With the arrival of the holiday season, shoppers in the metroplex are weighing the potential benefits of starting their gift shopping early this year, as many are concerned about the possibility of price increases if they wait.
Based on the most current data from the Household Pulse Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 84.3% of Texans and 83.7% of residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area expressed concern about future price increases in the next six months. The data was collected over a two-week period: October 18-30.
The survey also indicated that 50% of respondents in the metroplex had altered their driving behavior in the past seven days due to the price of gasoline.
Considering the cost of transportation, some may wonder if driving to the stores early in the holiday season will pay off, helping them snag the best deals.
According to Consumer Reports deals editor Samantha Gordon and Dealnews consumer analyst Julie Ramhold, most retailers are offering their deals exclusively online, per The Dallas Morning News. This shift empowers consumers to compare prices and secure the best bargains without incurring gasoline expenses or the stress of the holiday crowds.
Gordon, in her statement to the DMN, advised consumers who want to hit the streets for holiday sales to be mindful of what qualifies as a good bargain. She pointed out, “If it’s $10 cheaper at Best Buy than Target, but you have to drive further and burn more gasoline, it’s not worth it.”
It is worth noting that some holiday deals have already launched, and prices are expected to remain steady through Christmas. Whether you are an early bird shopper or a procrastinator, you can expect to see relatively consistent pricing throughout the holiday season.
Lower holiday gift pricing, projected to remain consistent through the holidays, is good news for the majority of Americans who say their household expenses have outpaced their income over the last year. About 50% indicate they are strapped with credit card debt, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Target has already rolled out its price match offer, which runs through December 24, according to Ramhold.
“That suggests to me it’s a good assumption that these prices are as low as they will go because they don’t want their store associates to be inundated with price-match refund requests,” Ramhold told the DMN.
Gordon noted that consumers sticking to a budget this year can make purchases gradually instead of rushing to get the early bird specials, as most items will not fluctuate in price through the holidays.
Exceptions to this are headphones, televisions, and popular toys. Consumers can often find these items in stock and at the best price around Black Friday, per the DMN.
The Household Pulse Survey is an online survey studying the social and economic impact of the pandemic and other critical matters on households across the United States. It covers topics like employment, food sufficiency, and physical and mental health, to name a few.