Shopping is a huge part of the holiday season, but it’s going to be a little more rushed this year. This season is actually the shortest in six years, with Thanksgiving falling on November 28 — the latest day possible for turkey day. That means there’s nearly a week less to shop for gifts than there was last year.
That can “absolutely” have an impact, retail expert Bob Negen, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. While the season is shorter, Negen expects that retailers will offer up better-than-usual sales to try to make up for the smaller window of time. “If they proactively drive traffic to make up for the lack of days, they’ll do just fine in sales,” he says.
The shorter season should also fuel online sales, Patricia Huddleston, PhD, a professor of retailing at Michigan State University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “This will put pressure on the retail supply chain to ensure that gifts will be delivered on time and will likely increase the incidence of buy online, pick up in store,” she says. That also offers a “significant opportunity” for stores to have add-on sales when you go to get your purchases, she points out.
Huddleston also expects that resale items will be big, especially among millennials. “We have seen a definite uptrend in the past year for resale merchandise, with mainstream retailers such as Macy’s getting in the game with its partnership with ThredUp,” she says.
How to shop smart this holiday season
Of course, what really matters is how you can get good deals. Personal shopper Nicole Borsuk, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that it’s a good idea to start shopping now, especially when it comes to certain items. “The best gifts to get early are clothes, shoes, coats, anything with sizes,” she says. “Unlike in the past, retailers start marking down items, and once they are gone they are gone. Retailers don't want to hold onto as much stock.”
If you’re in the market for electronics, you’ll want to keep your eyes open now, too, personal shopper Lori Wynne, owner of Fashion with Flair, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. And, if someone on your list wants a hot item, like AirPods 2 or the new iWatch, it’s a good idea to buy it ASAP before stock runs out, Borsuk says.
Ready to shop? Here are some must-haves to score ASAP.
The Sacai x Nike LDWaffle trainers were created by the Japanese high-fashion label and Nike. They feature a unique design that layers two vintage Nike shoes — the LDV and Waffle Racer — on top of each other. The shoes have a mesh base and an upper that features double suede panels, double Swooshes, double tongues and optional double laces. FYI: These are limited edition and are sold out everywhere else.
You can’t go wrong with AirPods. These wireless headphones are expected to be a must-buy this season. They charge inside their case and have an easy, one-tap setup. You can also engrave your giftee’s name, phone number or initials on the case for free.
When it comes to cool cold-weather jackets. you can’t go wrong with Superdry. This bomber jacket is crafted out of cotton (making it super easy to machine wash), features a fleece collar and has a blanket lining inside for additional warmth. It also hits at the hip, perfect for wearing a tool belt underneath or just showing off a cool belt buckle.
This “mystery” egg has always been a hit during the holidays, and the trend is expected to continue. The egg features 15 surprises, including figurines, putty, stickers, tattoos and vehicles. It features surprises for them, and for you. The egg is also huge — a feature your little one is sure to be wowed by.
Perfect for gaming on the go, the Nintendo Switch Console is specifically made for handheld play. The Switch is easy to tote, and players can simply jump into a game whenever they want, wherever they want. The best part: You can buy this brand new along with the Nintendo Switch dock in black and Joy‑Con left and right controllers in sleek contrasting gray hues. The system plays the entire library of Switch games that work in handheld mode, and you can choose from one of several different gaming bundles.
Western-inspired fashion is huge right now. Got a trend-lover on your list? They’re sure to dig these two-toned booties. They are made of Italian leather and feature a tapered toe, angled heel and a back tab for easily pulling them on and off.
There are Lego kits, and then there are Lego kits that people of all ages will geek out over. This kit is designed for ages 12 and up, and features nearly 1,500 pieces that come together to form a classic gingerbread house. Your giftee (and you) will have a blast building it together. Cool bonus: It doubles as holiday art.
For anyone who prefers their water with some fizz, this is the must-have holiday gift. This eBay exclusive makes it simple to turn still water into joyous sparkling water in a matter of seconds with a push of a button, voila! The sleek, cordless design doesn’t take up much counter space, and you’ll get an extra carbonating bottle with this kit. Hurry and buy, because we have a feeling it won’t last long!
Paid picks in this article were paid for by eBay and written by Yahoo Lifestyle’s branded content team.