Holiday Shopping: Early Gift Shopping versus The Last Minute Rush

There are two types of Holiday shoppers; those who shop early and those shop at the last minute. The shops are already anticipating the early shoppers by setting up Holiday decorations, gift boxes, chocolate displays and pumping the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla through air ducts in order to create the feeling of the Holiday season. For shoppers who like to wait until the last minute, the Holiday displays are easily ignored; but for shoppers who enjoy finishing their list before Thanksgiving, the Holiday displays are a magnet for finding items to purchase for friends and family.

There are pros and cons for both types of shoppers. The early shoppers have an easier time finding the items they are looking for, as well as more time to think about what exactly to buy for each person. This usually results in more carefully planned gift giving and more time for celebration after the Thanksgiving holiday. The cons to shopping early is that everything is still full price.

Shoppers who wait until the last minute may find the items they are looking for are sold out, and will need to buy plan B for their loved ones. The good part about last minute shopping, is that many times the sales will begin early and last minute shoppers will find they can spend less than they anticipated for Holiday gifts.

Wondering whether or not to shop early this year? The easiest thing to do is to make your shopping list now. List people in order of when they will receive a gift. For example, if you know you have people on your list who are leaving for vacation over the Holidays, list them first. You will want to give them a gift before they leave town. After the early gift receivers are on your list, write down names in order of difficulty. You may consider shopping early and spending full price on people who are more difficult to shop for. This enables you to find your first choice gift in stock and you can avoid any last minute gift emergencies. The easy people on your list can be put off until he last minute.

The recession might be officially over according to the White House, but consumers are still planning on keeping a tight lock on their wallets this Holiday season. This is good news for shoppers who would like to save money, since the sales tend to start early when people are not spending their money. The best time to shop for the easier people on your list is at the beginning of December when stores start to mark down gift items. There will still be a large stock of goods on store shelves and you will be able to save roughly 10%-30% on the perfect gift for your loved ones. Want more of a bargain? You can wait until a few days before the Holiday of your choice and you may be able to score something at 40% off, but you will take the risk of not finding what you want in stock. Happy Holidays, happy shopping and stay fabulous!