Clark’s Black Friday/Christmas shopping predictions & tips for 2018

|
Christmas shopping
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.
Advertisement

We’ve got to talk Christmas shopping calendars, okay?

There are certain cycles each year —  that are slightly different this year — for you to have the least amount of hassle and find the most bargains when you’re shopping for Christmas.

Things really get kicked off once we’ve moved past Halloween. The second you’re out buying stale candy left over from Halloween at half-price or hopefully 75% off, that’s when everything goes full-tilt into Christmas shopping mode at all retailers.

When is the best time to buy Christmas gifts this year?

As far as the best time to buy, there’s really almost a two-week period — I call it the “Black Friday State of Mind” — that goes on the week before Thanksgiving and goes on all the way through that Sunday after Thanksgiving and online shopping through that Monday immediately following. There are great, great deals then.

But there are a huge percentage of people who aren’t into shopping at all and look at shopping as just drudgery, an obligation, and wait until the very last minute to Christmas shop — and that’s brutal for your wallet. If you wait until four of the busiest shopping days of the year, the 21st, 22nd, 23rd of December and Christmas Eve? Uh uh, don’t do it. Don’t be a part of that.

In fact, the greatest deals historically are — based on this year’s calendar — likely cutting off around the 9th of December, especially for online shopping. With both FedEx and UPS being overwhelmed, you’re going to see the retailers that sell only online stopping their really good deals by the 9th so that they cannot not disappoint you in getting the items to you.

But! Let me tell you a trick: If you shop online at a store that also has physical locations, you will still find deals for that entire next week if you click to purchase online, but do free in store pick-up. You’ll know you have it for whoever you intend it for for Christmas, and you’ll still get a deal!

Speaking of “Deal or No Deal”: Those two weeks from the 10th of December until just before Christmas are generally the very most expensive weeks you can shop for Christmas, but it’s also feast or famine. If I’m a retailer and I guessed wrong that people are really going to want this, that or the other and they don’t buy it in the quantities I expected and I have them left over, I want them cleared out before the Christmas season’s over. In that case, I’ll have a lot of deals for you.

What will the best deals be on?

So, let’s talk about what will be deals this Christmas.

TVs will be ginormous over the Black Friday/holiday period, that now 10-day or so period. Electronics of all kinds — particularly off-brands, 3rd-tier brands. iPhones? Not so much. Android? There are going to be a lot of deals on Samsung phones and secondary brands for Android, particularly around Black Friday.

We’ll be keeping you up to date at ClarkDeals.com as far as when something is a steal or when it’s a pretend deal, so you’ll know when you should hop to it and when you should just let it pass you by.

The Clark Deals team will be scouting the best deals everywhere 24/7 through Christmas. You won’t miss out on any of them if you sign up for the newsletter now!

Advertisement
Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
View More Articles
  • Show Comments Hide Comments