Black Friday was the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Shoppers are flocking to stores looking for great deals on merchandise, which actually makes shoppers vulnerable to overspending. The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to increase by 4.1%; inundating shoppers with year-end sales, free shipping promotions, and an unforgiving holiday countdown.
Now we are less than one week from Christmas, but many products you see on sale pre-Christmas will be significantly cheaper post-Christmas. We understand nobody wants to give gifts late. If you have the luxury of trading gifts after December 25, or if you are shopping for yourself, we’ve compiled a list of items you should buy after the holidays.
Clothing & Apparel
Apparel is the one item you absolutely shouldn’t buy before Christmas. Sure, you’re bound to see various clothing deals leading up to the holidays, but 45% of all after-Christmas sales are for clothing. Shoppers looking to save a few bucks should especially avoid buying items from the Gap (and its sister sites Piperlime and Banana Republic). These stores save their biggest percent-off discounts for the day after Christmas.
Other brands that offer better post-Christmas sales include Express, Macy’s, and New York & Co. This rule also applies to luxury brands. Brooks Brothers, Saks, Calvin Klein, and Betsey Johnson hold above-average after-Christmas sales, so if you can manage it, you’ll want to avoid buying anything from them before the holidays.
Buying Christmas decorations post-holiday season may seem counter intuitive, but in terms of savings, it’s a no-brainer. Starting December 26, many stores will sell their holiday decor at prices that are 40% to 75% off. Even if you don’t use them immediately, these holiday items can be stored for December 2015. You can find these deals from mainstream stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target, and Pottery Barn. So remember: The temptation to make all your purchases during December’s first sales is strong, but if you can wait, post-Christmas sales may offer the better bargain. And if you can resist both the sales and a second helping of Christmas cookies, you’re stronger than we are.
You can get two tickets for the price of one to several popular shows during Broadway Week in January, which actually lasts two weeks. Some shows even offer the discount for up to four weeks, says Erich Jungwirth, chief operating officer of the Lyric Theatre (formerly Foxwoods Theatre). January and February are good months, in general, to see Broadway shows because it’s off-season and ticket prices tend to drop.
Black Friday triggered an explosion in record-breaking laptop deals. Budget laptops dropped to $100, whereas more powerful mainstream machines hit $300, both of which were unprecedented. This month we’re again seeing a surge in laptop deals, with an emphasis on 15″ laptops that rely on Intel’s mainstream processor, the Haswell Core i5 CPU. As great as these deals may seem, 2015 is guaranteed to bring better offers because manufacturers are expected to roll out laptops that use Intel’s next-generation Broadwell Core M processor. (There are some Core M systems available today, but wider distribution is expected in early 2015.) For consumers, that means any laptop you buy today will likely be even cheaper in the coming weeks.
Just as January marks a new month for consumer electronics, so too does February for furniture. Traditionally, most new furniture collections debut in January and February, which makes the new year the best time for furniture deals, since many items will be on clearance. Horchow, West Elm, Home Depot, Target, and Crate and Barrel are just a few of the major retailers who heavily discount their collections in January. Expect to see furniture clearance sales that take between 40% to 75% off regular prices. By comparison, the best furniture sales in December will take just 15% to 30% off regular prices.
Brand-Name Big-Screen HDTVs
Yes, you’ll find plenty of deals on off-brand HDTVs on Black Friday. And if you’re willing to skip your Thanksgiving meal or get up before the crack of dawn and battle the crowds, you might score one of the limited quantities of deeply discounted quality TVs. But if you wait until a week or so before the Super Bowl, which takes place on February 1, 2015, you’ll see widespread sales on brand-name big-screen HDTVs, according to DealNews.com. Expect to see prices on 55-inch brand-name LCD
We applaud anyone who starts their new year’s resolutions in December, but if getting fit is your top priority in 2015, you may want to hold off any purchases until January, because that’s traditionally the month that offers the best deals on exercise equipment. For instance, last year, Sears’ pre-Christmas fitness sale was trumped by its after-Christmas sale, which took an extra 10% off items that were already marked 40% off. NordicTrack, Weider, and Powerline are just a few of the brands that see better discounts after the holidays.
Come mid-January, deals get even better, with sales from stores like Amazon, Sports Authority, and Walmart jumping into the foray. Expect these retailers to offer fitness gear discounts that range from 40% to 90% off. Even fitness accessories see better discounts in January, so whether you’re looking for workout gear or exercise machines, it pays to wait until after the holidays.
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