How to get through the last-minute retail frenzy
IF YOU'VE left your Christmas shopping to the last minute, get ready to battle your way through huge crowds at shopping centres across town this weekend.
The National Retail Association predicted Queenslanders would spend $3.4 billion dollars in the 10 days before Christmas - making the sunshine state the third highest spender behind Victoria and NSW.
Myer Cairns store manager Wayne Cosgrove said the Cairns Central store would be packed to the rafters with shoppers this weekend.
"With only three shopping days left until Christmas we are expecting thousands of shoppers through the doors of Myer Cairns this weekend with our customers looking for last-minute gift ideas in the lead-up to Christmas," he said.
"The top-selling fragrance for women at Myer Cairns this Christmas is Chanel No 5 and for men it's Blue De Chanel.
"With summer really heating up men's T-shirts are top sellers and boxers and briefs are a popular stocking filler. For kids Lego continues to be a gifting favourite and the traditional board games are back with Cards Against Humanity the top seller instore."
Redlynch mum-of-two Clare Fiddler said she'd be sneaking out to grab a few last-minute bits and pieces this weekend.
"It's usually me running around at the last minute. This year it'll be for stocking fillers, so things like the little swizzle sticks and trinkets and mermaid brushes," she said.
"I work full-time now so only having to grab the last few items is great, it keeps the stress levels down."
She said her two girls, Brielle, 9, and Sienna, 6, had been counting down the days until Christmas since December 1.
Brielle told the Cairns Post she was hoping for some of this year's most popular Christmas gifts, including a set of mermaid makeup brushes from Myer's Giftorium.
BEST VALUE TIPS
Consumer group CHOICE has released its top Christmas shopping tips to help you get the best deal as you head out to grab your last-minute presents this weekend.
1. Don't be afraid to haggle
No matter what you are buying, it's worth asking for a discount. Some products, like mattresses and luggage, can have huge mark-ups included in the recommended retail price.
2. Consider alternatives to the big brands
When it comes to big-ticket items like household appliances, it can be tempting to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on well-known brand names.
3. Check out older models
If your Christmas budget doesn't stretch to the latest version, consider buying an older model instead.
4. Don't fall for the hard sell
No matter how attractive an offer may seem or how persistent a retailer is, resist the hard sell.
5. Know your refund rights
If you have purchased or been given an item which doesn't do what you expect or isn't of acceptable quality, retailers are obliged to either repair it, replace it or give you a refund.