Holiday Shopping: How Much Are The Markdowns Really Worth? - New York News

Holiday Shopping: How Much Are The Markdowns Really Worth?

Posted: Updated:

I'm one of the few who stayed home this holiday weekend and didn't shop the Black Friday sales (and certainly not the Thanksgiving day sales). I am always a little skeptical about how much these markdowns are really worth. When you consider that retailers mark down their prices over and over again during the holiday season, well, it stands to reason that jumping on the first sale may not be worth it.

And, analysis from the Wall Street Journal confirms my suspicions. A recent report broke down the numbers for a single item – a cashmere sweater and followed it through its many price configurations over the holiday season. The sweater starts with a suggested retail price of $50.00. Although it's worth asking who really buys the sweater at that price. My guess is not too many, if any. At the first markdown, the price gets cut 10 percent to $44.99. But hold the phone, the final discount price is $21.99, less than half the original price. Sounds like a good deal, until you realize that the retailer only paid $14.50 for the sweater. The average price consumers paid for the sweater is $28. And, that means that the retailer's gross margin, despite two big discounts, is 45 percent.

Unfortunately, most retailers don't tell you how much they pay for their inventory, nor do they describe how they bake their margins into original pricing. So, it's up to you to figure out whether you are really getting a good deal when you shop over the holidays. The good news is this: Smartphone apps can at least help you figure out where the cheapest price can be found for the item you are purchasing. RedLaser, ShopSavvy and Smoopa are three price comparison apps worth your time. RedLaser has now been integrated on Amazon.com.

Also consider shopping with a list. I know it sounds simple, but people who shop with a list and stick to it tend to spend less than others because they eliminate the impulse purchases and the "while I'm at it" mindset that can drive your credit card bill higher.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a Scrooge when it comes to the holidays. I just don't want to pay anymore than I have to for the gifts I buy. I bet you're the same way.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NJ girl accidentally kills gun instructor

    NJ girl accidentally kills gun instructor

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:24 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:24:19 GMT
    A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use a fully automatic Uzi. Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, investigators said.
    A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use a fully automatic Uzi. Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, investigators said.
  • Victim's family feels sorry for girl who shot him

    Victim's family feels sorry for girl who shot him

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:19 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:19:45 GMT
    The ex-wife of an Arizona shooting range instructor accidentally killed by a 9-year-old girl learning to use an Uzi said Friday that her family plans to write the child a letter to comfort her.  Instructor Charles Vacca was standing next to the girl on Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger.
    The ex-wife of an Arizona shooting range instructor accidentally killed by a 9-year-old girl learning to use an Uzi said Friday that her family plans to write the child a letter to comfort her.  Instructor Charles Vacca was standing next to the girl on Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger.
  • NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:47:22 GMT
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices