Financial Advice

Be a Wise Consumer


Five Tips for Safe, Smart Holiday Shopping in 2020

  1. Focus on Savings
    It’s a savings season this year. You don’t need to wait for Black Friday (November 27) to save money on holiday shopping. It’s a savings season this year, and you can start saving right now. Many major retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, and Bed Bath & Beyond have advertised big sales earlier than Black Friday. What’s behind the change? Retailers need your business and do not want overcrowding in their stores during a pandemic. For both reasons, they want to give shoppers more time to get good deals. Some stores are taking extra steps to help their customers feel good about shopping early.

  2. Shop Online
    Retailers know that their customers are shopping online more than ever before. Look for online ads from your favorite store to likely sync up with the timing of online promotions from the big sellers, like Amazon (Prime Days, especially), Walmart, and Etsy. Also, the trend will continue for stores to run ads on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, but do your research before clicking on those ads to make sure you are following a legitimate deal and not a scam. And, look for deals that offer bundled products, as retailers try to create the “impulse buy” experience online.

  3. Start Early
    Looking for something specific? Look early. We all know that the hottest toys and must-have gifts can sell out early in any year. But with the pandemic, you want to give yourself a little extra time to find that special gift and get it to your loved one. Many stores have been careful to keep inventory low to help their own bottom line or have narrowed down their product offerings to the types of things people have been buying in 2020: electronics, athleisure wear, exercise equipment, and most items related to working or playing at home.

  4. Ship Early
    Whether you use the US Post Office or a private carrier (like FedEx or UPS) or ship directly from a store, be aware that shipping costs and delivery times may both be on the rise this holiday season.

  5. Stay Safe
    Most retailers genuinely want you and their employees to feel safe. Look for what creative options your favorite store is offering this year. Many retailers are offering curbside pick-up. Respecting local regulations that limit how many customers can be inside a store at once, some retailers are creating pop-up stores to help customers spread out. Many stores, including major retailers, have announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and may adjust their shopping hours both to allow more shopping time but also to allow time for deep cleaning. Before you go, know the safety rules for your store (bring your mask), and double check the store’s hours and shopping options.

    Safety and savings — that’s the theme for this year’s holiday shopping season. You don’t have to wait for Black Friday this year. Start early, and find the deals and shopping options that are best for you.