Most Americans "Deal-aying" Holiday Shopping

December 21, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
Christmas: big red gift box with red alarm clock - last minute christmas shopping

73% of holiday shoppers are putting off shopping until the last minute, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. Many (44%) are doing so because they are waiting for the best deals.

Other reasons for last-minute shopping include trying to save enough money (22%) and being too busy to shop (20%).

For consumers who have started checking items off of their lists, most of them (51%) are purchasing goods online.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer the only days for big savings, as savvy shoppers have come to expect an entire season of discounts and deals,” said Jed Scala, Senior Vice President, Consumer Lending at American Express. “As we enter the final stretch of the shopping season, we are seeing a growing preference to complete shopping online, possibly connected to the stream of enticing retail offers in consumers’ inboxes.”

Budgeting and Re-gifting

Americans are waiting for the best deals because most (73%) have set a holiday budget and plan to stick to it. Only a quarter of the survey respondents expect to overspend, which is down from 32% last year.

In addition to simply cutting back on personal purchases, many Americans are sticking to their budgets by re-gifting. Once taboo, 76% of Americans now find re-gifting socially acceptable, and 57% said they are likely to re-gift this holiday. The top re-gifted items are kitchenware (22%), sweaters (17%) and scarves (15%).

Of the 48% of consumers who re-gifted last year, most re-gifted an average of five presents.

After Christmas Shopping

Based on its survey results, American Express has declared December 26 the “New Black Friday.” In fact, 66% of Americans plan to shop on December 26, while only 45% shopped on Black Friday and 47% on Cyber Monday. On average, consumers plan to spend an average of $186 the day after Christmas.

The top three reasons Americans have for shopping after Christmas are:

  1. Taking advantage of the post-holiday sales to buy items for themselves (38%)
  2. Using gift cards (25%)
  3. Taking advantage of post-holiday sales to get a jump on buying presents for next year (21%)

The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 21, 2015. For up-to-date
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