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3 Questions to Answer Before Shopping on Super Saturday

Dec. 15, 2017
Holiday Tips & News, Managing Money, Personal Finance
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Super Saturday is the last Saturday before Christmas — and it’s a big day for retail. In fact, it’s expected to be 2017’s second-busiest shopping day, trailing right behind Black Friday, according to analytics company ShopperTrak.

Before you join the shopping masses on Dec. 23, here are three questions to answer.

What do you plan to buy?

“[Super Saturday] is typically a day when people have time off, they’ve procrastinated and it’s their last opportunity to go out to the stores and get those gifts for their loved ones,” says Karl Quist, president of price comparison browser plug-in PriceBlink.

This procrastination could pay off because, in some cases, waiting to buy presents until the days before Christmas can mean that you’ll save money.

Quist says retailers drop prices on items that they want to unload before Christmas. Expect discounts on apparel, toys and Christmas decorations. In 2016, retailers like Target, Toys R Us and Sears held last-minute Christmas sales. Toys R Us offered discounts of as much as 50%, and Target took $70 off the Apple Watch Series 1.

But high-demand products likely won’t be discounted as much, Quist says, so you may want to avoid buying the season’s hottest toy or electronic gadget at the last minute.

How do you handle pressure?

Even if you find a sale, you could feel pressure to make a purchase on Super Saturday. When you’re down to the wire, it becomes less about pondering the best-priced sweater or the most-suitable color and more about buying whichever sweater is left.

The time-sensitive nature of Super Saturday sales can add a sense of urgency, but it’s still worth your time to do as much research as you can, says Ruomeng Cui, a professor of information systems and operations management at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and an expert in limited-time deals offered by retailers.

She recommends researching prices online and looking up customer reviews to make a “rational buying decision.”

Do you like crowds?

Finally, you’ll need to be prepared to elbow your way through store aisles on Super Saturday — not to mention circle the lot for a place to park — because you won’t be alone.

In fact, 62% of Americans plan to shop on Super Saturday, according to an online survey in November of 1,005 adults commissioned by Propeller Insights on behalf of Ebates. Top-reported reasons for shopping on this day include sales and forgetting a Christmas gift.

Although stores will be packed, online shopping will be largely off the table come Dec. 23.

“Given that Super Saturday is so close to Christmas this year, in most cases, people aren’t going to be able to buy online and have those items in time for Christmas,” Quist says.

He says at least one exception is Amazon. In select cities, one-day, same-day and even two-hour delivery options allow you to place your online order on Super Saturday or Christmas Eve (within certain time frames).

The bottom line

Should you shop on Super Saturday?

“My advice would be if you find a good deal between now and then, just jump on it,” Quist says. “There’s a good chance that deal’s going to be gone if you wait too long.”

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