Tuesday, November 25, 2008

25 Holiday Shopping Tips for the 25 Days of Christmas: Tip #3

After over 15 years of retail management, I understand how important getting the right price can be to the customer. I know from my own experience how frustrating it can be to buy something, only to find that a few short days later it is cheaper! Consumers want to feel like they got the best price possible, and with so many of us on much tighter holiday budgets it is more important than ever. And truly, most retailers will work really hard to make sure that you get the right price, and that you are satisfied with your purchase.

This tip is even more important in the current retail environment. With a tightening economy, many retailers are becoming more and more promotional, and will be driving sales fast and furious. So, you will have to be quick and savvy shopper to keep up!


Keep an eye on the ads and offers from retailers. If you have already started your holiday shopping, you may qualify for a price adjustment if the price has dropped since you purchased that item (or items!). Keep your receipts handy, and you may find yourself saving a few extra bucks this holiday season!

Most major retailers have a price adjustment policy, for example, Target gives you 14days to price adjust with your receipt. The only exception is clearance. Make sure you know the price adjustment policy of the retailers you frequent this holiday season. I have already saved $10.00 in price adjusting THIS WEEK. I cannot stress enough how quickly prices are going to adjust to this economy, and I want to see you benefit from those price adjustments!

I keep my receipts from about a 15 day - 30 day time period in an envelope in my purse. That way, if I see prices that have changed, I am able to get the adjustment immediately, while I am already in the store. I also watch the ads and circulars closely and check to make sure that my previous purchases have not dropped in price any further.

Even your online purchases should qualify, so again, be informed before you buy! The easiest way to protect yourself with online purchases is to either bookmark that page or mark it as a "favorite". That way you can check back to see if the price has changed. You can also create "Google Alerts" that would let you know anytime that item has been featured in a news article, blog, website, etc. Now, of course, this is a lot of work for a handful of stocking stuffers! However, I would recommend you take the couple of extra seconds, or even minutes, for your online big ticket purchases.

Speaking of online, sometimes retailers have online prices that are different then their prices instore. This is usually a tricky one and many retailers will not adjust prices when it comes to a price on their website vs. a price in their store. If you purchased the item online and it is less expensive in the store, most likely they will direct you back to the website to contact the customer service division. This is where I love retailers with live chat!

If you purchased the item instore, and see it less expensive on their website, you may have the option of asking the store for the price adjustment. I would screen print the item and price and have that as backup. Often, when customers are clearly informed, professional and polite, managers will be flexible and want to help.

Insider Tip: I also urge you to be a savvy consumer and ask store management if they will adjust prices for you if you are outside of their price adjustment window. I know people who start their holiday shopping early, and while prices are dropping now, they should still have some measure of price protection. From my experience in store management, it was the extremely rare exception that we did not price adjust to make a customer happy. If you bought that XBox a year or so ago and it is less expensive now, that would most likely not qualify, not even with the most liberal of store policies. But, if you bought that hot game in October that everyone said would disappear before the holidays, well...you probably have a great case for a store manager who needs to work a bit harder this holiday season to keep your business!

P.S. Give the gift of beauty from Benefit this holiday season! Their prices are fantastic, and Benefit is offering amazing holiday offers! Click the picture below for more information or to start shopping:

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Unlock Benefit’s holiday treasure chest to reveal a secret beauty treat! Gorgeous gifts, shipping offers, or insider tips…each day there is something new!

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