Christmas Shopping 2012: Putting It Off? You’re Not Alone!

Christmas Shopping 2012 CR PollThe results from the Consumer Reports Holiday Poll were released Thursday. Results indicate that 66 Million Americans (36 percent) have not started their holiday shopping this season.

This could be due to procrastination, but it is more likely due to a reluctance to spend money. 81 percent of Americans reported that they are at least somewhat concerned with how much money they spend this holiday season.

Out of that 81 percent, 31 percent stated that they were very concerned with how much money they spend.

Consumer Reports received a wide variety of responses regarding how American shoppers are coping with their spending concerns.

55 percent said that they will be purchasing less expensive gifts
46 percent said that they will be more vigilant about sales and coupons that are available
38 percent plan on giving gifts to less people
29 percent have agreed to have gift exchanges with family or friends
23 percent plan on buying gifts online only when free shipping is available
21 percent will make hand-made gifts instead of spending money at stores
19 percent will cut back on traveling during the holidays
16 percent plan on sending holiday cards to less people

According to the results of the poll, the average amount of money that will be spent on gifts is $483.

Despite concerns about money, Consumer Reports stated that many Americans are enjoying the holiday season.

“Our poll revealed that Americans have plenty of shopping left to do and are generally enjoying the holiday season so far,” said Tod Marks, senior editor of Consumer Reports. “However, they are also watching their dollars very closely and just as in years past, they’re looking for bargains.”

Bargains are being found in many different ways.  Americans reported that they found many bargains online. 28 percent (who have shopped at more than one type of retailer) stated that they have found the best deals online.26 percent of Americans said that they found the best bargains at mass merchandisers, while only 14 percent stated that department stores have the best bargains.

You may wonder how American shoppers are finding the best bargains – according to the Consumer Reports poll, newspapers are the main source of information on the best holiday shopping bargains. 43 percent of Americans reported that they use the newspaper as their main outlet for bargains.

38 percent of Americans found promotional flyers or circulars to be a good source about holiday shopping bargains, while 36 percent found TV or radio ads to be a useful source.

Email promotions were also reported to be a source of information about holiday shopping bargains – 29 percent of Americans reported using email promotions as a source.

15 percent of those surveyed stated that they used deal or coupon websites (such as Groupon) for their source of holiday shopping bargains. Only 13 percent stated that they used (or planned to use) social media for information on holiday shopping deals.

The full results of the Consumer Reports Holiday Poll are available at www.ConsumerReports.org

How concerned are you with your holiday spending? How much progress have you made with your holiday shopping plans? Share your comments in the section below!

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Kate Bales is a freelance blogger and entrepreneur. She enjoys writing informative and detailed articles that share valuable insights with readers. In her spare time she likes to read, explore new technology, check out movies new and old, and continue to support her obsession with musicals.