Warnings of a shortage of Christmas gifts this holiday season led many shoppers to purchase products when they could.
Retail industry executives have shared concerns that the shortage of truck drivers to haul loads from docks around the coast threatens not only Britons’ Christmas festivities, but also the economy in the broad sense.
While some prefer to wait earlier, there are only two paydays left until Christmas – and by timing their purchases correctly, customers can often save money.
Consumers could save on their Christmas gifts by finding out which month is the cheapest
The cost of buying freebies can be drastically reduced by researching if a product is generally cheaper to buy in October, November, or December.
Comparison site Idealo analyzed items that are likely to be popular gifts this Christmas, combining their cost data from last year to see which month is the best to buy.
Unsurprisingly, he found that many products were the most expensive in December, as more people are likely to shop at that time.
But there have been a few exceptions – for example, buying a laptop in December could save you £ 166 compared to November, when it’s the most expensive and costs an average of £ 1,300.
Other tech items like gaming consoles and wireless headphones are the most expensive in December and could cost £ 56 and £ 8 more respectively than in previous months.
Customers looking for a smartwatch also have an interest in buying in October, when prices average £ 172, compared to December, when they hit £ 198.
For those looking to get in shape during the winter months, savings can be made on yoga mats and bikes if purchased in October and December respectively.
Buying at the right time would save customers a collective £ 103 savings.
It is cheaper for customers to buy training weights in November than in other winter months
|Gift||Best time to buy||Best average price||The worst time to buy||The worst average price|
|Home workout weight||November||£ 36||September||£ 66|
|Smart watch||October||£ 172||December||£ 198|
|Espresso machine||November||£ 676||September||£ 739|
|Wireless earbuds||November||£ 60||December||£ 68|
|Hair straighteners||October||£ 62||December||£ 71|
|Beard trimmers||November||£ 55||December||£ 88|
|Lego kit||October||£ 80||December||£ 94|
|Drilling kit||October||£ 303||December||£ 377|
|Portable||December||£ 1,134||November||£ 1,300|
|Hair dryer||October||£ 60||September||£ 79|
|Video game||November||£ 22||October||£ 29|
|TV||November||£ 908||September||£ 1,034|
|Citrus juicer||October||£ 180||December||£ 251|
|Bicycle||October||£ 573||September||£ 683|
|Yoga mat||December||£ 28||November||£ 31|
Home workout weights, on the other hand, are the cheapest to buy in November with an average price of £ 36.
Beauty products were also found to be the most expensive in December.
Hair straighteners cost an average of £ 62 in October, the best time to buy, but jumped to £ 71 in December. Beard trimmers, on the other hand, cost just £ 55 in November but £ 88 in December.
We expect this Christmas shopping habits to be very different from previous years, with an increased focus on working from home and having fun.
Katy Philip of Idealo said, “Comparing the prices of a product line can really help you find a better deal.
“In an age when saving money is of the utmost importance to some, being able to check the costs of multiple retailers at once can be an extremely useful resource. “
“We expect Christmas shopping habits to be very different from previous years, with an increased emphasis on working from home and entertainment, as well as on products that improve our health and well-being.”
Why might there be a shortage of freebies?
There is a combination of reasons there could be a shortage of gifts this winter, including rising transportation costs, rising energy prices, and ongoing labor shortages.
A mix of Brexit and pandemic has also seen manufacturers stop shipping large containers by sea.
Toy prices, in particular, are expected to rise, according to the Toy Retailers Association, as shipping costs have increased 900% in a year.
A £ 15 toy truck now costs £ 7 to ship from Asia, where many toys are made, up from 70p a year ago.
The British Retail Consortium said there were “clear signs” that transport and labor issues “were starting to trickle down to consumer prices”.
One in three retailers in the UK expects prices to rise over the next three months, the consortium added.
Even if stock is on hand, prices are likely to be much higher than usual, as retailers have to pay more for the cost of goods and delivery surcharges.
For shoppers, it’s worth using a price tracker, many of which are available online, to keep tabs on how the price of the gifts they want to buy is changing over the next several months.
Idealo looked at its data to find the average price for each category each day from early September to late December 2020 to find the cheapest average price and the most expensive average price for each category.
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