Clark Howard: Trouble at the ports can get you savings

I have some interesting news for you for the holiday shopping season. There are special reasons why even at a time we’re spending more, there will be a lot of deals when we’re out shopping, especially during the early part of the fall. Here’s what happened.

If I’m a retailer, I have a business plan worked out a year or more before the holidays for what I’m going to buy for the next holiday season. Many things are specifically sourced for a single retailer so they can have exclusive deals. So retailers baked in their plans last year, finished them out early this year and ordered the goods.

But earlier this year, there was a lot of labor unrest at the giant port in Southern California where so many Asian goods enter the U.S. market. That meant things that were supposed to be on shelves this summer didn’t make it. Those things are now showing up at the same time as the merchandise coming in for Christmas. So there’s a mismatch between how much stuff will be for sale and the innate shopping demand that will be out there. That means we’ll see generous promotions over the next four to six weeks.

This is a year when procrastination will cost you and jumping the gun will save you. Take advantage of the current economic conditions to get a better deal.

Meanwhile, is trying to get some momentum after being a 98-pound weakling in the marketplace. Now they’ve announced they’ll match prices from all major players. They will even match the king of discounts — Costco! wants to be your go-to site to shop for the holidays. It is another opening salvo in what will be a good holiday shopping season for your wallet.


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Clark Howard — Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs — for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Find more answers to your consumer questions at Clark’s website

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Clark Howard

Clark Howard

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