The Best Post-Holiday Deals

  • The Season After the Season

    Get ready for post-Christmas shopping season. Sales don’t end on Christmas morning, and seasoned deal-hunters know there are plenty of deep discounts to be had—if you know where to look. “Between Christmas and New Year’s there are more people taking time off, and a lot of people have gift cards,” explains Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation. “So, from the consumer standpoint there’s more opportunity to shop.” Photo Credit: Dave Matos
    The Early Bird Catches the Sale
  • The Early Bird Catches the Sale

    When do these post-holiday sales begin? Easy: They already have. With many retailers attempting to clear inventory by the end of the calendar year to make way for new products, the year-end clearance sales start bright and early Sunday morning. (In fact, some online sales started on Christmas Day.) Be warned, though. This year's clearance sales won't be as extensive as in years past. “The holiday season was better than expected, so there's not as much [stock] left over,” says Butler. Brad Wilson of BradsDeals.com also notes that post-Christmas shoppers will to some extent be getting the leftovers. “There's not the breadth of Black Friday – the top items have sold out,” he says. But just like ham sandwiches the day after Christmas, leftovers can be delicious. We’ve rounded up a few of the bigger post-Christmas sales at major retailers, and spoke to shopping experts to find out which items tend to go on sale in the days and weeks following Christmas. Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski
    JC Penney
  • JC Penney

    JC Penney (Stock Quote: JCP) is holding what it claims is its biggest after-Christmas sale ever, opening up at 7 a.m. Sunday morning. Included in the sale are select men’s flannel shirts and crewneck sweaters for $9.99, and Liz Claiborne sweaters for women for under $25. The store is also offering 75% off holiday dinnerware, plus 50% off curtains and drapery panels. Finally, shoppers already excited about next Christmas can get 75% off the entire stock of holiday decorations. Photo Credit: jcpenney.net
    Target
  • Target

    Target (Stock Quote: TGT) will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 26. Its after-Christmas sale includes 50% off over 100 DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, including The Blind Side for $5.99, and seasons 1-6 of Entourage for $9.99 each. It’s also offering some of its most popular Nerf N-Strike toys for $16.99 each (normally $19.99). On the electronics front, you can get a Vizio 32” LED HDTV for $399.99 (marked down from $599.99). Photo Credit: Marcus Q
    Aeropostale
  • Aeropostale

    How excited was Aeropostale (Stock Quote: ARO) for its after-Christmas sale? So excited it started four days before Christmas. Sale items include men’s and women’s sweaters for $15 (like this men’s mock-neck number, normally $49.50). There are also men’s and women’s hoodies starting at $12 (normally starting at $44.50), and graphic tees for $9 (normally $24.50). Photo Credit: Preston Kemp
    What to Buy
  • What to Buy

    To some extent, figuring out what’s on sale is a simple matter of perusing the Sunday circulars on the morning after Christmas, whether in the newspaper or on company websites. But there are also certain classes of items that always tend to be heavily discounted after the holidays – some on the day after and some in the weeks to come. Here’s what to buy now that Christmas is behind us. Photo Credit: mahalie
    Apparel
  • Apparel

    “It's all about apparel for after-Christmas sales,” says Daniel De Grandpre of Dealnews.com. While many post-Christmas shoppers will inevitably flock to the large department stores, he recommends checking out smaller mall stores like Ann Taylor, American Eagle and Lord & Taylor for good deals. What kind of clothes can you find on sale? “Sweaters, scarves, slippers – anything seasonal,” says Butler. “By the end of January [the retailers] want all the winter items gone.” Penny Ray of the personal finance site Ballers on Budgets also identifies the weeks after Christmas as a great time to get cold-weather apparel. “The more we get into the winter season, the more [winter clothing] goes down in pricing,” he says. Photo Credit: jyri
    Christmas Decorations
  • Christmas Decorations

    “The morning after Christmas... the stores open up and customers run to the Christmas shop to buy Christmas wrap and ornaments,” says Butler, who spent nearly thirty years in the retail industry. Ray has a more specific item in mind when he goes to stores for post-holiday shopping: Elf on the Shelf. “Every single year it's 50% off right after Christmas,” he says. Selling decorations is a simple calculation for stores: Merchants need to pay big bucks to warehouse their overstock, whereas you probably have room in your attic for another box of ornaments and decorations. Buy them at half off and then dust them off next December. It’s not like your taste in Christmas ornaments is going to change radically in a year. Photo Credit: elfontheshelf.com
    Chocolate and Candy
  • Chocolate and Candy

    Everybody knows to buy candy on the days after Halloween and Valentine's Day, but Christmas is huge for chocolate as well. “Stores like Godiva do massive sales right after Christmas, because they've made all this chocolate,” says Wilson. “In past years I've seen [discounts] at around 50%.” He also recommends looking for discount from merchants selling gift baskets, like Harry and David. Photo Credit: little blue hen
    TVs
  • TVs

    Almost every expert we spoke with agreed that TV prices are likely to come down in the next few weeks. “I have a very strong sense that TVs are one of those things where there’s too much inventory,” says Wilson. “I think you’ll see them move at very close to what they were selling at over Thanksgiving weekend.” De Grandpre also anticipates that TVs will be priced to move. “TV prices are likely to drop a lot in January,” he says. “TV sales have not been good this season.” Photo Credit: TigerDirect.com
    Returned Electronics
  • Returned Electronics

    “Electronics are a huge gift item at Christmas, and a certain amount of that is getting returned at stores,” say Erin Huffstetler, a Savings.com DealPro who writes the Frugal Living Guide for About.com. “Check stores like Best Buy and see what they have in their ‘open stock’ sections...  I got a really nice camera that way and ended up with about 75% off.” You might also consider looking for refurbished electronics on sites like Buy.com in the weeks following Christmas, and you can be sure that people will be unloading their unwanted electronics on auction sites like eBay as well, where a glut of auctions for similar items tends to drive selling prices down. Photo Credit: Buy.com
    Swimwear
  • Swimwear

    It may seem odd that winter coats and swimwear would be on sale at the same time, but that’s just the nature of the retail industry, where end-of-season clearance sales sometimes overlap with early deals on the next season’s items. Butler says shoppers can expect to see early promotions on bathing suits to start popping up in department stores in January. Photo Credit: tinou bao
    Linens
  • Linens

    Penny Ray advises shoppers to be on the lookout for so-called “white sales” in January, when retailers will discount sheets, blankets, towels and other linens. Butler says that white sales tend to happen in mid- to late-January, so you may want to hold off before you go looking for a new bedspread. Still, some retailers may push up their white sales to coincide with the after-Christmas rush – JC Penney, for instance, is starting its sale on Sunday. Photo Credit: Posh Living, LLC
    Deals & Steals
  • Deals & Steals

    For all the best deals around at any time of year, visit MainStreet’s Deals & Steals page and come back often. Photo Credit: TheTruthAbout
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