Speedy shopping

November 29, 2019

AZ Business Magazine

Experts serve up eye-popping holiday economic predictions

Shoppers have one less week to work with their budgets this holiday season and Debt.com compiled an interesting forecast.

Men will outspend women by twice as much and almost a third of male respondents plan to spend more than $500 on gifts according to Tinuiti Marketing, which polled 2,003 adults. Yet, nearly half of the female respondents said they’ll spend $250 or less.

“Men buy fewer gifts but they tend to be more expensive. Women, meanwhile, seem to buy smaller and more practical items that are still very personal choices,” says Howard Dvorkin, CPA and Chairman of Debt.com

As holiday budgets continue to rise, consumers may be surprised to hear that Trump’s tariffs won’t affect their gift-giving. The tariffs are scheduled to take effect December 15, 2019. According to the National Retail Federation, retailers are stocking up on goods so that the upcoming tariffs won’t affect their supply. 

Decorations get cheaper the closer you get to Christmas, so shoppers don’t need to rush out and buy those items on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. And consumers should also be prepared to return at least one gift they receive over the holidays, according to the e-commerce giant Shopify.  A whopping 89% of online shoppers have returned an item in the last three years.

Meanwhile, Generation Z is busting the myth of the dead storefront.  This generation is the most likely to show up in-store because they don’t have credit cards for online shopping, according to an NPD group survey. In contrast, Gen Xers plan to shop online and spend the most money compared to other generations. Gen Xers should beware­, however, as fake websites and other online scams are on the rise according to McAfee.

“Some shoppers are getting tired of retailers starting holiday promotions earlier and earlier every year, but the earlier you start shopping, the more paychecks you have to spread out the cost. This will help you stick to your budget and use cash instead of pulling out plastic for your holiday expenses,” continues Dvorkin. To make the most of holiday shopping, Debt.com offers the following tips:

• If you are using credit cards for gifts, choose a reward credit card strategically.  A rewards card that you can pay off in full each month is a great idea if you can earn cash back on purchases.

• Start shopping now to spread out the cost of your holiday budget! Use Debt.com‘s Holiday Money Guide to help manage your budget and gift-giving this year. This will help you stick to cash instead of pulling out your credit card for your holiday expenses. Include gifts, decorations, food, postage and shipping, travel expenses, and hosting expenses to cover holiday party costs.