Holiday shopping: Majority of shoppers overspend on holiday items

The majority of shoppers will overspend on holiday items this season, a survey recently released by TD Bank found.

Credit Card Reform Legislation Would Tighten Rules On Rates And Fees (Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)

Roughly 78 percent of shoppers included in the survey said they will spend more than they should have during the holiday shopping rush, according to TD Bank.  The average shopper will overspend by $215, the survey found.

Roughly half of those survey said they planned to make a budget for holiday spending, but only 70 percent planned to stick to it, the survey found.

“Spending during the holidays can add a lot of stress to what should be a wonderful and relaxing time of year,” said James Capolongo, Head of Deposit Products, Pricing and Fee Income for TD Bank. “By establishing a budget and using a debit card to make the most of your holiday, people can avoid overspending and shift their focus to what matters most – spending time with family and friends.”

The study found that many shoppers treat themselves while shopping, indulge in small impulse purchases like stocking stuffers, or go over budget on incidentals, like wrapping paper and gift cards.

 

 

 

Holiday shopping: Exclusive Star Wars gifts you can only find at Target

In the battle to woo holiday shoppers, a growing number of national retailers are stocking their shelves with exclusive items that can only be bought at their stores. 

Chewbacca greets shoppers as they enter Target in Boynton Beach. Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise went on sale at select stores at 12:01 a.m. on September 4, 2015. (Brianna Soukup/Palm Beach Post)
Chewbacca greets shoppers as they enter Target in Boynton Beach. Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise went on sale at select stores at 12:01 a.m. on September 4, 2015. (Brianna Soukup/Palm Beach Post)

Target is no exception. The national retailer is touting four exclusive Star Wars items that can only be purchased at its stores.

Star Wars merchandise ranks among the top gift items this holiday season.

By selling exclusive items — especially those designed around popular children’s characters and brands — retailers not only hope to draw shoppers into their stores, but to get those shoppers to purchase other holiday gift items while they are there.

Target’s exclusive Star Wars lineup includes:

 

 

 

Holiday shopping: For those who have everything, consider a sunset cruise

A growing number of shoppers plan to give their friends and family members an experience — not stuff — this holiday season.

Visit Palm Beach founder Brian Marozzi stands on the waterfront with his catamaran in downtown West Palm Beach on November 18, 2016.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Visit Palm Beach founder Brian Marozzi stands on the waterfront with his catamaran in downtown West Palm Beach on November 18, 2016. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Over the last five years, consumers have shifted some of their holiday spending away from goods, opting instead to buy services and other experience-based gifts.

One local option for holiday shoppers looking to give an experience over goods: A sunset cruise.

Visit Palm Beach offers a variety of family-friendly and adult-only cruises aboard its 50 foot catamaran, Hakuna Matata. The boat can accommodate up to 49 passengers with a single level deck and large bar area. There is plenty of room for serving food, drinks and socializing. Website: visitpalmbeach.com

For a complete list of experience gift options, click HERE.

On the hunt for a Hatchimal? Check Target, Walmart

The year’s two most sought after toy — Hatchimals  — will be hitting shelves at some Walmart and Target stores across the country.

Remember Cabbage Patch Kids or Tickle Me Elmo? Brace yourself, parents, the latest toy craze has hatched. Hatchimals are large speckled eggs with furry, magical creatures inside that eventually crack out of the egg but only if given enough human attention. As you rub the egg it lights up and makes sounds. Eventually, the baby animal inside begins to peck away and break free. Kids can watch it develop its own personality as it matures from a baby to adulthood, where it can repeat words and play games. Hatchimals landed in stores on Oct. 7 and are already hard to find. A Toys R Us spokesperson said they're currently limited to one per customer. I called several stores, and they were all sold out. They were also out of stock online. Sellers on Amazon are asking $190 for a toy that's listed for $50 at Target, Toys R Us and Wal-Mart, and that's if you can actually find it on the shelves. (Learning Resources)

(Learning Resources)

According to Black Friday website BfAds.net, Walmart will be restocking Hatchimals at roughly 1,700 of its stores.

Target announced on Wednesday that Hatchimals would be available in some of its stores on Sunday, Dec. 11.

“Starting this Sunday, Dec. 11, Target stores across the country will begin to receive dozens of Hatchimals ($59.99), with inventory popping up throughout the week,” the company said. “You’ll need to be quick to scoop these up (limit two per guest) while supplies last, so be sure to check your local store.”

The interactive is virtually impossible to find in stores, and resellers looking to cash in on its popularity have marked them up dramatically on sites like eBay.

 

 

Holiday shopping: For those who have everything, consider a food tour

A growing number of shoppers plan to give their friends and family members an experience — not stuff — this holiday season.

Over the last five years, consumers have shifted some of their holiday spending away from goods, opting instead to buy services and other experience-based gifts.

