Introducing… The MSE Christmas Deals Predictor

It’s not exactly a trade secret that Christmas tends to be a busy time for high street retailers. In order to compete for your hard-earned pounds, many stores save some of their strongest offers of the year for this six-week period before Santa arrives. For the second year running, we have tried to predict what the best offers are likely to be and when they’ll hit the shops, to help you stay a step ahead of the game.

The idea behind it is to give MoneySavers an indication of when to hold on to the pennies and when to bag the best affordable bargains on those planned Christmas gifts.

When we approached the task last year for the first time it was with a degree of trepidation – we’ve been doing deals for years here at MSE Towers, so we’d started to spot trends in the offers and their timings, but we’d never been so bold as to predict offers before they’d even happened. Had we gone a step too far?

Well, we’re not ones to blow our own trumpet, but we think we did pretty well (read on to find out exactly how successful we were). So well, in fact, that we’ve decided to do it all again for 2014 with this year’s Deals Predictor.

Why are we doing this?

To save you money, of course! We’re hopeful this info will help you plan the best time to do your shopping. Stores are notoriously cagey about revealing the details – so we’ve looked at the past to see what we can glean. We were surprised at quite how consistent some stores have been year after year, so hope this will give you a decent idea of when to shop.

How accurate are the predictions?

While we hope these offers come to fruition, there’s no guarantee. The predictions are solely based on our own research and we haven’t had confirmation from any of the retailers (we didn’t want to cross that line or we risk them being pulled). So please follow this up with your own research and judgement. And remember, Christmas shouldn’t be a retail festival – consider whether you can afford it and if gift-giving is really necessary.

How well did we do last year?

2013 was the first year we featured the Deals Predictor and we were fairly pleased with how we did. Here are some key stats:

  • 88% of the retailers we predicted would do an offer did an offer of some description
  • 56% did the exact offer we predicted. Most of our incorrect predictions were agonisingly close to the actual deal, eg, Monsoon running a 25% off code, when we predicted 20%.
  • 72% of the offers happened on the day we predicted
  • The offers that happened were within an average of 1.91 days either side of the date we predicted.

Will this be a self-defeating prophecy?

Stores primarily launch discounts to tempt in customers who wouldn’t normally buy. The fact we’re doing this is somewhat market disruptive as our aim is to show those who’ve planned to buy how to take advantage. Yet, we’ve taken the judgement based on a lot of experience (and a little bit of asking) and we think, on balance, it won’t shift the seesaw enough to stop firms launching their deals.

Check out this year’s Christmas Deals Predictor for yourself. We’ll be updating it as we go along to reveal how successful we’ve been. If you have any feedback or think there’s anything we’ve missed, by all means let us know in our Christmas Deals Predictor forum thread or on Twitter @MSE_Deals.

Happy saving!