Shopping in December, when physical stores are jam-packed and online stores update at lightning speed, is only for the boldest and bravest. Here are some shopping secrets they don’t want you to know, but we’re going to tell you. Because knowledge is power!
Make sure you download the KCL App to track changing prices until the end of the year!
1. Take advantage of desperate retailers close to Christmas.
Check out these Instant Pot 6-quart 7-1 Duo price drops (incentivized with coupons) from Kohl’s in 2019:
- Black Friday Doorbuster: $59.49 (plus $15 Kohl’s Cash)
- December 10: $45.89
- December 22: $48.99 (plus $10 Kohl’s Cash)
2. Keep an eye on wildly fluctuating online prices and late deliveries.
Prices on consumer goods during the holidays go up and down worse than the stock market. Plus, packages will be showing up on the daily, and who has time to track if they were on time? If you’re gonna shop online in December, you’d better make sure someone’s got your back.
Let Paribus help you get back the difference when an item you’ve already bought goes on sale for less (which it most certainly will, like ten times a day), or let them notify you when your Amazon package is late and help you get a store credit.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up with Paribus and let them monitor your email (don’t worry, they never sell your data to any third party)!
- For every receipt you get in your inbox from shopping at one of its 25+ major retailers (including Target, Zappos and Macy’s, but not Amazon for price drops) they will watch what you’ve bought for price drops and monitor late shipping on Amazon.
- Should an item go on sale, Paribus will notify you and help you get your refund.
- If you order from Amazon and your delivery is late, they will help you go back to Amazon to get compensated.
- They will also track your items and let you know when the last day to return them will be, according to that store’s policy.
Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.
3. Shop for Black Friday repeat deals about a week before Christmas.
Retailers receive holiday merch shipments throughout December that they need to keep moving. For this reason, they’ll mark some items down to rock-bottom prices. In 2019, Target crossed the holiday finish line strong with Black Friday repeat deals and a “Save $10.00 on purchases of $50.00 or more, or $25.00 on purchases of $100.00 or more through Dec. 14” promo.
4. Spend all the store cash and bonus coupons you got during Black Friday.
Stores offer a ton of extra perks for shopping during Black Friday in order to get you into the stores in November, but they restrict when you can spend them until December.
Ever wondered why? Because most customers who shop early never come back in December. That month is reserved for half-crazed, procrastinating shoppers who don’t even look at the prices.
But not you. Save your receipts, where some retailers print the coupons, or even staple them right to them. Also, dig through your bags, as some retailers, like Old Navy, just kind of shove the store bucks down inside. If you shopped online, search through your inbox or trash can for something you might have missed.
Here are some truly excellent bonus cash offers we’ve seen for the holidays:
- Belk: $15 Belk Bucks for every $75 spent.
- Fred Meyer: $30 gift card and in-store coupon with purchase of JBL Xtreme 2 speaker purchase.
- JCPenney: Spend $100 on gift cards and get a free $25 off any $25 purchase coupon.
- Kohl’s: $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent (online or in store).
- Old Navy: Earn $10 Super Cash for every $25 spent.
5. Stock up on stocking stuffers from the dollar store.
Stores put all kinds of fun trinkets right at the cash register and price them at a premium, because shoppers impulse buy most often while waiting in line. During the holidays, they really double down and fill those displays with colorful toys, candy and makeup. After all, $3.99 for a pack of gum seems harmless enough when you realize, “Darn! I forgot stocking stuffers!” But, all of those cute things add up into a hefty price tag that makes you wonder: What the heck did I just buy?!
If you can hold back, swing by your local dollar store on your way home. They have tons of great name brand small items perfect for stuffing a stocking. Ten things from a dollar store will fill that stocking for $10, plus tax. Compare that to an average $3 an item for register trinkets, and you save at least twenty bucks right there. (Just enough for a holiday mani or pedi.)
Here are some great stocking stuffers I found at my local 99 Cents Store, along with the normal price you’d pay at the register:
- Funko Donald and Daisy Disney Rocket Pop! Vinyl Key Chain Set (Reg. Price $12.90)
- Star Wars Luke Skywalker + Darth Vader Bobble Head (Reg. Price $8.49 at Walmart)
- Disney Princess Royal Shimmer Mulan doll (Reg. Price $5 at Walmart)
- Holiday Cozy Socks (Reg. Price $3 at Target)
- 2-Pack Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Asteroid Flavor Shots (Reg. $1.18 for only 1 at Walmart)
6. Use online coupons and promo codes in the store.
Some retailers offer online coupons or promo codes that you can also use in store. All you gotta do is scan their coupon policy FAQ or call and ask customer service. (But I would suggest you bookmark the policy in your phone, because some employees get a little confused over the finer points, and you might need to politely clarify this when you go to check out.)
For example, Macy’s will let you say the promo code at the register. I personally don’t feel the slightest bit weird saying “SCORE” to the cashier — not if it gets me an extra 10-15% off!
7. Price match online deals with the same product in store.
Sometimes a store’s online prices are better than their in-store prices. It happens. Depending on the store, you can ask them to price match and get a better deal at the register.
For example, in the fall Target.com listed the Graco Duodiner 3-in-1 High Chair on sale for $86.44, marked down from $199.99. In store, the high chair was on sale for $113.99. Target’s price match guarantee states they will match their in-store price to any item on Target.com, as well as price match with Target competitors.
Tip: Download the Target Circle app for quick and easy barcode scanning to compare prices!
Good luck with your December holiday shopping. If you have any secrets you’ve discovered, or want to tell us about an exceptionally good deal, please share in the comments!