Here’s some sound holiday shopping advice – you don’t have to necessarily shop Black Friday if you want to save money on toys.
“I don’t like to fight the crowds for something that may or may not be the same price. I think it’s your comfort level. I feel like Black Friday is more about the experience,” she said.
When it comes to toy shopping, Netzel admits finding the deals is about doing your research and being mindful of sales and pricing. To help steer you in the right direction, here are Netzel’s top tips:
Shop Cyber Monday
Shop Cyber Monday to score deals on toys. This year it falls on Nov. 30.
Throughout the day, Amazon will release deals at specific times of the day but prices aren’t announced until the item goes live. Netzel said in this case it pays off to be an Amazon Prime member. Why? Members get a 30-minute head start shopping those deals. That head start is key. “A lot of super hot items sell out in five minutes,” she said.
If you are not sure if an item listed on Amazon is a good price, head to the website, camelcamelcamel.com. (Yes, that’s three camels.) “All you do is copy and paste the URL of the Amazon link and it will show you historical pricing. So it will show you if it is a good price or not,” Netzel said.
It’s especially handy for tracking prices on items such as Lego sets which rarely go on sale, she said.
Take advantage of price matching
Take advantage of price matching. Many retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart will loosen their policies closer to the holidays, she said.
Right now, Toys R Us has a price match guarantee stating price matches will be given at the time of purchase or within 7 days of purchase date with a valid receipt. Be sure to carefully read the rules, and save your receipts.
Also, always bring your phone with you when you’re out shopping so you can look up competitors’ pricing on items, she said.
Shop second-hand stores. Little kids especially won’t notice a difference on Christmas morning.
Many of the local second hand and consignment stores such as Kids Closet Connection at Harrisburg Mall have announced upcoming sales at the end of November, she said.
In addition, Free Spirit East will hold its annual 2015 Annual Holiday Workshop 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 21 at Colonial Park UCC in Lower Paxton Township.
Shop other stores such as Tomorrow’s Child and Once Upon A Child for toys and don’t forget stores such as 2nd & Charles for discounted books.