After the holiday shopping season ends, retailers around the country hold sales to get shoppers spending. However, not all after Christmas sales are great deals. Knowing what to buy now (and what you should skip until later) can help you save a ton of cash.
What to Buy in After Christmas Sales
Certain items almost always go on sale after Christmas. Many stores consider this time of year the start of a transition away from winter items. Because of this transition, many stores offer deeply discounted goods.
When it comes to Christmas decorating, you should never buy before or during the actual holiday. December 26 marks the start of clearances on Christmas decorations and other holiday décor. Ornaments, artificial trees, holiday string lights, holiday inflatables, and similar goods will all end up on sale for pennies. These discounts are predominately a means of clearing out space and encouraging shoppers to purchase out of season.
By shopping for holiday décor in after Christmas sales, you save money and get a head start on Christmas 2019. However, before you make a purchase, make sure you have space to store your new items. Clean out what you have and make a list of what you need for next year.
Holiday Food and Drinks
Items like eggnog, turkeys, summer sausages, and similarly seasonally popular food and drink products lose their appeal after Christmas. To get the items off their shelves, retailers offer discounts to entice people to buy them quickly.
This is also true for regular food and drink items that had seasonal flavors for the holidays. After Christmas, some shoppers have burned out on flavors like peppermint mocha and pumpkin spice. Stores offer them for less to get them to sell.
New Cars, Trucks, and SUVs
Many car dealerships offer big discounts at the ends of months, quarters, and years. Once Christmas is over, dealers are looking to sell off as much inventory as possible, leading to stellar after Christmas sales and potentially increased bargaining power.
By waiting to buy until after Christmas, you could be making an incredibly smart decision. Just make sure you only buy a vehicle if you genuinely need one, as something at this price point typically shouldn’t be an impulse purchase.
Clothing and Outerwear
Many retailers include shirts, pants, and coats in their after Christmas sales. As mentioned above, the end of December often marks the beginning of a transition as retailers prepare for the coming spring. This means heavier clothing items might be available at deep discounts, especially if they have patterns and colors that distinctly align with winter.
After Christmas is when many people begin planning their New Years resolutions. Getting fit and losing weight are two of the most common, and stores look to cash in on the upward trend in interest by discounting their exercise equipment.
By adding exercise equipment to their after Christmas sales, retailers connect with shoppers who want to have items on hand before January 1st. However, it is important to note that these sales often continue into January, so, if you don’t find a great deal, consider waiting a week or two and searching again.
Video Games and Toys
Since people spend so much on video games and toys in preparation for Christmas, retailers know that they have to entice shoppers with great prices if they are going to shop more in these categories. You can find exceptional prices on popular video game titles as well as some of the hottest toys from the Christmas season, potentially allowing you to save big.
Plus, some stores use these after Christmas sales to reduce their toy and video game inventories. Since shoppers are going to be spending at levels that are more average, they don’t need to keep the same level of stock. Additionally, they are working to capitalize on video game consoles people received as gifts, encouraging them to buy new games for their consoles.
Gift sets are a Christmas staple. However, once the gift-giving season passes, interest declines dramatically. This is especially true since many pre-packaged options feature holiday packaging.
Since stores don’t want to keep these items in inventory for long, they offer deep discounts to get them off shelves. Anything from food items to personal care products can be found for less, as long as you don’t mind the holiday packaging and buying items as a group.
What Not to Buy in After Christmas Sales
While tons of other items go on sale after Christmas, not all of them present great deals. In some cases, waiting just a few more weeks can make a massive difference, so bypassing these products now is a wise choice.
In many cases, waiting until closer to the end of January is best if you need a television. Sales connected to the upcoming Super Bowl usually result in better discounts, especially if you are looking for a high-end, big screen tv.
New models of certain electronics are revealed in January, so waiting until that happens can help you save big on older models. This is especially true for desktop computers and laptops, two high-cost items where buying during a great sale can really make a difference.
Wait until after the International Consumer Electronics Show in January before shopping for electronics. In 2019, International CES runs from Tuesday, January 8, through Friday, January 11, so expect big sales during the next sale cycle.
While there can be respectable after Christmas sales on jewelry, waiting until closer to Valentine’s Day may help you spend less. Most jewelry and department stores are competing for business as February 14th draws near, so they will slash prices to catch shoppers’ interest.
Unless you are buying gift sets, which can be cheaper during after Christmas sales, perfumes and colognes are usually available at deeper discounts closer to Valentine’s Day. In fact, February can be a great time to buy fragrances for certain spring and summer occasions, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, as high-end perfumes and colognes will maintain their quality during the wait.
Bedding and Linens
Most stores hold their “white sales” in January, usually near the Martin Luther King Day holiday. By waiting, you can find better prices on sheets, towels, pillows, comforters, and more at most major retailers.
Calendars and Dated Planners
Waiting until after the new year starts can help you save on calendars and day planners with printed dates. Around mid-January, the discounts start to emerge as the peak buying season is over. By holding off for just a few weeks, you can save up to 50 percent, making it worth the wait.
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