11/3/06 - ABC News - Rapid City, SD
Holiday Gift-Giving Guide by Daisy Whitney

Quick. Have you got iPod and Tickle Me Elmo at the top of your holiday shopping list?

The iPod and the latest Elmo toy are shaping up to be among the hot gifts for this holiday season. Sure, it might seem early, but in the first week in October the most popular items searched for on Yahoo! Shopping were iPod and TMX (Tickle Me) Elmo......

Also on the electronics front, keep in mind that the new iPod Nanos are thinner in design, have longer battery life, a brighter display and come in a variety of colors, including pink, red, lime green, and blue, says MyBargainBuddy.com's shopping expert Karen Hoxmeier. "On the Apple Website they are $199 with free shipping and laser engraving is included at no extra charge," she says.

She also expects Sony Play Stations to be big sellers as well as Nintendo's long awaited new game console, Wii. Also, kids should be fond of LeapFrog interactive learning systems, while the Lego Star Wars II game is shaping up to be a big hit. That's a game for the whole family and it works on most console systems.

Beyond electronics, there should be some other hot items this shopping season. Hoxmeier recommends the Totally 80s Trivial Pursuit edition, which is especially fun for former Gen Xers wanting to relive their youth.

As you embark on your shopping adventures, Hoxmeier offers these tips to save money and shop efficiently.

  • Hot products sell out quickly. When they do, prices go up. So start early.

  • Look for online stores that offer free shipping or coupon codes

  • You can often save on sales taxes when shopping online, as well as avoid parking, crowds and long lines

  • Check out Sunday circulars for specials

  • Don't forget to ask for a price match. Many stores like Toys R' Us, Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City and CompUSA will match a competitor's price if you bring in a current ad with a lower price.

  • If you're looking for popular items such as the Elmo doll, be sure to check eBay and Amazon as well as local stores.