Kristl Story, owner of West Palm Beach Food Tours, talks to a group of LGBT bloggers and travel writers taking part in a food tour of downtown West Palm Beach Friday, April 1, 2016. Their first stop was The Blind Monk. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Kristl Story, owner of West Palm Beach Food Tours, talks to a group of LGBT bloggers and travel writers taking part in a food tour of downtown West Palm Beach Friday, April 1, 2016. Their first stop was The Blind Monk. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

One local option for holiday shoppers looking to give an experience over goods: Food tours.

Everybody loves food! Let your family and friends eat away on one of Palm Beach County’s three culinary tours. Each tour visits a different area, giving guests the chance to sample some of the county’s most unique eateries.

Savor Our City Culinary Tours, 800-979-3370.

Website: savorourcity.com

Taste History Culinary Tours, 561-243-2662 or 561-638-8277

Website: tastehistoryculinarytours.org

West Palm Beach Food Tours, 866-736-6343

Website: westpalmbeachfoodtour.com

For a complete list of experience gift options, click HERE.

 

 

Holiday shopping: Top credit card perks

Before you buy all of your holiday gifts this year, check with your credit card companies to see if they offer perks that might sweeten the purchase.

Most credit cards offer at least one valuable but little-known perk, according to a report released this week by CreditCards.com.

Credit Card Reform Legislation Would Tighten Rules On Rates And Fees (Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)

Among the most common perks: extended warranties, purchase security, price protection and guaranteed returns.

“These perks are another reason why credit cards are a better option than debit cards and cash – as long as you can pay the balance in full each month,” said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “Hold onto your holiday shopping receipts and check back in a month or two to see if any of these offerings will save you some money.”

For those buying big-ticket items, cards with purchase security protection will replace, repair or reimburse cardholders for personal property that is lost, stolen or damaged, according to CreditCards.com.

The coverage is generally limited to 90 days after buying the item. Jewelry, antiques, animals, plants, perishables and motor vehicles are usually not covered.

For electronics and appliances, cardholders may also be able to lengthens the original manufacturer’s warranty (usually by two years) at no additional cost when items are purchased entirely with the card, according to the website.

And if you buy and item and then find it at a lower price, check to see if your credit card company offers price protection.   You may be refunded the difference, according to  CreditCards.com. In most cases, this is restricted to 2-4 months after purchase and capped at $250 to $500 per item and $1,000 to $2,500 annually, the website said.

For those who lose their receipts, some credit cards also guarantee returns. Typically the coverage is limited to 90 days from the sale and most frequently capped at $300 an item/$1,000 a year, according to CreditCards.com.

 

 

Can’t find a Hatchimal? Check out these alternatives

Hatchimals are one of the most sought after toys this holiday season.

The interactive creatures are virtually impossible to find in stores, and resellers looking to cash in on their popularity have marked them up dramatically on sites like eBay and Amazon.

REALTED: Toys”R”Us to get new shipment of Hatchimals, NES Nintendo Classic

If you haven’t been luckily enough to find one, you may want to consider these gift alternatives.

Toys”R”Us spokeswoman Adrienne O’Hara says they are not only popular, but kid approved:

little-live-pets-snuggles-my-dream-puppy
provided

Little Live Pets™ Snuggles My Dream Puppy from Moose Toys™

This snuggly puppy moves, feels and responds just like a real pup. Little animal lovers can feed this no-mess friend with his bottle and he’ll fall asleep in their arms. With a pat of the head or a rub of the tummy, Snuggles will close his big brown expressive eyes and make too-cute puppy sounds. Snuggles comes complete with an adoption certificate to officially make him part of the family. 4 “AAA” batteries required (included). Ages 2 to 4 years.

 

Power Wheels® Wild Thing™ from Power Wheels®

provided
provided

This ultimate performance vehicle brings a whole new level of control, excitement and thrills with the ability to shift into a 360 degree spinning action while driving in both forward and reverse. Equipped with large durable tires for multi-terrain driving and three different speed settings up to 5 mph, kids will love cruising and spinning in this impressive ride-on. Maximum weight limit is 100 lbs. 12-volt battery required (included). Ages 5 to 7 years.

NERF N-STRIKE ELITE TERRASCOUT RC DRONE Blaster from HASBRO™

provided
provided

With the N-STRIKE ELITE TERRASCOUT RC drone blaster, kids can use the live video feed featured on the controller’s LCD screen to scout the battlefield, locate targets and plan their strategy. They can even maneuver the angle of the drone’s blaster remotely, and fire a single-dart by pressing and releasing the trigger, or holding down for extreme battle. This RC drone can also record audio and video to an SD card (not included), allowing players to share epic battles and campaigns with family and friends. The controller slides onto the back of the drone’s blaster and snaps into place for storage. 4 “AA” batteries (not included) and one rechargeable NiMh battery (included) required. Ages 8 years and up.

