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The cheapest time to buy Christmas gifts such as bikes, lego and laptops

When it comes to Christmas presents, shoppers often ask themselves what to buy – but should they really be asking when to buy it?

That’s because savvy shoppers can save their pounds this Christmas by snapping up their presents at the right time.

New analysis has revealed how Christmas shoppers can save more than £150 off expensive purchases depending on when they buy them.

Those hunting for laptops and yoga mats this winter might be best to wait until December to make their purchase. 

But shoppers searching for hair dryers, juicers and bikes should probably get pedaling, because prices could be about to rise. 

The figures come from comparison site, Idealo, which analysed the items likely to be popular presents for this Christmas.

By using data from how much those same items cost last year the comparison site has managed to work out which month is the best to buy the items at the top of your wishlist.

Here This is Money breaks down the best and worst times to buy your Christmas presents… 

Consumers could save on their Christmas presents by researching what month is cheapest

October 

Customers looking for a smart watch are better off buying in October when prices average £172, compared to in December when they reach an average of £198.

Other tech items such as games consoles and wireless ear pods are at their most expensive in December, and could cost £56 and £8 more, respectively, than in earlier months.

Lego kits are, perhaps unsurprisingly, cheaper in October than in the run up to Christmas, where demand sky-rockets for toys.

According to Idealo’s data, Lego kits an average of £80 in October. But by December, that has shot up to £94.

Home gadgets are also typically cheaper in October. Those looking to snap up a juicer this Christmas can save as much as £70 by buying in October, with average prices around £180, rather than in December, when average prices rocket to £250.

Hair straighteners cost an average of £62 in October, the best time to buy, but rose to £71 in December.

Hair straighteners cost an average of £62 in October, the best time to buy, but rose to £71 in December

Hair straighteners cost an average of £62 in October, the best time to buy, but rose to £71 in December

October is a good time for DIY enthusiasts in the hunt for a new drill kit, with average prices around £300, compared to December, where the average price is around £377.

Hair dryers are also typically cheaper in October, with the average hair dryer costing around £60 now, compared to September, when they are most expensive.

November

Despite Christmas drawing nearer, November provides ample opportunity to grab a bargain still – particularly for those looking for an espresso machine.

According to Idealo’s figures, the average espresso machine will set people back £676 in October. But by December the figure has risen to £739.   

Wireless headphones are also cheaper in December, with the average device setting shoppers back £60 in November but £68 in December

Wireless headphones are also cheaper in December, with the average device setting shoppers back £60 in November but £68 in December

Wireless headphones are also cheaper in December, with the average device setting shoppers back £60 in November but £68 in December.

Beard trimmers, meanwhile, cost just £55 in November but £88 in December.

December

Though October and November are usually the cheaper months, there are some exceptions – for example, purchasing a laptop in December could save you £166 compared to November when they are at their most expensive costing an average of £1,300.  

For those looking to get fit over the winter months, savings can be made on yoga mats and bikes if they’re purchased in October and December respectively. 

Buying at the right time would save customers a collective £103.

It is cheaper for customers to buy workout weights in November than other winter months

It is cheaper for customers to buy workout weights in November than other winter months

CHEAPEST TIME TO POPULAR CHRISTMAS GIFTS
Gift Best time to buy Best average price Worst time to buy Worst average price
Home workout weights November £36 September £66
Smart watch October £172 December £198
Espresso machine November £676 September £739
Wireless ear pods November £60 December £68
Hair straighteners October £62 December £71
Beard trimmers November £55 December £88
LEGO kit October £80 December £94
Drill kit October £303 December £377
Laptop December £1,134 November £1,300
Hairdryer October £60 September £79
Video Game November £22 October £29
TV November £908 September £1,034
Juicer October £180 December £251
Bike October £573 September £683
Yoga mat December £28 November £31
Source: Idealo         

Home workout weights, meanwhile, are cheapest to buy in November with an average price of £36. 

Beauty products were also found to be the most expensive in December.  

 We’re expecting buying habits this Christmas to be very different from previous years, with further emphasis on home working and entertainment

Katy Philip of Idealo, said: ‘Comparing prices across a range of products can truly help you find a better deal. 

‘At a time where saving money is paramount for some, being able to check multiple retailer costings at once can prove a hugely helpful resource.’

‘We’re expecting buying habits this Christmas to be very different from previous years, with further emphasis on home working and entertainment, as well as products that improve our health and wellbeing.’

Why could there be a shortage of presents?

There is a combination of reasons why there could be a shortage of gifts this winter including rising transport costs, higher energy prices and ongoing labour shortages.

A mix of Brexit and the pandemic has also seen manufacturers stop shipping big containers by sea. 

Toy prices, in particular, are likely to rise, according to the Toy Retailers Association, as shipping costs have risen 900 per cent in a year. 

A £15 toy truck now costs £7 to ship from Asia, where many toys are produced – up from 70p a year ago.

The British Retail Consortium has said there are ‘clear signs’ that transport and labour issues are ‘starting to filter through to consumer prices’. 

One in three retailers in the UK expect prices to rise in the next three months, the consortium added. 

Even if stock is available, it is likely prices will be much higher than usual as retailers are having to pay more for the cost of goods and delivery surcharges. 

For shoppers, it is worth using a price tracking tool, of which there are many online, to keep an eye on how the price of presents they want to buy changes over the next few months.  

Idealo looked at it’s data to find the average price for each category every day from the start of September to the end of December 2020 to find the cheapest average price and the most expensive average price for each category. 

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