Holiday shopping tips - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Holiday shopping tips

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Several store owners and mall employees had tips for how to have an enjoyable holiday shopping season:

"Shopping early is good, because you have the best selection." — Elisa Payne, Eggplant 

"This year is a shorter season. There are fewer days between ‘turkey and tree' because Thanksgiving falls so late this year. If you're going to get great deals, you may want to get it done early, at least the bulk of it." — Lisa McCracken, Charleston Town Center

"Choose your time to shop. You may be frustrated if you come on a Saturday at 1 p.m. Come anytime before noon or after 7 p.m., even on weekends. You'll have a lot more space, and it will be a calm and better experience for shoppers. Otherwise, it's going to be a jungle." — Robin Urquhart, Meadowbrook Mall

"Don't procrastinate, because it could be frustrating not being able to find what you're looking for or dealing with the lines." — McCracken 

"Some people go to customer services and get several hundred dollars worth of $25 gift cards, for the paper boy, the hairdresser — folks they want to remember for Christmas." — McCracken

"Get your shopping done so you can get it wrapped and put away, and then relax the month of December." — McCracken

"Scour websites and newspapers for money-saving coupons." — Bridget Lambert, West Virginia Retailers Association

"Retailers hire a lot of seasonal employees this time of the year. Many of them offer employee discounts as a perk." — Lambert

"(Black Friday) weekend has some of the best deals of the year. Shoppers on a tight budget can take advantage of some great prices." — Lambert

 
"Make a list. Always come with a plan. It's always fun to find things that you didn't count on, but you don't want to leave thinking you've spent four hours, spent a lot of money and say, ‘I absolutely don't know what I got and for who.' You want to make the most of it." — McCracken

"Once you get some shopping done, make some trips to the car to put your gifts in the trunk. Lock them up and you can come back and finish your shopping and not have to carry everything around. It will be more enjoyable. After one or two bags, it gets a little cumbersome." — McCracken

"Don't turn your back on anything. Even though we're not in a major metropolitan area, there will always be an undesirable element lurking about — at the grocery store, a shopping center, a shopping mall — they're looking for an opportunity. As a consumer, you don't want to provide them that opportunity. Always keep things locked up in trunk, keep your cell phone close, don't hang your handbag on the top of a stroller, or over the back of your chair in a restaurant or food court. Use good common sense." — McCracken

"Don't fret over the shopping experience. Have an enjoyable Christmas season." — The State Journal staff