Preparing for Christmas Early
In this blog we take a look at a subject that will annoy some people and appeal to others. That subject is preparing for Christmas early. In order to make Christmas a less stressful period and to help you enjoy it that little bit more, we look at ways in which you can take the strain out of your personal finances.
We all hear of those friends and acquaintances that start buying their presents immediately after each Christmas. Purchasing gifts in the January sales in order to store them away for an entire year until the following Christmas, in the knowledge that they won’t be the ones running around at the last minute to try and find appropriate presents for their loved ones, may sound like madness, but when you think about it, it is quite clever and money savvy.
Many people refuse to start preparing for Christmas until at least Halloween has been and gone. So this year, if you aren’t already, perhaps you could be the one who starts your preparations early and in the process have a more affordable Christmas.
It’s obviously too late for the January sales but it is not too late to benefit from the upcoming Black Friday sales that have become part of the annual sales cycle we are all exposed to nowadays.
If you are not already aware, Black Friday is the day a huge amount of retailers put substantial discounts across large sections of their product ranges. The discounts can range anywhere from 5% to 70% or 80% in some cases. It is one of those transatlantic traditions that the UK appears to have adopted from our counterparts in the USA.
Black Friday has been a tradition in the States since 1932 as a promotion to signify the start of the Christmas shopping season and as with many trends that start on the other side of the Atlantic, has migrated to the UK. Many of the retailers that partake are actually American owned making it is easier to understand how the transition occurred. However, now that is here and appears to be here to stay we may as well use it to our advantage in order to make some saving for the Christmas buying period.
Black Friday always falls on the first Friday after Thanksgiving in America. This year it is on the 25th November, although many retailers do not stick to that date and start promoting deals early in order to stand out from the crowd and not disappear in to the frenzy of promotions that kick off specifically on the Friday itself.
The range of products available is vast. There is very little that isn’t available if you know where to look. Some of the biggest deals can be found in the electrical appliances departments. Huge discounts off everything from tablets and computers to electric blenders and electric toothbrushes.
You can even get huge discounts on cheap family holiday packages and weekend breaks dependent on who you are buying the gifts for.
Bear in mind that not all retailers partake in the event, especially those smaller retailers and independent traders who can struggle with smaller margins. The smaller margins mean that they may already be struggling to make a profit without the pressure of being forced to adopt an additional sales period.
So how do you keep a track of the retailer or product that you have your eye on?
There are a number of Black Friday related websites that link directly to the relevant pages of each retailer’s web shop or page. You can bookmark these websites and check back nearer the time. Some websites offer an email notification service with which you can agree to be notified as soon as your chosen retailers start their promotions.
One of the best websites for this is http://www.blackfridaydealsonline.co.uk/. It directly links to each of the retailers that are known to run Black Friday promotions so you can use it as a quick index to browse through the stores that appeal to you.
Another great site for getting straight to many bargains is Hot UK Deals. They have a specific page covering Black Friday of which you can access nearer the time and get directly to some of the fantastic bargains already found by other online shoppers.
The message here is simple. Instead of leaving it until the last moment perhaps this year is the year to start that little bit earlier and snap up some of the promotions that we usually ignore until it’s too late.
Remember to protect yourself by checking prior to dealing with them that the retailer you want to use is reputable, has a fair returns policy, and that the returns period goes past Christmas just in case the recipient doesn’t fit, like or need the item.