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Consumer Watch: Exchanges ramp up holiday deals

Oct. 16, 2013 - 05:23PM   |  
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Whether you’re preparing to settle down for a long winter’s nap, searching for Halloween mystery treasure, or starting to think about the holidays, the military exchanges have some options as you start your comparison shopping.

■ The 36-page Sleep 2013 Catalog is available at all main stores and online at Prices on items — mattresses, pillows and sleeping accessories — are good through Dec. 31. The catalog features familiar brands such as Serta, Sealy, Beautyrest and Tempur-Pedic, as well as a collection of babies’ bedtime favorites.

Anyone authorized to shop at any exchange can shop the online or print catalog. Customers also may place orders by mail, fax or phone.

■ Through Oct. 31, exchange shoppers can search for clues in a scavenger hunt that could lead to some bucks. After you find all five clues, go to the Exchange’s Facebook page to enter to win one of four $500 and 10 $100 Exchange gift cards. You can find the treasure map and instructions at an exchange on an Army post or Air Force base, or online at It’s called the “Halloween Mystery of the Shadows Sweepstakes.”

■ Sailors and Marines at sea will once again be able to get a jump on holiday savings before Thanksgiving, with a sale just for them Nov. 24-27. The Navy Exchange Service Command says its inaugural sale last year was so successful, another one is being arranged, with items tailored to the interests of those afloat. Among the offerings: electronics, video games, outerwear and holiday gifts that can be sent home to loved ones.

The initiative is part of NEXCOM’s “Navy Blue Holiday” season. Any authorized exchange shopper can find deals at Navy exchanges, or online at “Navy Blue Holiday” kicked off Oct. 13 with a celebration of the Navy’s 238th birthday. Information will be provided to sailors and Marines aboard ships.

The items that will be offered are not available just yet, but we’ll provide more information later, as well as information about some sales to look for in Army and Air Force exchanges and Marine Corps exchanges.

■ If you want to do some early shopping, why not put items on layaway instead of your credit card? Through Dec. 24, exchanges on Army posts and Air Force bases will waive the usual $3 processing fee for all layaway purchases. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 16, you can put computers, laptops, notebooks and tablets on layaway, except for Nov. 29 (Black Friday) and Nov. 30.

Customers must put down a deposit of 15 percent of the purchase price of the layaway items. Visit customer service for more details on the program.

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