Monthly Archives: March 2018

Shopping Days Leading Up to Christmas

With only so many shopping days left until Christmas, countless consumers will likely be mobbing shopping malls and retailers in the next few days looking to finish off their spending for the season.

However, in the midst of the last-minute shopping chaos, the Connecticut Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be careful with their personal belongings, especially ones containing personal information, as identity thieves will likely be on the prowl looking for victims.

While online identity theft has seemed to dominate the headlines throughout the year BBB President Paulette Scarpetti warned that more traditional “low-tech” methods of appropriating one’s identity such as pick-pocketing

“There is considerable attention given to online identity theft and with good reason, however there are still pickpockets and crooks that will grab a purse or wallet and make a run for it. Consumers should keep this in mind when walking around a mall or store, or waiting in line to pay.” Scarpetti said.

When out shopping, the state BBB suggested that women keep their purses tightly tucked under their arm and not to overwhelm themselves with too many shopping bags that would make it easier for a thief to swipe a bag or purse and have it go unnoticed. Additionally, keeping copies of receipts stored in a secure place other than a bag can also be a proactive way to deter thieves from obtaining credit or debit card information.

The final week before Christmas may also prove to be busier than in years’ past, as a recent Consumer Reports survey found that many shoppers have taken to shopping later into the season in order to find good deals. Thirty percent of shoppers surveyed said they would not finish their shopping until December 23, while 13 percent did not think they would be done buying gifts until Christmas Eve.

Black Friday for Beginners

What is Black Friday?

Perhaps the most popular shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving (Friday) is named “Black Friday” because this is the day that most retailers go from being not profitable (red on earnings statements) to profitable (in the “black” on earnings statements.) Deal finders love these sales, and I have been going for a few years now. Generally speaking, I love Black Friday, but with the birth of my new son, it doesn’t seem practical to get up at 4:00 in the morning to find these great deals!

Here is the strategy I have used to be successful in getting every item on my wish list:

1. Get the ads – Either online or the day that they come out in the paper, grab all the ads from the papers and sit down with a pen and paper. Remember that rural areas don’t often get all the ads from the retailers, so if you are missing one from a store you want to shop, you can probably go online and get one from them at their website directly.

2. Ad by ad, circle the items that you want the most. Remember that many stores will be offering the exact same items on sale, so price compare. I use 3×5 cards to make a list for each store on each card with the items I want for that store. Group them by department if you wish for easier navigation in the store.

3. Make note of the times that the stores open on each note card. The strategy will be to go to the stores that open earliest first, and so on so that you can grab those best deals as they become available.

4. The day before the sale – Lay out your clothes, wallet, notecards, and a quick breakfast bar or other item to snack on before you go or on the drive. Remember that it may be very cold at 4a.m. where you live, so dress warmly. Avoid bulky coats if you can (dress in layers), as you will not have room in your cart to stash your coat, and it will get very, very hot waiting in those lines.

5. The day of the sale – Hit the road with your best co-shopper. This works best with a friend.

6. Hit the earliest store first. Try to get there at least 10 minutes before the store opens. You will possibly have to wait in line, but get in there. When you door opens, never push or shove other shoppers. In fact, if it is overwhelming for you, hang back a bit and let the most aggressive shoppers through first. I usually wait casually until the rush gets in, and if there is already a cart or two in the parking lot, grab them! There will be a mad dash for carts that will cause the biggest confusion. (Sometimes they run out of carts.)

7. Head for each item on your list. Most of the really good early sales (those listed for opening until about 11 a.m. only) will probably be out in the aisles for easy access. If you find an item on your list that is hard to get to (due to crowds or narrow aisles) have one of you wait by the carts and the other grab the item. This teamwork approach works great for “divide and conquering.”

8. When you are about done, try to combine all items into one cart and head for the check out line. One of you wait in line while the other roams the store for any missed deals. Check out and head for the next store on the list!

9. Don’t forget to get some breakfast, coffee and bathroom breaks as needed. Don’t let the experience stress you out! After all, you are getting some great deals.

10. And last but not least, DON’T FORGET GIFT RECEIPTS! These are very important to have if you are claiming any rebates.

If you get home and want to venture online, many stores will be having some or all of their sale items online, too! You may find that this approach works best for items where you only have one thing to get at a retailer and it is not offered exclusively during that “early bird” morning window.

The Biggest Shopping Day of the Year

With Thanksgiving soon approaching, so too is the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. If you are looking to save a lot of money on your Christmas shopping, shopping on this day is the best way to do it. You can get some amazing deals on some of the most sought after items, if you are quick enough.

