It’s not a good feeling. You were waiting for the best deals, telling yourself you’d purchase at the perfect moment. In retrospect, you realize that the perfect moment has passed. It’s three days until Christmas, and now there’s no way you’ll be able to put that lusted-after gift under the tree. Either the item has sold out, or prices have become so inflated that you don’t know if you can afford to buy.
We’ve been there. And we’ve found a couple of workarounds we wanted to pass on. Whether you’re shopping for concert tickets, or the latest, greatest popular toy, you may just be able to get your hands on it yet, without going broke.
Sold Out Events
Popular events sell out fast, especially if you’re talking about a single game, or an artist that doesn’t frequently go on tour. With events, we’re not typically hemming and hawing over ticket prices (though we may look for a good promo code before checking out.) Rather, we sit there hemming and hawing over whether the purchase itself is worth it.
As we’re sitting there, wondering how bad the view from those super cheap seats could actually be, the seating map starts to become more desolate. Heaven forbid you sleep on the idea. You’ll come back in the morning to read those dreaded words in big, red caps: SOLD OUT.
If your indecision caused you to miss out, don’t worry. Fortunately/unfortunately, there are some people who purposefully buy seats they won’t need, planning to resell them for a profit. Other times, something in life happens where someone realizes they won’t be able attend after all, and would rather try to recoup their money than let the tickets go to waste.
There are lots of sites out there that serve as online reselling marketplaces. Our favorite du jour is Tickets Now, where you can currently get anywhere from 5-10% off your purchase. Your purchase price might be a little higher than if you had initially bought from the direct vendor, but at least you’ll be able to save some money with the promo codes, and be able to put that gift under the tree, after all.
Did you know that nearly half of all Christmas shopping is being done online this year? This is driving up prices online, even as people price compare.
For example, this weekend we were looking at getting the last of the pups for the Paw Patroller. We had waited too long; while we thought there may be a sale bringing them down from their initial $12.99 retail price, there wasn’t. (At least not one that popped up on our radar.)
With three pups to go, prices had instead inflated. Marshall, in particular, was going for $45 on Amazon. As we were comparison shopping online retailers, we noticed an interesting phenomenon: big box retailers still had plenty of the pups, and they were selling them at the original $12.99 price. There was one caveat: you couldn’t order them online, and you couldn’t order them to ship to store. You had to go old school and go to the store yourself.
Lo and behold, there were Marshall and his pals, sitting on a physical shelf, saving us over $50.
If you haven’t tried a physical store yet this year, it may be your best bet for dodging some massive price surges online. You can check to see if they have the item first by checking out your store’s location on their website, and then by following up with a phone call. Even if they can’t reserve the item, you still may be able to get your hands on it cheap if you go right away.
It’s not fun to be this close to the big day and still have things to buy. Best of luck shopping, and remember, the holidays are about love, not the physical manifestations of it.