Tis' the Season to Be Informed
The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales will increase 2.8% this year to about $466 billion. From dealing with crowded shopping malls to protecting your wallet, we give you the NRF's top tips to become a holiday shopping wiz.
Shop After 6:00 pm
Shopping late into a store's extended hours not only avoids the big crowds, but it could also have a big benefit for your wallet. According to the NRF, if you shop after 6:00 the night before a big sale you can still benefit from the savings set to go into effect the next day because many retailers’ registers have the sales programmed in already.
Make a List
Determine your budget for this year’s shopping season and create a list of who you need to buy for and an idea of what to get each person. Be sure to have back-up gift ideas in case your top choice isn’t available, people tend to go over budget when they stray from their lists.
Consider Charity Wrapping
Many malls will set up booths with local charities offering gift-wrapping services for a donation.
Keep Back-Up Information at Home
Keep important back up information like customer service numbers and PIN and account numbers readily available at home in case you lose or have your credit card stolen while shopping.
Getting robbed will definitely put a damper on your holiday spirit. Keep your cash in a safe place in your wallet with the lowest bills on top. When it's time to pay, only take out what you need. When it comes to parking, look for well-lit areas (especially if you're alone), keep all items out of sight in the car and know the location of the nearest security office.
The holiday shopping season is about to officially start and that means three things: sales, jam-packed shopping malls and decorations galore. But have no fear, here are five tips from the National Retail Federation that will help you finish your shopping in record time.