Friday, December 23, 2011


Here is news from our Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio. He recently put out a Christmas tree shopping guide. If you have not purchased your tree yet, please do see the summary of the report and link below.

I purchased my tree the other day on Morris Park Avenue between Jacoby and Einstein Hospital. I paid $30 ,inclusive of a $5 tip, for a 6 foot tree that looks great!

Happy Holidays!!

10 tips for getting the best deal, the highest quality, and staying safe

NEW YORK – This weekend marks a highpoint for Christmas tree sales, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has released a bilingual guide with 10 tips to help consumers get the most for their money. Consumer Watch: 10 Tips When Shopping for the Perfect Christmas Tree recommends shoppers survey a wide number of vendors, expect to negotiate over price, and check trees for signs of drying out to be sure they last through the holidays. The guide also urges New Yorkers to use Christmas lights that meet safety standards and to keep trees away from radiators and other heat sources.

“Families across the five boroughs stretch their budgets to make ends meet this time of year. A few easy tips can save $20 or $30 at some tree retailers,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “New Yorkers should be ready to bargain and shop around when it comes to getting the best deal—and the best quality—this holiday season.”

The guide is available in both English and Spanish at: http:

The tips include:
• Be ready to negotiate. Many vendors have a floor price they are not able to go under, but still list the tree at an inflated price to increase profit margin. They expect you to bargain.
• Shop around. Prices will vary dramatically among independent curbside stands, parking lot vendors and major retailers. Local churches and non-profits often have the best deals.
• Check for freshness. Bend the outer branches and run them through your fingers. If the branches are brittle or if the needles come off easily, the tree is dried out and won’t last.
• Keep it watered. Be sure to get a fresh cut to the tree’s bottom and don't bruise the cut surface on the way home. Otherwise it won’t be able to draw water.
• Keep trees away from heat sources. Fireplaces, vents, and radiators can easily dry out trees and increase the risk of fire.
• Only use UL-approved lights. The red or green holographic labels signify whether they are safe for outdoor or indoor use.

To report holiday-related price gouging, call the Public Advocate’s Constituent Services Hotline: (212) 669-7250.

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