As people crash into malls for the last full weekend before Christmas and news is all aglow next week about 'stunning' sales figures, rebounding economy and all that hokum, I thought I'd play Grinch a little bit and douse that illusion. The following is from Associated Press and for once they write an article that reflect economic reality for most people:
Take that back! Returns are big for the holidays -- "Quite a number of people who rushed to snag holiday discounts on TVs, toys and other gifts are quickly returning them for much-needed cash. The shopping season started out strong for stores, but it looks like the spending binge has given way to a holiday hangover.
Return rates spiked when the Great Recession struck and have stayed high. For every dollar stores take in this holiday season, they'll have to give back 9.9 cents in returns, up from 9.8 last year. In better economic times, it's about 7 cents.
Those fractions of a penny add up. Stores are expected to take in $453 billion during this year's winter holidays. Merchants make up to 40 percent of their yearly sales in the last two months...
"When the bills come in and the money isn't there, you have to return," says Jennifer Kersten, 33, of Miami. She spent $300 the day after Thanksgiving on books, movies and clothes for her nephews. She returned half of it... "
~ I'm also quite Scrooge-like today because for the past 3 weeks I have been deluged with advertisement emails from companies teasing and tempting me to shop for the holidays. Today alone, I've had to delete 8 such ads. Now that in itself is not a problem, but when every company treats as wonderful, '20% off when you spend X' or '20% off when you buy X number of things', it just seriously brings out the 'Bah Humbug' in me.
Remember girls n' boys: A True sale is at Least 30% off unless it is an item that is rarely ever discounted usually, and if a sale says, 'Buy one, get one 1/2 off", that really means 25% off each item and that's not all that super...