The last weekend before Christmas is a heady, anxious time for shoppers. The so-called "Super Saturday" sales that occur during this time offer one last chance to score a deal on that perfect present. Unfortunately, the pressure to put gifts under the tree leaves many shoppers at retailers' mercy, and the merchants are much less inclined to offer big discounts.
But fear not, frantic gifters! There are still discounts to be had for those of you in a bind. Thus, we've combed through the DealNews archives in order to fill you in on what to expect from (and how to make the most of) these pre-Christmas sales.
Clothing Deals: Better After Christmas, But Look for Free Christmas Delivery
With Thanksgiving coming so late in the year, the shorter Christmas shopping season is bound to make some folks nervous enough to forget their bargain-hunting basics. As we've already mentioned, the lack of time means there's a real danger of making purchases you'll later regret. Two categories that are especially ripe for this kind of panic purchasing during Super Saturday sales are clothing and home goods.
Over the past two years, we've consistently seen a large number of apparel deals in the last weekend before Christmas. However, fashion-seekers would do well to shop these sales carefully, as they rarely yield decent savings. For example, last year only 17% of the apparel deals we listed the weekend before Christmas were hot enough to be considered Editors' Choice since we had seen better discounts in the weeks before, and most certainly after.
Because of this, we highly recommend that last-minute gift-buyers put an apparel gift card under the tree, and send their fashionista to the store during the awesome After-Christmas sales instead. But if that's just not an option, you can take comfort in the fact that those smaller Super Saturday discounts will be paired with an enticing promotion: Many stores will likely offer free shipping with guaranteed arrival in time for Christmas, an invaluable service when you're in a bind.
Home Goods Will See Mild Discounts
In general, the weekend before Christmas isn't the best time to buy items like appliances and kitchen gadgets. That said, there are a large number deals for these sorts of items. If you simply must shop department stores and the like for these items, keep an eye out for at least mild discounts of 20% to 30% off; in some cases, you may encounter sales that take up to 60% off, which would be especially noteworthy during this time.
There is one glaring exception to this rule: climate control appliances. For the past two years, we've seen an odd uptick in top-shelf deals for air purifiers, heaters, humidifiers, and the like during the weekend before Christmas. (Last year, these appliances made up half of all the appliance deals we mentioned.) So, by all means, if you're planning to give the gift of cleaner or warmer air this Christmas, shop those Super Saturday sales with abandon.
One Last Chance for Santa's Elves to Bag a Gaming or Toy Deal
Super Saturday sales may lack luster when it comes to adult presents, but the weekend is still a prime time for discounts on toys and video games. Of all the gaming and toy deals we saw in the last full weekend before Christmas over the past two years, nearly half were considered hot enough to be marked Editors' Choice. The deals were especially good for PC video game purchases, but we're betting that the recent release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will lead to big discounts on Xbox 360 and PS3 games this year.
Super Saturday sales on other toys may be harder to come by, but Amazon has consistently offered delightfully discounted toys for kids on the "Nice" list over the past couple years. Gifter beware, though: These toy deals may not be guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas if you're not a Prime member or opt for the expedited shipping.
Super Saturday offers one of your very last chances to grab presents at a discount. If you avoid the siren call of panic purchases, you can score some unexpected bargains during the last weekend before Christmas. So readers, are you hyped about this year's Super Saturday sales? Or will you cozy up to a mug of eggnog and wait for the advent of After-Christmas blowouts? Spill your shopping secrets in the comments below!