Tag Archives: Christmas and holiday season

Retailer receipts go digital

Stores love to ask for your email address so they can send promotions and coupons. I always say no. I don’t want anymore junk email, but I recently re-considered when a retailer told me they’d send the receipt to my email address. I always lose receipts, and this seemed like a way to solve that problem.

E-receipts are gaining in popularity, and I expect they will begin to change the shopping experience this holiday season. They were used on a limited basis during last holiday season, but this year I think they will become an option at more stores.

Macy’s is still giving out regular receipts and sending you an e-receipt. Ask before you sign up because some retailers are just using e-receipts. I think it’s a great tool for the forgetful or busy shopper. It’s so easy to misplace that piece of paper that’s worth so much money. Some stores won’t return an item without a receipt, so lose that slip of paper and you’re not getting your money back. Probably just a merchandise credit which means you  have to buy more items and probably spend more money at that store.

The email looks just like a receipt and it includes everything I bought. I think e-receipts are a great resource and added protection for shoppers just in case that little piece of paper disappears.

Black Friday Creep – what do you think of stores opening at 8 PM Thanksgiving?

Most of the Black Friday ads are out. Some were leaked. This year, some retailers just released them on their own site avoiding the leak mania. Walmart and Target have the full ad on their site. The theme: the stories are opening earlier than ever turning Black Friday into Black Friday Creep or Gray Thursday.

The unofficial start to the holiday season is no longer just a day. Many sales start Monday online with retailers trying to maximize the number of days they can get your attention.

There were online protests last year as stores opened late on Thanksgiving, but obviously those online petitions did little to sway the retailers. This year they are opening four hours before Friday. Many of the big retailers are opening at 8 PM on Thanksgiving. Target at 9 PM and Best Buy at midnight. These early opening times are sparking more heated debate this year, and even a proposed strike by Walmart employees.

The stores say they are opening early to meet demand. 8 PM is a convenient time. It’s a lot easier to shop at that time than getting up at 3 AM to start your shopping. I expect people will shop til they drop which will about 3 AM. The time they were getting up when Black Friday really was Black Friday.

Experts think these trends will continue unless there really is a strike by Walmart. It would take something big to stop the holiday creep.

What do you think of the early start times for holiday shopping? Click comment below.

Free shipping becoming more common

Courtesy FedEx

More and more companies are offering free shipping which will make it easier to shop online this holiday season without searching for the promotional codes to earn the free shipping. Walmart is offering Home Free shipping for apparel and consumable orders of $45 or more.

Consumable products include beauty supplies, diapers, formula, clothing, household cleaning products, snacks, personal care, and vitamins. The orders ship in 3 to 5 days.

If the store you’re shopping doesn’t offer free shipping, see if it will offer free shipping to the store.

Also, check out the site Free Shipping to see if there is a promotional code for the store you are shopping. Shoe stores like Zappos and Shoebuy are offering free shipping both ways which is something else to consider especially if you aren’t sure you’re going to like a product.

If your favorite store doesn’t offer free shipping, maybe it will on the Free Shipping holiday in December. It’s one day a year where thousands of stores offer free shipping. You can see if your retailer is participating by clicking here. This year, the Free Shipping holiday will be held on Friday, December 16th.

Related links you may like:
Earn money to shop online
L.L. Bean offers free shipping

Ho ho ho instead of trick or treat? Stores want you to start your holiday shopping

Black Friday shoppers rush into Best Buy 2010

The holiday shopping season doesn’t officially kick off for two more months, but it’s already starting for retailers. Christmas items are appearing in stores, and we’re learning the different strategies to get customers in the door.

Toys”R”Us says it will offer exclusive merchandise like Moshi Monsters and The Trash Pack. The toy store will introduce its first-ever catalog featuring merchandise only sold at Toys”R”Us. It will be 44 pages long with 350 items in it.

Target launched Cyber Monday sales in September.

While it’s typical for stores to put the Christmas decorations up before the ghosts and goblins are stored away or even bought, Northeast Ohio sees decorations before other parts of the country.

For a NewsChannel 5 story, Strongsville Home Depot employee Tim Baker said, “All marketing research and any of the statistics from sales, etc. are going to show you where the populations are that buy. We’re in a very good market. We respond to it.”

I expect the real Black Friday ads will start leaking by the end of October. Whether you like it or not, the holidays are around the corner and stores are willing to do anything to get you to buy.

Make sure you look beyond the marketing hype, and make sure you’re truly getting a good deal. Compare prices on sites like PriceGrabber to see if a deal is as good as it sounds.

Best Buy removes restocking fees

Black Friday shoppers rush into Best Buy

The holiday return season will swing into high gear on December 26th. This year, consumers are getting an early Christmas present from Best Buy as they get rid of their restocking fees for almost all purchases.

A simple statement on their website explains the big policy change. The change took effect December 18th and eliminates restocking fees for all orders except special orders.

The website statement reads, “Best Buy continually listens to our customers, and they told us they want to give confidently this holiday season and every other day of the year — and with that comes easier returns. Effective Saturday, December 18, Best Buy is improving its return policy by removing restocking fees for all products except special orders. Customers can visit BestBuy.com for further information.”

As a consumer advocate, this is a big win for consumers. Consumers often pay these restocking fees for no reason. It will be interesting to see if other stores follow in the footsteps of the electronics giant.