In the world of retail, it is already starting to look a lot like Christmas. For many Americans, cheery carols and festive vistas of green and red in malls signal the longest shopping season of the year.
Unless you’re a thrill seeker or someone who can complete a Christmas shopping mission with efficiency and ease, you might be one of the many frantic people to leave their Christmas shopping til the last minute. .
In 2020, PRNewswire reported on a Klarna survey of over 40,000 US consumers – and found that 79% of shoppers purchased gifts within two weeks of Christmas. 64% of these procrastinating consumers planned to make their last purchase in-store (and that was during the pandemic).
It doesn’t have to be that way again this year. If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, now is the perfect time to start. By buying your gifts early, the only things you’ll have to worry about are finding a place to hide your gifts and keeping prying eyes (and hands) away from them.
Here are several reasons why you should start your Christmas shopping earlier this year.
Avoid supply disruptions and shipping delays
As CBS reported, experts are predicting another holiday season marked by supply disruptions. This year, bottlenecks at Los Angeles ports threaten to delay delivery nationwide, while rail and truck operators everywhere are understaffed. If this trend does not reverse, there could be a growing number of undelivered gifts in the glut of shipping containers stuck in ports.
Beat a possible rise in inflation
There is no guarantee that the already high inflation rate and consumer prices will not rise before the holidays arrive. Retailers are responding to concerns by holding sales earlier. As the National Retail Federation’s Mark Mathews told the Washington Examiner, “In the past, we’ve thought of the holiday season starting with Black Friday, but in reality, many shoppers shop long before Christmas – until October.”
Spread out your holiday budget
The Life’s Moments blog offered a number of great reasons to shop early for Christmas, but spreading your money (and your stress) is the best part. This is especially important if you are buying for many friends or family members. Spreading the costs over a longer period makes it easier to manage your holiday budget and you’re less likely to overspend.
Take advantage of sales sooner rather than later
Retailers love to promote Black Friday and back-to-school sales, and while there are great deals to be had at these times, stores offer promotions throughout the year. Stores don’t need to have sales in December because they know late shoppers will buy anyway. This is a great time to shop for items at a cheaper price, as stores often want to change inventory ahead of the busy winter holiday season.
Avoid the crowds
In the two weeks leading up to Christmas, the crowds are fierce. Fighting for a parking space, standing in endless lines, competing against another parent for the last desired toy on the shelf… it just isn’t worth it. Shopping when it’s calm and quiet will give you time to think about what you want to buy and give you the benefit of employee help if needed.
The weather is better
Depending on where you live, winter is a dangerous and often miserable time to drive and walk. The best way to avoid inclement weather — or be harassed by snow and ice — is to shop before bad weather arrives.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Think it’s too early to buy Christmas presents? Here’s why you should start shopping now