While many shoppers may be tightening their belts this holiday season, vendors at Manhattan's Union Square Holiday Market are still hoping to see lots of green.
The open-air seasonal market began sales Saturday morning, with more than 100 booths setting up shop in Union Square Park.
Despite the economic downturn and below-normal temperatures, organizers are hoping for a good turn out for the market's 13th season.
"I think the vendors are certainly concerned about the economy, but everyone seems to be cautiously optimistic I would say,” said William Kelley of Union Square Partnership. “You can find hundreds of unique gifts here and they are not the luxury items, they're the really affordable, one-of-a-kind things that you can't find anywhere else. So I think the vendors are in a good place for this holiday season."
Vendors say bargain hunters can find good deals at the market.
However, some consumers are cutting back amid the economic crisis.
"Everyone's being more cautious," said a shopper.
Yet seller Jamie Goldhagen had a good feeling about this season. After her first sale, she kissed her money and pressed it to her booth and the surrounding booths, to bring them all luck.
"I kiss the money and bless all my friends," said Goldhagen. "There is an Asian custom for your first sale of the day to bless your store, and I bless my neighbors because we are all very close."
For extra savings, the Union Square Partnership is handing out coupons for local businesses at the market's information booth.
The market is open every day through Christmas Eve. For more information, visit UnionSquareNYC.org.