Holiday Shopping in October? Here's Why It Makes Sense This Year

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  • Many consumers wait for big shopping events to buy holiday gifts.
  • This year, it pays to get moving sooner.
  • Supply chains still aren't back to pre-pandemic shape, and if you shop earlier, you'll find stores less crowded.

You may want to make some of your holiday purchases ASAP.

There are certain items you may be aiming to check off your list in October. If your company's open enrollment period has started, this may be the month where you need to select your benefits, like health insurance. You may also have to take care of things like medical appointments you've been putting off and home repairs you want to tackle before the cold weather sets in.

And let's not forget Halloween. Those trick-or-treaters will be showing up at your door before you know it, so it pays to load up on candy sooner rather than later. (Pro tip: Buying candy in bulk at a store like Costco could result in a much lower credit card tab.)

Now one thing that may not be on your October to-do list is holiday shopping. For one thing, you have two more months to buy holiday presents for the important people in your life. And also, you may be holding out for a major sale event, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

But this year, it pays to consider doing at least some of your holiday shopping in October. Here's why.

1. Supply chains aren't fully caught up

Last year, holiday shoppers who waited to make purchases learned the hard way that supply chain shortages impacted inventory levels at popular retailers. This year, we're in a better place in that regard, but some supply chains are still struggling to keep up with consumer demand. As such, if there are specific items on your gift list you want to check off, you may want to do your shopping soon -- before more people start hitting the stores and buy out the items you need.

2. The deals may not be so substantial

It's common for retailers to offer up discounts on products during events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But a lot of retailers have seen their margins shrink due to soaring inflation. As such, the deals they offer may not end up being much to write home about. And if you start your holiday shopping in October, you'll have a chance to do more comparison shopping and potentially eke out better deals.

3. The stores will be less crowded

If you're the type who does your shopping online, then you won't have to worry about battling the crowds when the holiday shopping boom really kicks off. But if your preferred method of shopping is visiting stores and looking at different items in person, then going in October could work to your benefit. That way, you're less likely to face long checkout lines and packed stores.

Don't wait to shop

The more holiday shopping you do in October, the less you'll have to worry about as the holidays themselves get closer. So make a list of the items you need and start checking them off one by one. At the same time, be sure to set a budget for your holiday shopping. Getting an early start is a great thing, but you should also make sure you're not going overboard in the course of your spending.

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