Money Saving Mondays: Last-Minute Gift Shopping

Don’t rule out haggling, because you never know what you might save if you don't ask.

Do you know a proud present procrastinator like Keith Parent?

“Basically, I try to get it all done in one day,’’ Parent, of Palmer, Massachusetts, said in an interview Friday at Quincy Market in Boston when he came in for a day of sightseeing and dining. “I go to one store, try to fit as many things in my hand as I can, go to the cash register, bring it to my car, go back in, go to another department.’’

And the day of December he does this?

“It’ll be the 22nd, 23rd, or 24th,’’ Parent said. “Well, maybe the morning of the 24th.”

Shopping expert Annmarie Weir Seldon of says it can actually make some sense. “There actually could be last minute deals. The retailers get nervous around the 24th. They want to get the merchandise out by 2015, so, men especially like to wait until the last minute. It's pretty smart to do that because on the 24th you may see even deeper discounts.’’

Seldon’s other tips:

Use a smartphone app from a store like Macy’s to check what available deals on the day you’re shopping, or Shop Savvy to see deals from multiple stores in a mall.

Sign up for push notifications of last-minute deals.

Look for ways to “layer” discounts, for example, looking for a one-day sale item, then adding a coupon you find online or a friends and family discount, then paying for it with a store credit card that offers a further discount.

And don’t rule out haggling, because you never know what you might save if you don't ask.

“Shopping at a smaller retailer, you have to ask,’’ Seldon said. “Maybe ask if you can get an additional discount.’’

With video editor Lauren Kleciak and videographer Daniel J. Ferrigan

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