October, not Black Friday, prime time for holiday shopping deals - KMSP-TV

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October, not Black Friday, prime time for many holiday shopping deals

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Here's a reason to stay home on Black Friday: Pricing data requested by the Wall Street Journal shows October and early November could be the best time for deals on some of the most popular holiday gifts, including toys.

Consumer price research firm Decide Inc. analyzed two to six years' worth of data, finding many of those last-minute gifts get more expensive as the shopping season gets closer to the holiday deadline.

"In the old days, all of the great deals were on Black Friday, but now you see some great deals on Black Friday and lots of offers throughout the season," John Barbour, CEO of LeapFrog Enterprises, told the Wall Street Journal.

Decide, Inc. tracked the prices of specific products each day for at least two years, including online retailers like Amazon, discount stores like Wal-Mart and others like Macy's and Toys R Us.

The analysis found prices for some gifts are lowest early in the holiday season (like right now) before retailers start to gradually increase prices.

So when is the best time to buy?

JEWELRY AND WATCHES

A Citizen men's watch listed at $600 was tracked from 2008 through 2011. Early March was the best time to buy, at $350, compared to $379 on Black Friday.

UGG BOOTS

September or October is clearly the best time to buy a pair of Ugg boots, which get more expensive as the shopping season drags on (and fall turns into winter). The average price for a pair of women's "Classic Cardy" Uggs during October and September was $85, down from the $159.95 list price. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the average price shot back up to $135 and $137.

TVs

The best holiday-season time to buy a flat-screen TV is in October, when a Samsung 46-inch LCD TV was $1,159 compared to $1,355 for the same model on Black Friday.

TOYS

The price of a Sesame Street Elmo toy jumped 31 percent to $17.78 on Black Friday from its average price in September and October, and prices can get even more inflated as supplies dwindle and demand increases ahead of the holidays.

WHAT TO WAIT FOR

The mid-December price of a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer was reduced nearly 20 percent from November.

Kmart and Sears stores are still reserve their lowest prices on some items for Black Friday – the so-called "door busters." Apple stores also offered a rare discount on the iPad last Black Friday – a $41 to $61 discount depending on the model.

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