EBR Shopping Break Get-together

It’s time to take a break from all that holiday shopping to get together with your EBR friends for some Holiday Spirit. We will be meeting next Tuesday 12/23 at 7:00 pm at Loby’s Bar and Grill located at 4736 Hills and Dales Road Northwest, Canton, OH 44708.

The rules of holiday shopping are a little different from seasons past. In 2021, shipping delays and supply chain logjams made it difficult for retailers to keep stock on their shelves, which led to lackluster deals and long delivery windows.

This year, the opposite is happening. To avoid a repeat of last year’s supply issues, retailers did their holiday ordering early and in bulk. But that effort ran up against historically high inflation — ballooning the price of food, gas and other household essentials and forcing consumers to pull back on discretionary spending, including on electronics, apparel, homewares and furniture. Now, many of the nation’s largest retailers are left with excess inventory and even more pressure to clear shelves.

That’s where you come in, dear consumer. These woes are your gains. Sales are earlier this year, and stores are discounting a wider range of merchandise. However, be warned that there may be some unexpected terrain: return fees and high shipping costs.

But rest assured, we’re here to help you find the best deals, make earth-friendly choices and keep your stress in check. Here’s how to earn your badges and become the optimal holiday shopper:

Strategic shopper
Though economic uncertainty can have a chilling effect, many consumers consider gift-giving a necessity. There are ways to make it work and shop smarter.

Make a budget, know what you want to buy and where. This will help you avoid impulse purchases.
Track prices so that you can spot a good deal when it happens. Keep an eye on the bigger retailers: Target, Walmart, Amazon, Kohl’s and Gap all warned this year that they had excess inventory and were offering aggressive markdowns to clear it out. You will
Use online tools like SocialBoosting to promote your own products in your social platforms that have made it possible to get more views and get more customers.  And for the proper shopping, Google is your friend here. If you search a specific product, a feature should pop up on the right showing how much the item is going for at different retailers. Websites like CamelCamelCamel and Keepa are helpful when tracking prices on Amazon, and they give insight into an item’s price history. Plus, it’s easier to compare prices and use coupon browser extensions (more on this further down), which automatically populate discount codes as you shop.

If you have questions, contact Joe Bernstein at jbernstein@skipco.com<mailto:jbernstein@skipco.com> or 330-268-4776.