Christmas carols and Salvation Army bells aren't the only sounds of the holiday season. There's also an underlying thrum of foot-dragging from procrastinating shoppers. Nearly 1 in 7 holiday shoppers (14 percent) have yet to complete any of their shopping and 55 percent of shoppers still have half of their gift purchases to make.
Only 10 percent of consumers have already wrapped up their holiday shopping, according to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers published in the holiday edition of RetailMeNot.com's Shoppers Trend Report. RetailMeNot.com is an online consumer destination for online coupon, deal and promotional code hunting and sharing.
Males are more likely than females to have not started shopping (17 percent versus 11 percent). Women are also more likely than men to have spent less than they expected so far (29 percent versus 21 percent).
Nonetheless, overspending seems to go with the season. Nearly a third (29 percent) of holiday shoppers have already spent more money than they expected this season, the survey found. Parents are also more likely than those without children to say they spent more than they expected so far (37 percent versus 24 percent).
"Consumers can still make those big purchases both online and in-store for everything from apparel to consumer electronics to sporting goods, but be prepared to see product inventories start to thin out the closer we get to Christmas," said Trae Bodge, senior editor for The RetailMeNot Insider. "Consumers also need to make sure they pay attention to merchants' shipping policies as time is running out on the many free-shipping deals that guarantee on-time delivery of gifts."
More than 6 in 10 respondents say they factor the cost of shipping and gift-wrapping into the budget they have for the items they choose instead of paying extra for these services after buying a present. But more than half (53 percent) of respondents feel that it is not worth paying extra to have an item purchased online be gift-wrapped.
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