Sure, it's the middle of October, but anyone who is hoping to save hundreds on holiday shopping this year will want to start laying out their strategy soon because the best savings aren't always where they seem.
Hype is building over certain toys, and the prices online and in stores certainly reflect that. Most people assume they will find the best deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but that's not always the case.
The editors at DealNews ran the numbers for last year and they found that in general, it pays to wait because the best prices were not found on the biggest shopping days of the year. Instead, the first two weeks of December are when retailers cut costs to unload their seasonal inventory.
With Hanukkah starting on Nov. 28th this year -- the same day as Thanksgiving, waiting for deal days is not an option. FOX 9 News spoke with Noelle Hawton, a retail expert at Tunheim, about how shoppers can get the most bang for their buck with a shortened shopping season.
OTHER TRENDS TO NOTE
DealNews also analyzed the price histories of the items on the 2012 Toys'R Us "Fabulous 15 List" and found that nearly all the products that were discounted on Black Friday were reduced again in the first two weeks of December.
Another wrench in the plans this year is that consumer confidence is at a 9-month low. The National Retail Federation recently blasted Washington politicians, blaming them for creating a dip just before holiday shopping season.
On Wednesday, the federation also reported that consumers are expected to take a conservative approach to holiday spending. The average shopper is projected to spend $737.95, which is 2 percent less than they spent last year.