NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For many people, December is the most magical time of year in New York City.
For Barbara Herrera, finding the perfect Christmas tree is a must every year.
“It’s tradition, a Spanish tradition,” she said.
But this year, she’s paying attention to the price tag. Last year, she overpaid.
“My husband thought it was if we go downtown, it will be cheaper. No,” she said.
That same tree was much cheaper in Harlem, and Herrera isn’t the only person finding discrepancies in prices.
CBSN New York’s Kiran Dhillon looked around and found the same 7-foot Fraser fir tree ranges greatly in price.
On the Upper West Side, it’s about $160. In Harlem, the same tree was $130, including delivery. In Queens, it was $120. The cheapest price was $80 in Hell’s Kitchen — half the cost of the one on the Upper West Side.
The difference in price is even steeper for a Balsam fir.
Tree vendors say it’s common for prices to vary depending on location, so they suggest you shop around.
“It depends on how much trees that we have also. Like the Fraser are so popular that when we only have one, we cannot that much negotiate, but mostly, yeah I think people can,” tree vendor Gaby Tremblay said.
If you’re looking for the best deal, tree vendors say there’s always room to negotiate. Once you’ve found the tree, they recommend you do a 360-degree inspection. Make sure you check for symmetry and quality of branches. If it’s not perfect, there’s always room to haggle.
Shoppers say they’re open to negotiating but know they’re at a disadvantage.
“It’s once a year and you go for convenience more than anything, honestly, so if it’s close to you [but] it’s a little more expensive, you do kind of suck it up,” shopper Anthony Lenti said.
“It’s Christmastime, so you just gotta let it go,” she said.
Balancing shopping for prices along with holiday spirit.