‘Unprecedented:’ Arizona shoppers are negotiating for better prices this holiday season
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Amazon is kicking off its holiday shopping season early, and many other retailers are following suit with pre-Black Friday sales. “I don’t think I ever thought it would be pulled forward this early,” said Deborah Weinswig, the founder and CEO of Coresight Research, which tracks the retail industry.
Different stores are taking different approaches, but the goal is the same. Companies want you to start spending early. For Amazon, that means a two-day sale, exclusive to Prime members. The online retail giant is promising a slew of deep discounts on electronics, toys, and tools. Walmart is featuring its own flash deals and price rollbacks online and in stores. Target is offering discounts, including $10 off a $50 toy purchase for its Target Circle members. Weinswig says there has been a notable increase in foot traffic in stores already this month, as retailers compete for business.
“We’ve heard of price-matching. This year we’re seeing price-beating, and that is an in-physical store occurrence,” Weinswig said. “We’re also seeing retailers drive more consumers to the stores, and with many of them having uneven inventory and some of them having real excess inventory, what we’re seeing is you can actually have a dialogue with team members, with store leaders on almost negotiating price, and that is unprecedented.” If you do start shopping early, save your receipts. In case the price does drop, you can often request a partial refund. Retailers would rather you have the item at a discounted rate rather than a return that they have to restock and try to sell again.
There are other notable changes among retailers, according to Weinswig, including a renewed focus on store loyalty programs. “Loyalty programs are taking a completely different front and center this year,” she said. “So my advice to consumers; make sure you’re signed up for every loyalty program that you can be. Much of this is not tied to a credit card. There should be no charge. This is all you being rewarded for being a loyal customer.” In addition to discounts, loyalty programs may give customers access to events and limited-edition products.
Coresight Research has also noted a spike in the number of refurbished electronics on sale this holiday season. “That, to me, is also another great way to save money this holiday season,” Weinswig noted. “Most of these retailers are also guaranteeing the quality of that product. There’s much more inventory there than we’ve seen in the past and I think retailers are very cognizant of how can they help the consumer kind of take care of everybody on their wish list in this inflationary environment that we’re in.” Weinswig also says some retailers are doing a lot of product bundling this year, so you may be able to buy three or more items in a bundle, for example by size or fragrance.
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