Now that we are officially in the midst of the fall season, the time to think about future holiday shopping is fast approaching. While it’s common for many to wait until the last minute to purchase their holiday gifts for their loved ones, we want to help you plan out your shopping journey this year. From the best times to take advantage of lower prices, to the cut-off dates for shipments to arrive on time, we break down everything you need to know for a stress-free holiday shopping season.
Check out our official holiday shopping guide below to see when you should be pulling out your wallets this upcoming holiday season.
When Should I Start Looking for Holiday Deals?
Black Friday is the first major date of the holiday season (it arrives on November 29 this year), as it tends to reflect discount opportunities coming later in December, the main month for major holidays including Christmas, Chanukah and the New Year. The week of Thanksgiving is typically the best time to plan out your items list for shopping and start browsing deals. If you miss out on taking advantage of Black Friday, there’s no need to worry. While some may feature completely different deals for Cyber Monday, many brands keep a lot of the same discounts, offering shoppers an extra day to grab up their products before they go back to their original price.
When Is the Best Time to Purchase Gift Items for the Holidays?
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday will always offer some of the best deals of the year, many brands may seek to keep the momentum of sales going and offer new special deals around the last two weeks of December starting on the 15th. If you do end up purchasing something during Black Friday, check back at this time to see if the price decreased, as retailers may match the new price during that time.
When Should I Order My Items to Arrive on Time?
If you order an item for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you probably won’t have to worry about your order(s) being delivered on time. However, if you are a last-minute shopper, you may want to keep some dates in your calendar before you find yourself shopping at your nearest grocery store for last-second gifts. This year, Christmas Eve falls on a Tuesday, which means that your order should come in the week before at the latest if you want it to be shipped to you on time. UPS has a customizable shipping map (seen above to cater to Photo Savings’ customers) that displays how long it will take an ordered shipment to be delivered to a consumer. For example, our warehouse is located in New Jersey. According to the map above, it will take approximately one business day to ship within the Northeast region, while it will take about six business days to ship to some of the more remote areas in Idaho and Oregon. For our items, the absolute last day for Northeasters to order in time for Christmas would be December 20th. The last day for 2-day shipping would be December 19th. If you don’t order before then, you more than likely will not receive your items until after Christmas. If giving gifts to celebrate the New Year is your thing, then you’ll want to order by or before the 26th in order to have a timely delivery.
Keep the Return Policy in Mind
For those of you who have your mind set on buying Christmas presents for others during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, a big factor that is important to remember is the brand’s return policy. While a 30-day return policy seems like more than enough time, Black Friday is on November 29th this year, giving gift receivers just four days to return or exchange an item before time is up. After those 30 days, you may have to deal with the manufacturer directly to get a refund or store credit, which can make matters a bit more difficult and tedious. Take some time to research brands that enforce a return policy that is longer than 30 days or opt for some mid-December shopping. Sometimes it pays to wait, literally.
Now that you have your guide to holiday shopping this year, check out some of the new products on the horizon that may be hot sellers in the next couple of months. Stay tuned to see what special deals, offers and discounts we’ll be launching this year!