Forget the early birds who queued up for hours on Black Friday and glued themselves to their computer screen on Cyber Monday.
Super Saturday, which falls on the last weekend before Christmas each year, has become a saving grace for holiday shopping procrastinators.
Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which rely on retailers to pump out doorbusters and flashy sales to jumpstart the holiday shopping season, Super Saturday would arguably still be “super” even without the added marketing gimmick.
The reality is that most people wind up having to shop at the 11th hour. Case in point: in a Dec. 11 survey by RetailMeNot, 87% of shoppers said they still had gifts left to buy this year. As a result, Super Saturday is on track to maintain its place as the second-biggest shopping day of the year, after Black Friday.
But is it worth the hype? Well, that depends on what — and whom — you’re shopping for.
Super deals? Not on everything.
“You will see sales at pretty much every [clothing and apparel] retailer, but they will be very modest discounts,” says Mark LoCastro, spokesperson for DealNews.com. “If you see something marked down more than 20% or 30%, then that’s noteworthy.”
Last year, DealNews only found 17% of apparel deals listed the weekend before Christmas worthy of their “Editors’ Choice” badge, which typically connotes a deep discount.
If you’re shopping for someone else and know they favor a particular store, you're probably better off ignoring Super Saturday sales altogether and buying them a gift card instead.
“That will force the person to shop after-Christmas sales, which are definitely better than Super Saturday,” LoCastro says.
The real "Super" steals
There are a couple of exceptions to the “wait until after Christmas” rule. Oddly enough, climate control appliances make the cut. For the last few years, DealNews has found significant markdowns on “top shelf” products like humidifiers, air purifiers and heaters the weekend before Dec. 25.
Also, some of the best deals to be found on Super Saturday will be at toy stores. Retailers are notorious for slashing prices on toys and games in the middle of December, and given this year's underwhelming Black Friday sales, chances are they’ll be especially generous with markdowns this weekend.
“Super Saturday may lack deals when it comes to adult gifts, but this is your last chance to get toys and gaming deals,” LoCastro says. “Nearly all the deals we found last year made it on our Editors’ Choice list.”
Toys R Us already made quite a splash Tuesday, when it announced 87-hour marathon store openings beginning Super Saturday and lasting through 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
There’s just one exception: Gaming consoles. Demand is so high for the uber-popular Xbox and PlayStation 4 that you’d be lucky to find one on shelves at all — let alone at a discount.
“If you can get those consoles at list price, go ahead and take advantage,” LoCastro says. “We’ve noticed a few bundled console deals as well.”
The bottom line: If toys aren’t on your shopping list and you can manage to wait until after Christmas to shop, hold on to your wallet and hit the mall after the holiday.
Are YOU planning on shopping this weekend? Or would you rather poke your eyes out with candy canes instead? Sound off below.