Holiday shopping: Toys”R”Us to offer free shipping, plans Christmas sale

If you missed the Black Friday deals, there is still time to find a bargain.

Toys”R”Us said it plans to offer free shipping on Saturday. The promotion runs all day long, the company said.

Ashley Frost, of Lake Worth, wearing a shirt saying,"I've trampled people for less," looking for 'Door Buster' Christmas deals at Toys "R" Us on Thanksgiving Day in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, November 22, 2012. (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)
Ashley Frost, of Lake Worth, wearing a shirt saying,”I’ve trampled people for less,” looking for ‘Door Buster’ Christmas deals at Toys “R” Us on Thanksgiving Day in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, November 22, 2012. (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)

HOT TOY ALERT: Toys”R”Us to get new shipment of Hatchimals, NES Nintendo Classic

The national toy seller will also hold a Great Big Christmas Sale from Sunday, December 4 to Saturday, December 10. Here’s a look at some of the items included in the promotion:

·         Shopkins Tall Mall – Save $10 – Was $34.99, Now $24.99

·         Sky Viper Drone – Save $30 – Was $129.99, Now $99.99

·         Kano Computer Kit – Save $15 – Was $149.99, Now $134.99

·         Hot Wheels Ai – Save $15 – Was $99.99, Now $84.99

·         Razor Hovertrax – Save $50 – Was $399.99, Now $349.99

·         PAW Patrol Zoomer Marshall – Save $10 – Was $69.99, Now $59.99

·         Thomas and Friends Sky High Bridge Jump – Save $20 – Was $99.99, Now $79.99

·         The Grossery Gang Collectibles – Buy 1, Get 1 40% Off, Price Varies

·         NERF – Buy 1, Get 1 40% regularly priced $99.99 or less, Price Varies

·         Furby Connect – Save $15 – Was $99.99, Now $84.99

 

 

Toys”R”Us will offer free shipping on Saturday, T.

The cost of Christmas cheer? $34K, according to PNC Bank

If you tried to buy all of the items in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,the price tag would total more than $34,000, up slightly over last year, according to PNC Bank. 072514 Christmas in July 2

PNC on Thursday released its annual “Christmas Price Index,” which found that a set of gifts in each verse of the song would set you back $34,363.49 in stores, an increase of 0.7 percent from last year.

The increase was driven by “price increases for the Turtle Doves due to lack of availability, and wage increases for the Drummers and Pipers,” PNC said.

Buyers looking to purchase all the items each time they were mentioned in the song (a total of 364 gifts) would spend $156,507.88, according to PNC.

Holiday shopping: These are December’s best deals

The Black Friday shopping rush may be over, but the are still plenty of bargains to be had this winter.

A santa outside Parfum Europa tries to attract last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve at Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach, December 24, 2015. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)
A santa outside Parfum Europa tries to attract last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve at Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach, December 24, 2015. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)

The deal hunters at fatwallet.com have put together a list of December’s best bargains. If you are on the hunt for gift items this month, you may want to consider the website’s tips. Here they are:

Cookware and Kitchen Gadgets: Shoppers can expect better prices and exclusive savings post-Thanksgiving on select cookware, dinnerware, glassware and small kitchen appliances. Holding out for the monthly Kohl’s discount that stacks with Kohl’s Cash, or shopping during Macy’s exclusive Sunday sales will be your best bet, including savings on home decor items.

Toy Deals: Retailers were aggressive with toy deals in late November, but selection of special pricing was limited to the “gotta-have-it” toys. Overall toy prices will get better following Cyber Monday, but waiting too long may leave you empty handed, especially for 2016 video game deals that will be in demand as stocking stuffers that pair with those new video gaming console deals during Black Friday.

Gift Cards: Dozens of stores offer discounts in late December and right before Christmas break, especially for restaurants, movie theaters and local entertainment venues. Check eBay deals as a great resource to scout for discounts on gift cards from retailers and gas stations, and look for discounts on iTunes gift cards with expectations of $100 in iTunes credit for $80.

TVs and Accessories: TV prices were exceptional during the Thanksgiving weekend, many prices were even better on Cyber Monday, signaling TVs were undersold. Expect 4K TV Deals to continue in December, especially 50-65” as well as 1080p TVs 60” or larger. Electronics stores that carry HDMI and A/V cables, streaming devices and other TV accessories will offer better discounting, too.

Free Shipping Day and December Clearance: On Friday Dec. 16, Free Shipping Day will offer the best last minute savings opportunities, but beware any offer that looks too good to be true as some third party sites charge a fee to access their free shipping promises. After Christmas Clearance sales start up December 22 and acting quick is key as the best deals do not last more than a few hours.