You’ll score bigger deals on these items if you wait until the peak holiday shopping season is over to purchase them.
By Andrea N. Browne, December 21, 2015
Retailers are working hard to get consumers to spend-spend-spend this holiday season by enticing them with big discounts. It seems to be working. The National Retail Federation reports that more than 100 million people shopped in stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Even more shopped online. The average shopper spent $300.
While prices were as much as 60% off at certain stores during those pre-holiday sales, some of the best deals can be had immediately following Christmas, says Katrina Chan, shopping manager for NerdWallet.com. So if you can wait until after December 25 to make purchases, hold off for a few more days to get the most bang for your buck. Here are the six items that shopping experts say you can find much cheaper during after-Christmas sales.
Beauty and Perfume Gift Sets
In the days leading up to Christmas, department and specialty stores such as Nordstrom, Ulta and Sephora will stock an abundance of beauty-related gift sets. These includes skincare, makeup and designer perfume products that can range in price from $8 to $300. If you’ve got a beauty buff on your shopping list and are dead-set on giving this type of item as a gift, hold off until immediately after the holidays to buy it if you can, advises Kristin Cook, managing editor of BensBargains.com. Things like fragrance and bath-product gift sets will be significantly discounted right after Christmas. “You can get the best deals if you look for winter scents [such as pumpkin spice and eggnog] or anything that has holiday-themed packaging,” Cook says.
If you missed out on the Thanksgiving or Black Friday doorbuster electronics deals, you may be able to find even better sales after Christmas, says Benjamin K. Glaser, features editor for DealNews.com. Shoppers can expect retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, Newegg and Amazon to host clearance sales on laptops, TVs and Blu-ray players during the days and weeks following the Christmas holiday. For example, every January the latest tech gadgets and products are unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It’s then that retailers will begin to slash prices on the previous generation of electronics to make room for the newer versions about to hit the market.
Food Gift Sets
New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. If you’ve been invited to a party but have no idea what to give the hostess, food-related gift sets can be a more affordable option after Christmas. This includes gourmet cheese and crackers, coffee variety packs and upscale candy, says BensBargains’ Cook. Much like beauty-related gift sets, she adds, you can score huge savings on food gift sets filled with seasonal treats such as gingerbread and candy canes.
If you can wait until the peak holiday shopping frenzy has died down, you can purchase gift cards from top retailers for up to 15% less through Web sites such as eBay, CardCash.com and Cardpool.com. According to Cook, many people who receive unwanted gift cards as holiday gifts will sell them for cash online. Since sites get flooded right after the holidays, she adds, the average card price is driven down due to the increased inventory.
Shoppers can expect to find significant discounts on items such as artificial pine trees, ornaments, wrapping paper and bows, as well as string lights during post-Christmas sales, Chan says. Even though the holiday shopping season is practically over at this point, it’s the perfect time to stock up on these types of items on the cheap for the following year. Shoppers can expect to find discounts of up to 75%. However, Chan warns that the lowest prices during after-Christmas sales are typically found in brick-and-mortar locations and not online.
Clothing is one of the most heavily discounted items following the holidays, making up 45% of after-Christmas sales, says Glaser of DealNews.com. Retailers will offer huge deals on cold-weather apparel — coats, sweaters, scarves and boots — in an effort to clear out space for their spring inventory. Last year, DealNews reported that Banana Republic offered during its after-Christmas sale an additional 50% off on sale items that had previously been reduced to half-price.
While many of these clothing deals are tempting, NerdWallet’s Chan reminds consumers to find out about retailers’ return policies before buying. “Certain stores, such as Nordstrom, are known for their excellent return policy, while others including Forever 21 are less accommodating,” she says. At Nordstrom, for example, there is no time limit for returns or exchanges. However, Forever 21’s holiday return policy states that returns on online purchases mailed back within 30 days of shipment are eligible for a refund, while in-store returns are only eligible for an exchange or store credit.