Supply, snowfall bringing Christmas shoppers out early

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Experts are issuing a holiday shopping alert this Christmas season, saying if you wait until Black Friday, you may be too late for some of the best deals.

The early bird gets the worm - and the customer. You may be tempted to wait for the deep price cuts to buy, but you may not find the gift you're looking for.

Early snow and early ads are sparking the early shopping. USA Today came out this week with a six-page "Best Buys" spread - their Black Friday plan which now actually beings on Thanksgiving Thursday.

"If they don't jump on the holiday shopping season, they may lose sales," says Purdue retail expert Richard Feinberg.

Because snow or shine, consumers are already out hunting.

"I've reviewed all of the ads, made sure I went online and registered for all the coupons online and everything you can possibly do to save money this time of year," says Jillian, who was shopping in Lafayette.

Feinberg says 50 percent of consumers still wait until ten days before Christmas to shop. But earlier could be better this year.

"Get it as quickly as you can at the price that makes sense to you. Don't wait," he said. "Retailers are very conservative on their inventories this year. Take it, don't wait. It may not be there later on."

Not only are sales motivating, so is the snow. This week's snow is already sparking consumers to spend for Christmas early.

"I just think it's winter and it's time to start in," said Marilyn Martin.

Jillian agrees. She showed us the housewares she bought the afternoon after that first snow.

"When you get the distinct change in the weather, you think hot chocolate, you think family," she said. "You just want to buy things for people."