Shop smart for the best after Christmas sales, and you could save hundreds of dollars on items for the upcoming year.
Seasonal Merchandise Sales
The biggest discounts to be found after Christmas shopping are likely to be on seasonal items that cannot be used at any other time of the year. Look for holiday-themed items with Santa, Frosty the Snowman or religious icons like Mary and Baby Jesus. Merchandise to purchase includes:
- Christmas gift wrap, boxes and tissue papers in both holiday themes and plain colors, which make them useful for other holidays and special occasions.
- Decorative artificial Christmas trees and wreaths to replace your current ones that are tattered or wearing out.
- Christmas cards and holiday letter stock paper.
- Christmas themed table decorations, place settings, linens, napkins, disposables and china sets.
- Strands of Christmas lights for indoor or outdoor use.
- Outdoor Christmas yard decorations or inflatables.
- Christmas art, wall hangings, and ornaments.
The items that have a year written on them, such as snow globes, decorative plates or ornaments, can be purchased at a deep discount early in the post-holiday sale season, since they cannot be used the next year.
Look for seasonal merchandise in plain colors, like red, green, gold, blue and silver. Snowmen, polar bears and penguins are characters that work well for January and February months, too. This makes them easy to use throughout the winter season.
Home and Electronics Sales
Home and electronic items will also go on sale after the holidays. However, the types of items that go on sale and the amount of their discount often depends on how well the store(s) did in anticipating consumer buying patterns for the Christmas shopping season.
One sure area to look for the best after Christmas sales is the "hot ticket" electronics items. If the sales numbers were down for the season, stores are often left saddled with an overstock. Look for off-brands of televisions, stereos, mp3 players and accessories that stores do not normally carry to be discounted, too.
Shop the home merchandise sales carefully. Count on flannel sheets and heavy comforters to be discounted. Small kitchen electrics, like panini presses, indoor grills and coffee-brewers are often put on sale. Decorations that are on the top Christmas gift lists of the year, like digital photo frames, are frequently discounted after Christmas, too.
Savvy consumers should have an idea of the regular price of these items, and whether they are likely to be discounted again in the future. Because this type of merchandise is regularly stocked, it is likely that these items will be available for some time and various discounts will be given on them year-round. If the discount is good but not great, save your money for purchasing items that are the best deals. It's likely you will a sale on a toaster oven again, but perhaps not on a discontinued set of Santa dishes.
Toy and Clothing Sales
Virtually every parent knows that a particular toy or two will become the "must-have" Christmas toy. However, if you shop the after Christmas sales wisely, you can obtain these impossible-to-find and expensive toys at a major discount. This is also a good time to pick up small Christmas stocking stuffers for next year, like handheld electronic games or decorative pens at a cheap price.
Holiday themed clothing often goes on sale after Christmas. Pick up next year's Christmas pajamas for the whole family at a major discount. Look for warm fuzzy slippers, winter jackets and some boots to go on sale, too.
Best After Christmas Sales Tips
Even though Christmas is over, it is a good idea to make a post-Christmas list before you head out shopping the sales. This way, you can be sure you are not enticed by the thought of a good deal, only to find you do not really need or want an item you bring home. Other tips for shopping the best after Christmas sales include:
- Stock up on snacks with Christmas themes. Look for Christmas candy, chocolates and coffees at your local supermarket. They will taste the same two weeks into January, even if Rudolph is on the packaging.
- Shopping on December 26th is a good idea if you want a hot item that is likely to sell-out, such as a particular mp3 player. However, wait until the first or second week of January to pick up items like wrapping paper, ornaments and cards if you want the biggest percentage off your purchase.
- Just because you are shopping a post-holiday sale does not mean you must stick to buying Christmas presents for next year. Instead, pick up clothes, toys, bath and body sets and home decorations for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, anniversaries and birthdays.
- Check out the store's clearance sections a week or two after Christmas. People who received some bad Christmas gifts will have had time to return them-and another person's "trash" may be your treasure at a major discount.
- Always check the store's return policies if you purchase open-box clearance or discounted items. The deal may be awesome, but only if the item works. Refunds or exchanges are not always permitted on these items. Check with the store's customer service counter to be sure.
When you shop after Christmas sales, remember to visit the online versions of brick-and-mortar stores. Retailers may have additional stock of items still sitting in a warehouse somewhere that stores will not bring in after the holidays. These items might be available only online. Use a coupon code for free shipping or a percentage off your purchase to make the deal even sweeter.