It used to be just a few of us sneaky bargain hunters lurking through store aisles the day after Christmas. We knew only fools bought wrapping paper and greeting cards before then. We waited until after the big day to stock up on deeply discounted Christmas merchandise for the following year.
Now, post-Christmas sales are all but a holiday in themselves. Stores open early, giving out doorbusters and coupons as if it's round two of Black Friday.
I saw some boxes of really cool Elvis Christmas cards at American Greetings December 26. But, instead of scooping them up for 25 cents apiece like I might have in years past, I left them--and their five dollar price tag--sitting on the shelf. Sure, they were 75 percent off, but the original price was a whopping $20 for 20 cards.
Which begs the question: are retailers onto us? Do they jack prices up in advance, knowing we'll come back for the "markdowns" later?
---Samantha Maziarz Christmann