How to take advantage of ‘very different’ 2020 holiday shopping season

female friends wearing surgical mask and Christmas hat holding shopping bags on a vivid red orange background(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Carlo Prearo)
Just like the rest of 2020, the holiday shopping season will be different as retail industry experts said to expect a longer season with deeper deals from desperate retailers.

Seven out of 10 shoppers polled by stated they’ll start looking for deals before Halloween, and fewer shoppers are saving up for holiday travel.

Because many retailers are expecting slower in-store sales and can no longer depend on traditional Black Friday sales, industry analyst Ted Rossman believes the discounts will start early in an attempt to extend the season.

“I think the game plan is to really incentivize people early. I think Prime Day moving from July to October really fueled a lot of copycats,” Rossman said of retailers who also began rolling out big discounts in October, including Target and Home Depot.

To find deeper discounts on a purchase, Rossman suggested shopping through a credit card portal, such as Chase or United Airlines.

“You use their link to Nike or Macy’s or wherever you are shopping, and because you clicked through them, they’re going to reward you with a kickback. From there, once you’re on the retailer’s site, you can shop normally. You can use a coupon code, you can use a rewards credit card — now that’s three ways to save,” he told WTOP.

For shoppers who want to keep things simple, Rossman said Cashback Monitor is a good option.

“You can type in the retailer and they’ll compare all the retailers for you … And then they’ll just tell you, ‘OK, this one gives you 11% back, this one gives you 8% back, and so on, so you can make an informed decision,” he said.

For those consumers considering breaking up with their travel credit card, Rossman suggested starting by asking the company to waive the annual fee.

“There’s actually been a real shift to cashback rewards. Most people nowadays are finding that more worthwhile than travel. That said though, you usually get more bang for your buck when you choose travel, so some people like to just save up,” Rossman said of travel cardholders.

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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