has sold out of the item.
To make your trip worth it you buy a few other items. Those other items are the trap because you end up overpaying for them.
Avoid Pushy Sales People
Some people cave in when pushy sales people try to stop them to try the latest perfume scent or makeup sample in a high end store. I avoid these sales people or ignore them when they try to get my attention.
All they are interested in is making a sale. Unless I actually have an item on my list and approach them, I steer clear of those areas of the store completely.
Another of the best ways to avoid holiday sales traps is to not put off buying your gifts until the last minute. When you put off your holiday shopping you are less likely to pay attention to the price.
One of the reasons for this is, of course, desperation. As you become desperate to get the perfect gift, or sometimes any gift, you may end up paying more than you would if you planned more carefully.
Buy Throughout the Year
You can also shop throughout the year to avoid holiday sales traps. This is a very helpful way to afford Christmas on a tight budget.
Obviously that won’t help you out this holiday season. However, you can start earlier for Christmas 2018 by watching for real sales and shopping throughout the year.
Save Ahead of Time
Saving ahead of time is one of the best ways to avoid holiday sales traps. You can set aside money each week for Christmas next year and start your shopping earlier.
Open a dedicated bank account to put your money in and don’t use it for anything but Christmas gifts or other holiday related items.
Day by day Christmas is drawing closer. But there’s still time to get your gifts, avoid holiday sales traps use some the tips above, and save some money too.
Track All Your Accounts With Personal CapitalPersonal Capital lets you see all of your accounts in one convenient place. Sign up now for free.
Have you ever gotten caught in a holiday sales trap?