Shopping on Black Friday can be the best shopping experience of your life if you plan ahead. It is a really good idea to scope out the bargains before the big day. You can do this by perusing through the sale flyers that the stores usually send out well in advance. Make a list of the items that you want and where you need to go to get them. Keep in mind, though, that you are not the only one looking at those flyers. There are literally thousands of other people doing the exact same thing.

In order to get the items that you are after, you may need to get up extremely early on Black Friday. While most stores have all day sales, some of them will also offer early bird specials where they offer a limited number of hot ticket items for a limited amount of time, usually an hour or two. Some people will spend the night on the sidewalks outside of the stores in order take advantage of these specials. You can count on waiting outside in line for an extended period waiting for the stores to open. It might not be a bad idea to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

A divide and conquer approach is the best way to go once you enter the store. This is where planning ahead comes in handy. Find two or three of your friends or family member that are willing to brave the crowds. Have each one go after specific items on your list. While you go after certain items in one store or department, someone else can be looking for other items in a different store or department. By doing this, you stand a much better chance of getting the items that you want before they disappear.

Be aware, that on Black Friday, just about any store you go to will be a chaotic mess. People tend to be rude, cranky, and possessive. Anything goes. Some people will do everything in their power to obtain the items they are after before they disappear. In past years, physical altercations over hot ticket items have been reported. So, if crowds and chaos intimidate you, you may want to stay home and take advantage of some of the deals that can be found online. Many online stores have awesome after Thanksgiving sales. If you so choose, you can do your shopping without leaving the quiet comfort of your home. Some stores also have great sales on Thanksgiving Day if you do not mind sacrificing part of your holiday in order to save money.

The Best Christmas Shopping

Big shopping days are the Friday after Thanksgiving, the day after Christmas, and New Years Day.

New Years Day is the day that women get even with their husbands for watching a zillion football games. They spend and spend and spend.

The problem with all of these days and all the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas is that there are a zillion customers in the stores. To get there they cram the streets with their cars. The clerks are working themselves to death. When they get home at night they say, “Oh, my feet! My feet!”

The best day to do Christmas shopping is the day that the stores are full of new Christmas merchandize that has not been picked over.

There is a plethora of clerks a smiling.

The clerks joke with you, help you find the right set of earrings for each of your twenty-three granddaughters, binoculars for your nine grandsons, a stuffed lion for your great granddaughter, books for your kids and their spouses, and then the clerks say, “Have a nice Thanksgiving! Can we help you to the car?”

Now you have guessed the day, haven’t you?

How many said, “Christmas Eve just before the stores close when the stores panic if they have too much leftover merchandise. They cut their prices and you buy, buy, buy!

If you are not poor, you are wrong. Now days, the stores have to cut their prices much earlier to compete with Target® and Wal-mart®.

The best day to shop is the day before Thanksgiving.

Stay-at-home moms are all baking pies.

Working moms are heading straight for the grocery store at noon and after work.

Nobody goes shopping that day but my wife and I and a few little old ladies who have “caught on.”

We went shopping this morning and were home by 3:30 p.m. That was after I had the salmon at the Sizzler® and my wife her usual salad bar. I had a salad bar too.

When we got to the Sizzler®, I was starved from shopping for our five children, their spouses, our 32 grandchildren, including two new spouses, and our great grandchild that still says, “Goo, Goo!” (Our triplets still say, “Goo, Goo!” too.)

I started with a bowl of clam chowder, then salad, then the salmon, then the ice cream. Yum! Yum!

Back in our home town exhausted by the metropolis of Twin Falls with its thousands of people, I laid down on the bed to get the kink out of my back that I always get when shopping.

When I woke up, I had missed Jeopardy®.

That’s when I decided that I had to get the presents under-wrapped (that is in the wrapping under the pretty stuff. I made up the word. Go ahead and use it).

I needed to write the name of the child, grandchild, or great grandchild on the inner wrapping or my wife might send a wrong present to a wrong person in a wrong state!

She didn’t want to, but she gave me a hand.

Now I’m sure that we will be sending a wrong present to a wrong person in a wrong state.

But we have plenty of time to do it!

Shop early!

Be of good cheer!

Damn the torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead!

New Holiday Shopping Day

“From “Black Friday to Cyber Monday”

Many moms, dads, and grandparents have patiently waited the biggest shopping day of the year to find the gifts of loved ones around the world. Most shoppers wake up before 5:00 AM, drive many miles to participate in this busiest shopping day of the year. Over the years there have even been stories about people waiting in line for more than 4 hours for a long awaited game, or newly launched product.

