I wonder if all the sales -- Black Friday, Pre-Christmas, Post Christmas, Inventory Reduction So We Don't Have Count It -- will really make people want to buy more this Holiday season. Here's my reasoning...
- People that were going to spend money, are going to spend money. They still have credit cards, they still have cash, they still have the need to spend. The current economy has not changed that.
- People that were thinking [probably after last Christmas] that their balances were too high on their credit cards, or that it's just plain silly to spend so much on Christmas presents to begin with, will have been justified in their "thoughts" and already have a basic budget in mind for Christmas. Once again, the current economy has not changed that.
- Lots of people are going for specific products -- iPod, Gphone, LCD/Plasma, Video Games, etc. -- the sales only make those products less expensive, but it did not change "what" there were planning to purchase any way.
- And Finally, over the past few years, I believe people were starting to use more "cash" for their purchases anyway - and leaving the plastic at home. I know in my extended families -- we have gone away from buying presents for everyone and doing more "Dirty Santa" or "Draw a Name" present buying. This does two things -- it allows one person to get a single "good" gift [rather than a bunch of not-s0-good gifts] and we find that it's much more fun and entertaining than just opening a bunch of presents.
So, at the end of the day, if I was planning on spending a set amount, I'll probably still spend that sent amount -- sales and incentive [especially mail in rebates - which most people hate] won't make me spend more. Welcome to the new reality of the Holiday spending season.