Tip Sheets

Markup is in the air: How to keep frugal this Valentine’s Day

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli

With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, demand for traditional gifts, like roses or candy, is quickly rising and consumers are left with steep price tags. As a result, Valentine’s Day spending is expected to hit an all-time high, according to the National Retail Federation.

Randy Allen

Senior Lecturer

Randy Allen, senior lecturer of management and a retail expert at Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business, offers some tips on ways to stay romantic while avoiding the markups.


Randy Allen says:

“Valentine’s Day can be expensive if you focus on items typically in demand. Restaurants, florists and candy makers are frequent gifts and the prices reflect the high demand.

“There are good alternatives that make wonderful valentine gifts without the markup. Many retailers are offering Valentine’s discounts on apparel for example for the holiday. Some are local merchants boosting business in a less crowded slow shopping period.  Buying local from small merchants can turn up a unique gift that has not been priced higher for the holiday.

“Consider a different gift for a surprise. Candy while marked up frequently drops close to the end of the day, pick some up on the way to your date. You may need to check a couple of places to be sure you find some. Instead of dinner out, cook for your loved one with their favorite food, wine and candlelight. Grab dessert from your local bakery or supermarket. In closing, avoid the high costs by changing it up to focus on your loved one with new ideas.”

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