Maybe the stores decorating early for the holidays are doing us all a favor because a two-year study has revealed that now might be the best time to get your Christmas shopping done.
While retailers do a great job advertising a handful of major bargains in the form of "door busters" on Black Friday, The Wall Street Journal reports they have intense "plot pricing strategies" meaning that coveted watch or toy will actually cost you more in November and December.
For example, on average, watches and jewelry prices began a steady increase in the months leading up to December. Flat screen TVs also got pricier closer to Christmas. The lowest prices were found in October.
Do your bank account a favor and predict what the hottest toy is now. Snatch it up before it too, gets more expensive, and supply runs low. The study found the Sesame Street Elmo plush toy jumped 31 percent from its average price in Sept/Oct. just days before Christmas.
Of course, not every price tag jumps. The data revealed the price of a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer dropped 20 percent by mid-December.
Sears and KMart were found to have some of the biggest discounts, but regular priced items are still prominently displayed on Black Friday. And last year, Apple slashed its iPad prices. You could also get an Xbox for a little cheaper on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But the WSJ says those were exceptions to the rules.
It turns out the stores are using Black Friday to clear inventory and sacrifice those old products in order to get you into the door, hoping you'll notice the regular priced items or the hot items with a big price tag.
The Wall Street Journal used Decide Inc. to analyze the data collected over two years. The study used online sales numbers because in-store prices vary market to market. So some of the door buster specials aren't reflected in the data.