Tips for braving (and saving) this holiday shopping season
Years past, at the dawn of modern retail's favorite season, two kinds of holiday shoppers crawled out from the consumer masses:
• The organized, meticulous buyer checking off everyone on their list before the neighbors even pondered decking the halls.
• And — the category so many of us embrace — the proverbial procrastinator shopping for a blouse for his wife and toys for his kids before rushing home Christmas Eve to set out a tray of cookies for Santa.
Then came the lure of Black Friday deals, which soon morphed to Black Friday weekend, including Thanksgiving Day. Now a flurry of "pre-Black Friday" events both online and at the malls beckon, purporting to offer even deeper discounts to early birds.
No wonder it's sparking confusion over how to find the best sales: Shop early, shop late or shop often? If you ho-ho-hold on to your money now, will you have to pay more later when the gift-buying urge finally strikes?
That depends on what type of item you want, how picky you are and if you have a gambling nature.
Here's some advice from the retail trenches.
BY JEFF HARRINGTON • Times Staff Writer