Black Friday has come and gone. If you're one of the many who didn't get your shopping in, you might feel like you've missed the best deals, and that the season is leaving you behind. However, your patience may be rewarded, young Padawan, as holiday shopping isn't all about the post-Thanksgiving credit card binge. In fact, it's a lot like a good RPG: you'll need patience, skill, planning, and a whole lot of strategy. If you haven't completed your holiday shopping already, here are five reasons why you should sit on your wallet for just a little bit longer.
Gifts Aren't Going Anywhere
Look, we all remember the winter after the Wii and PS3 came out. If you weren't in line 6 weeks in advance, you didn't get a console. Shortages were just that bad. Fortunately, those days are over, and we've all learned that shortages don't help anyone. Whether you are shopping this year for consoles, accessories, peripherals, or just trying to help friends and family complete their gaming library, trust that it will be in stock all season. If anyone is trying to tell you otherwise, they are flat out lying. And yes, this extends to hard-selling electronics store employees. You know who you are.
You Need Time to Plan
Just because you think someone wants something, it doesn't mean they actually do. And don't even think about talking to them about Christmas wants until at least mid-November. So where does that leave you? Well, you've got tens of people to buy for and not a whole bunch of time to take care of them all. This is where strategy comes in. If you can compile lists of everything you want to buy for your friends and family, and then sort by store, website, etc., you can wait until each store has their "last chance" sale and get your shopping done both inexpensively and efficiently.
You Will Need to Visit More than One Place
This point kind of ties in with the last, but you might be surprised how many people think that everything can be purchased at Walmart. Unfortunately, no matter how large or small your gift-buying circle is, there is no "one-size-fits-all" store where you can get the perfect gift for everyone on your list. This is another reason why big "sale days" like Black Friday make no sense. It's not like you can hit every store on your list at 1 AM. So if you are hoping to go to an early blowout sale and just knock everyone off your list at once, just forget that thought now.
Real Holiday Deals Get Sweeter
I know that the $200 flat screen TV deal at Best Buy looks appealing, but the fact is that they probably only set five of them aside for the occasion, and unless you were camped out since Columbus Day, you probably aren't getting one. So instead of thinking about deals you can't have, look for practical deals that last over the course of a weekend or a few days. While these might not measure up to the insanity of the Black Friday madness, you'll still get what you want at a good price.
Retailers Aren't Desperate Enough… Yet
The economy isn't exactly in the best shape yet, and when the money doesn't immediately flow from shoppers, retailers will react. What does this mean for you, the holiday shopper? It means that as the holiday gets closer, stores will start offering better deals. It's a bit of a harsh reality, but as the consumer, you can benefit from it. I don't think any merchant alive would scoff at your business. Mark my words, half-off and buy-one-get-one deals will become more prevalent as time goes on. Merchants want your money, and they'll do quite a lot to get it.
I know that it's easy to get lost in the pre-Christmas hullabaloo, especially with unofficial retail holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday tempting you with almost inhuman deals. Unfortunately, these deals go to the few, not the many. If you want to shop smart without waking up at strange hours or pulling your hair out, there are some simple ways to do so. Just bide your time a little longer and let the deals come to you.
By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*