Holiday shopping in full swing
UNDATED (WHDH) -- It's a holiday tradition: throngs of shoppers lining up to get the best deals on Black Friday. But according to Decide, a company that tracks retail prices, many popular items, like cameras, jewelry and high-end apparel, get more expensive as the season goes on and demand increases.
On Black Friday in years past, a pair of Ugg boots averaged $135. But, in October? Just $85.
It's part of why nearly half of holiday shoppers will start before Halloween this year.
“I have started actually 'cause I find that you can get better deals if you shop right now,” said a shopper.
“We've seen sales begin to accelerate as we approach the holiday season,” said Jerry Storch, CEO of Toys R Us.
Toys R Us is going after early birds with a "hot toy reservation" program. If you put down a 20% deposit on a best-seller by Halloween, you're guaranteed to have it for the holidays, although you'll pay full price.
The toy giant is also one of the many retailers offering layaway, in-store pickup for online purchases, and free shipping deals.
It's all a sign of the tough competition that retailers face. For the first time, more than half of holiday shoppers will shop online this year. Which has the major chains doing everything they can to lure consumers back to their stores.
Toys R Us and Wal-Mart will match the prices of local stores and with more and more people using smart phones to comparison shop from the aisle, Best Buy and Target are taking it a step further, matching Internet competitors like amazon.com, the biggest threat online.
But, there are exceptions.
“They're not going to match prices, maybe, on their busiest days, say Black Friday. Also, make sure it's the same item you're asking them to price match against: the same color, the same style, the same brand,” said Patti Freeman Evans, vice president of Forrester Research.
A little research may be the best bet for big savings this holiday season.