Yesterday I shared some specific toys and prices that MoneywiseMoms readers had asked about. Now let's talk about some general strategies you can use in the next month to help you spend less on your holiday toy shopping.
Know the Regular Shelf Price & Sale Price
Once you know what you're shopping for, find out the shelf and sale price. That will help you know when a sale price is worth jumping on. Aim to save at least 40% by watching for sales, looking for coupons, or grabbing an online deal. For example, Target offers a Daily Deal with free shipping each day, and I'd been looking for a deal on a Razor Kick Scooter (usually $35). Saturday night, I caught that the Daily Deal was that scooter (no choice of color) for under $20 shipped. That's better than the $19 Black Friday deal I'd already noticed, since I don't have to get up early or go out; it's coming right to the house!
Utilize Price Matching
Many of your favorite stores–Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.–offer price matching when you bring in a current competitor's paper ad. In addition, Target is offering Holiday Price Matching through December 24th which includes price matching to Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com or BabiesRUs.com (excluding Black Friday dates). There are quite a few rules, so please read through the details. This can be useful if you have a store coupon but the sale is occurring at another store. For example, you can use a Target Store coupon to buy a toy at Target even if the sale price is better at Toys R Us or Walmart.
You can put any toy into the search window at BFAds.net to see which store (if any) is offering a deal. This lets me know how low some stores will go on Black Friday (if that item is even going on sale), and it tells me when regular sale prices are just as good at Black Friday's (as was the case in many of yesterday's toys).
Keep Checking Amazon
Amazon drops their prices often, and they offer Lightning Deals and other holiday promos on toys. If there's a particular toy you're shopping for, get in the habit of checking once a day to see if the price has changed. Just this weekend, the price of the very popular Snap Circuits (which I've been watching for months), went from $22.35 to $21.90 to $17.70 (when I posted it on Facebook). The next day, it dropped further to $14.50 and then returned back to $21.90. Amazon's pricing is odd, but if you can catch it at the right time, it's a huge money-saver. It also helps to have Prime Shipping, so you can grab a deal quickly without worrying about meeting the $25 threshold for Super Saver Shipping.
Get Cash Back when Shopping Online
Whenever you shop online, you can take a few extra clicks to earn cash back on your purchase by shopping through Ebates. Depending on the store, you can earn 2-20% or more back. Plus, if you're signing up as a new Ebates member, you'll get a FREE $10 Gift Card by placing a $25+ order at any online store in your first three months. I've been using Ebates since 2008, and those little bits really add up!
What strategies do you use to get the lowest prices on holiday toys?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no additional cost to you!