Posted December 20, 2013 4:11 pm by with 0 comments

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opF6XRiWe’re headed into the final weekend before Christmas which means cash registers – both virtual and physical – will be ringing and ringing like joyous holiday bells. eCommerce sellers will see the slow down first as only a small percentage of consumers will be fork over the fee for overnight delivery. Then, they’ll be forced back into the brick and mortar stores, a few of which will be open on Christmas Day.

There will be 24 hours of silence, then the shopping will begin again. RetailMeNot says that 79% of consumers plan to go shopping after the holidays. Almost half of the consumers surveyed say they’ll probably be returning gifts then using the money to buy something they actually want.

The 18-34 group say they’re likely to return at least a quarter of everything they received under the tree, which is kind of sad.

But not everyone is looking for a refund. 35% of consumers say they’ll head out to buy that special gift they were expecting but didn’t get.  Overall, 64% of shoppers will be buying for themselves but a few savvy shoppers say they’ll be buying gifts for folks they knew they wouldn’t see until after Christmas. Smart thinking.

Burning a Hole in Your Pocket

The vast majority of consumers say they got or expect to get a gift card as a gift. 67% will spend that gift card before January is over which means they could get twice the value by buying deeply discounted items.

An incredible 34% of consumers said they’ve used cards they were given as gifts to buy gifts for someone else. 24% saved themselves the trouble and just “regifted” the card itself.

Pre-Holiday “After” Christmas Sales

Remember how Black Friday crept backwards into Thanksgiving? Well, now the same thing is happening with “after Christmas” sales. I used to look forward to scooping up the deals on December 26, but the way things are going there won’t be an item left on the shelf by then.

I was in a Michaels Arts and Crafts store last night and it looked like Whoville after the Grinch. All holiday decor items were marked down 50% to 70% and they were going fast. Crate and Barrel and J.C. Penney have also slashed prices on holiday goods.

Anyone else feeling markdown fatigue? I’m ready to buy something at full price just for the novelty of it. For those who are still bargain hunting, Amazon says their end of year sale will being on December 23.

Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching. That’s my favorite sound at Christmas time.