If you get really terrible holiday presents from your family in Washington D.C., don’t blame them.
It’s where they live. In the nation’s capital, typical gifts cost 289% more than the national average.
A new study from Millennial Personal Finance finds that location has a big impact on spending.
Researchers crunched numbers across categories — including apparel, accessories, recreation and household furnishings — and found that people in D.C. pay more than double the percentage for the No. 2 spot, Alaska, where people pay 95% more.
Here are the top 10 most expensive areas for holiday shopping.
1. District of Columbia: 289% above national average
2. Alaska: 95%
3. Hawaii: 47%
4. New York: 44%
5. Michigan: 43%
6. New Jersey: 34%
7. California: 25%
8. Massachusetts: 23%
9. Connecticut: 23%
10. Maryland: 21%
So why are prices so much higher in some places over others? There could be several factors at play, according to MarketWatch: For one, if wages are high in a given location, then prices also tend to rise there. And if store rents are high, then those higher costs often trickle down to the customer. There’s also the cost of importing goods: More distant places, like Alaska and Hawaii, may raise prices to cover transport and fuel costs.
With numbers like these, it’s no wonder that this Cyber Monday people spent a record $6.59 billion to shop online rather than head to their local malls. If you’re trying to save on holiday gifts this season, there’s still time. Here are a few tips (take note, D.C.!):
- Take advantage of Free Shipping Day on December 15th, when many retailers will offer gratis delivery.
- Download a browser extension that will provide you with instant promo codes based on which sites you’re visiting.
- Use up those gift cards. If you have any leftover balances, use them to cross items off your holiday gift list. If you know you’ll spend a lot at one retailer, buy gift cards at a discount to their face value at sites like GiftCardGranny or Raise. Then, use those discounted cards to finish out your holiday shopping.