The saying that goes, "The early bird catches the worm," is
partly true for those who get Christmas shopping off to an early start before the season actually begins.
Most of us however, are likely to be average Christmas shoppers who wait
until the season officially begins.
Maybe we don't have any time before then and we have to wait for a day
off from work after Thanksgiving. Or maybe we simply procrastinate and can't get going until the frenzy starts.
Or perhaps we want to wait until the stores are all fully decorated and
Christmas songs are playing non-stop to put the thrill and magic into the festive season that is Christmas.
Average Christmas holiday shoppers go out in force and are primarily
motivated by the sales that occur during the official Christmas shopping season. These shoppers fully believe they
are getting good prices and bargains from Christmas and holiday sales.
But it is unlikely that retailers will
offer the lowest prices during a time that is prime shopping season.
The lesson for all shoppers during the traditional Christmas shopping
season is to carefully evaluate prices and consider if the item is fairly priced when compared to the price during other times
of the year. If items are simply snapped up during Christmas and the holidays because they are being offered in a "sale,"
the shopper may end up busting his or her budget or having buyer's regret about a purchase.
Those who are average and early shoppers have some time, however,
to correct any unwise purchases, because such purchases can be returned and better choices can be made.
There is however another type of shopper. The late or chronically
late shopper is stuck with hoping that 'Aunt Sally' or Grandma will like the gift selected, even if the buyer had second thoughts
about it after the purchase was made. The late shopper is the one who realizes in panic that "there are only five days"
or "less than a week to go" before Christmas and not a single gift has been bought!
Worse off than the late shopper is the last-minute Christmas
shopper who is in a mad frenzy two days before Christmas and faces a crisis when a dearly desired gift must be ordered
and won't be shipped in time for Christmas.
While those shoppers can get comfort from knowing they will likely
benefit from the lowest markdowns of the holiday season, they will also find scanty selections and some items, primarily clothing,
that appear a bit worn from all the looking over and handling done by the hordes of Christmas shoppers that have come and
But even these last-minute shoppers, who are often
procrastinators and who can only be spurred into action by a looming deadline, CAN execute a strategy to
make their Christmas shopping successful. Such a strategy involves more don'ts than things to do.
For example, last-minute Christmas shoppers should try to avoid
having lists that have unusual or hard-to-get items that will need to be ordered. While retailers will offer shipping
in time for Christmas, orders usually have to be made before a certain time, such as at least 36-72 hours before Christmas.
If items aren't ordered within that time-frame, there is no guarantee that they will arrive for the big day.
Those who do their Christmas shopping at the last possible minute
should also be prepared to find items on their own in stores and not expect to get any hand-holding or much assistance
from sales clerks. With only days to go before Christmas and with everyone trying to get their last-minute shopping done,
it is impossible for most retailers to have enough staff to offer expert, or even meaningful, help to please the majority
of Christmas shoppers.
Soon after the excitement of Christmas Day passes, what is frequently
the topic of conversations and what remains memorable in the New Year, is what gifts were received and given. Therefore, it
may be worthwhile to assess the type of shopper that you are and create a plan and strategy to make sure you will be a
perfect Santa who will deliver the perfect gifts to friends and loved ones....