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Experts explain why shopping early for holiday gifts is beneficial

Three apps recommended to find best deals, experts say

The gift-buying season is very different this year, especially with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the country.

Some experts are concerned about potential shipping delays or inventory supplies.

“I would definitely recommend getting organized making a list, setting a budget because your finances may have changed this year versus last year,” said Trae Bodge, a lifestyle expert.

“I’m seeing a lot of deals already, I mean typically Black Friday, Cyber Monday kicks off the holiday shopping season but Amazon Prime Day popped up in mid-October, it kind of tipped everything on its head and so there are a lot of strong deals right now that you can take advantage of.”

Money saving expert Andrea Woroch agrees. Shopping early has it’s benefits.

READ: Tips for managing your money ahead of holiday season

“Retailers are rolling out Black Friday deals earlier than ever. Target has released Black Friday deals all month with new deals posted each week. Walmart has been hosting a series of Black Friday doorbusters leading up to Thanksgiving so it’s really changing and impacting what we can expect this holiday season,” Woroch said.

Woroch uses the following apps to help keep organized and spot the best deals during the holidays.

“Flipp” because it pulls at the store circulars enabling consumers to review deals in one place. It also alerts consumers to deals.

Pop cart offers price comparisons and Cently helps track available coupons.

“You also want to monitor price drops What I’m seeing is that a lot of retailers are extending their price adjustment policy,” Woroch said. “For instance, Target says that they will give you money back for any item you buy now that’s promoted as an early Black Friday deal if that price goes down before Christmas. So you have until Dec. 24, to ask for a price adjustment.”

READ: What will Black Friday look like amid the pandemic?

Shopping early can help spread purchases out over a longer period and avoid debt or racking up high credit card bills.

Woroch said some stores are offering incentives to shop now like cash back and gift cards that consumers could hold onto to use later in the holiday shopping season as well.

Bodge recommends looking at the deals available with your existing memberships.

“For instance, AARP has amazing number of benefits including discounts on holiday gifts and discounts on travel,” Bodge said.

Bodge said AARP is offering 30 percent off AVIS car rentals and 10 percent off Wyndam hotel and resort reservations.

Even if shopping online, consider using curbside pickup, there might be savings there as well.

READ: Pandemic pushes start of holiday shopping earlier than ever

“They may offer extra incentives with sale or coupon when you choose that delivery option, plus, that helps you avoid any potential shipping delays and you don’t have to deal with fighting for a parking spot or waiting in long line, so it’s kind of a win-win for everybody,” Woroch said.

No matter your shopping plan, consider shopping local and taking advantage of small businesses in your area.

“Obviously our small businesses need us more than ever. And so if you have a couple favorite boutiques that you typically shop with give them a call and see what they’re doing around the holidays, they may not be able to discount, like a big box store camp but they may offer really beautiful gift wrap, they may be offering curbside pickup, or time to visit so you don’t have to pack into the store,” Bodge said.


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