Ever year, it seems like the holiday season starts earlier.
For bargain hunters, that's a good thing. Catherine Wells, Hamilton Place, says "this year, the competition is fierce. November is going to hot month for sales, you're going to find all sorts of deals and discounts."
Several retailers fired the opening salvo for your holiday dollar the day after Halloween, including Wal-mart.
The retail giant launched a Christmas Price Guarantee, matching prices after purchases are made. Tara Raddohl, Wal-mart, says "if a customer finds a lower advertised price on any gift they've bought at Wal-mart, they can bring in that receipt and current ad and we'll actually give them the difference on a Wal-mart gift card."
Hamilton Place also started handing out its annual holiday coupon booklet last week.
This year, coupons to stores like Eddie Bauer, Buckle, and Lids expire before Thanksgiving. "We were able to get much better deals because we condensed it into a much shorter time frame," says Wells.
One store really going the extra mile to start early this year... Sears. They even have some items this weekend on sale at Better than Black Friday prices.
Over 50 tools, automotive devices, and footwear will carry a special "Better than Black Friday Price" sticker this Sunday from 6pm to 9pm. Sears Manager Dave Burke says "its more of a black friday preview. It'll be a lot of the sales you'll see on black friday without the doorbusters that your going to get the chance here in the store from 6pm to 9pm to get those amazing prices."
Sears also beefed up it's rewards card program and set up these in-store order stations to find product not on hand. "If its something we don't carry, we can get it for you and get it shipped to your house free of charge if its under 75 pounds," says Burke.
"Retail is competitive, that's one big thing. And I just think we're bringing our "A" game this year. I think we're ready for it, ready for a good season, a good holiday, and we've got the promotions to back it up this year I think."
Early deals can also be found online.
Coupon and deals blogger Kasey Trenum keeps an eye out for special sales.
She's already find several "flash" offers this month, or sales that last for only an hour or two. "K-mart had a deal, it was like a flash, its called a wild deal of the day. It was with 'Shop at Home,' where if you signed up with them, you got a $5 bonus and 8% cashback. And they had a skateboard that was $29.99 that was on sale for $2.69."
Trenum says she wouldn't have access during the day to an store sale like that...
which is why she prefers to shop online.
But to take advantage of some offers - you need to be near an actual store front.
The new Mall Merlin app for iPhones and iPads pops up special offers as you walk by.
Wells says "these are deals that retailers that we're working with have directed specifically for the app itself. So we're really testing it right now." Wells says retailers, like Gap, want to know if mobile coupons work, so they're offering good deals. The Gap deal could save you 40%!