We’ve all heard about “Black Friday”, the Friday after Thanksgiving when shoppers still reeling from the effects of tryptophan wrench themselves out of bed at 6 A.M. to catch holiday shopping bargains. But what about “Cyber Monday”? This new term applies to the Monday after Thanksgiving when consumers return to work to take advantage of shopping online with fast broadband connections. Generally, 58 percent of all online shopping is done in the workplace, but 88 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers made purchases from the office.

Last year’s Cyber Monday sales totaled $687 million, up from $484 million last year. So, although Black Friday’s storefront shoppers have slacked by about one million consumers since last year, Cyber Monday welcomed two million more shoppers to the Web this season.
Although rarely reported, there are many that dread Black Friday because of the heavy traffic, overdrawn bank accounts, and domestic arguments over finances.

I feel obligated to tell all who want to do holiday shopping without getting dealing with traffic, and the other headaches of high impact shopping that there is an alternative.

Cyber Monday takes place the first Monday following Back Friday where you can do more in much less time and the great thing about that is you never even have to leave your home.

If you are a holiday shopper you can participate in both shopping days and really have the best of both worlds. I have listed below some of the advantages both “Cyber Monday” and “Black Friday”. Although I am not much of a shopper I recognize the importance of balance in order to avoid the stress and negative impact that can result between Thanksgiving and New Years.

December is a month that unfortunately has a bit of devastation for many American families because of the financial decisions that are made during the holiday shopping season. For example:

o More people announce decision for divorce during December than any other month.

o More people attempt suicide between December and end of January than other months of the year

o Family bankruptcy and financial woes are strongest during the first quarter of the year

Advantages of Participating in Black Friday

1. enhance your local economy

2. have a holiday experience when shopping with loved ones

3. Get a head start on holiday shopping

4. Occurs shortly after Christmas club money is available

5. Occurs during Thanksgiving holiday (Schools closed and usually non workday)

Advantages of Participating in Cyber Monday

1. You can purchase holiday gifts without ever leaving home

2. You can make thousands of dollars so that there is no debt in January

a. Because millions of consumers are on line looking for specific holiday gifts you can do the following to make sure you are getting paid

i. Become an affiliate for major merchandisers

ii. Purchase resell rights to digital products and sell them

iii. Attend trainings where you can learn make money this holiday season

b. Have many items shipped directly to the recipient with Free shipping

3. Get ongoing discounts for using the internet for your purchase

4. Earn residual incomes that will pay you long after the holiday season

5. Position yourself to even quadruple your 2008 holiday income while saving time and money.

2006 was my first year participating in online holiday shopping, and selling and it literally changed the way my family lives are lives for ever. Remember “Cyber Monday” is responsible for $687 million in online transactions 2006. Although “Black Friday” is down in annual revenue, as you can see it’s really not down at all. Shoppers now are shopping on and offline and you can too.

Now I am aware that many folks right here in Tampa are not use to using a computer for more than email, solitaire, and games, however you can definitely turn your computer into what I call an ATM, and a Shopping Mall at the same time. I am sure you agree that this is a wonderful combination.

I have listed some tips for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday for you below.

o Save time during the holidays

o Take advantage of free wrapping offered by most departments stores

o For Black Friday participants get started at approximately 5:00 AM to avoid most of the heavy rush

o For “Cyber Monday” shoppers, ship gift items as early as possible

o Save Money during the holidays

o Visit the site of the store in which do your shopping now and look cyber Monday promotions

o Ship gifts to loved ones early to avoid sending overnight

o Look early for the many free giveaways in sales papers and online for all sorts of products (batteries and many other items)

o Make money during holiday shopping season

o Get to a training as soon as possible to learn how to leverage these huge consumer days (this will pay for all of your shopping)

o Look up places online where you can lean how to get the most out of the holiday season shopping

o Set a goal of how much you are determined to make this year to offset your spending. My first year I made over $3,800

$100-$500

$500-$1,000

$1,000 and up

o Remember the importants of both “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” so can truly leverage both

o Recognize that Christmas holiday time really has nothing do with shopping in it’s true meaning. However you can have more time to focus on the true meaning if you are not caught up in using your off days for shopping.

On November 3 at the Westshore hotel from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, D. Golden & Associates, Inc. will host a free training “How To Pay For Holiday Shopping”to show Tampa residents how to face participate in the “Cyber Monday” and even “Black Friday” shopping without negatively impacting your family budget and more. During this event we will be giving away gift cards and more.