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Unlock Big Bargains at Post-holiday Sales

We’ll tell you what to buy right after the holidays, what to avoid and how to get amazing deals online.

Once the holidays are over, it’s prime time for merry bargains. However, not everything is at its cheapest at the end of the year. Before you load up your sleigh, learn from these in-the-know shoppers, who revealed where they find the best steals and deals.

WHAT TO BUY IN POST-HOLIDAY SALES

Holiday items. After Christmas, sales on holiday decor, food, paper goods and books are very steep—as much as 90% off. Non-perishable products can be saved for the following Christmas or used throughout the year. “If candy doesn’t have holiday-themed wrappers, you can use it for anything you have coming up,” says educator and MyLitter.com founder Tiffany Ivanovsky.

Think creatively: Red paper plates work beautifully for Valentine’s Day, while green ones are great for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter. Having enough paper plates and napkins on hand can be a big help when parents come in to eat lunch during the school year.

Craft materials. Choose solid colors so they can be reused for other holidays, Ivanovsky says. Glitter, pipe cleaners, construction paper—even cupcake sprinkles—in red, green, silver, gold and other classic holiday hues can be put to good use all year.

Ivanovsky also recommends repurposing those cheap mini Christmas trees. Dress up the same one like a witch for Halloween, a bunny for Easter and a leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day.

Electronics. New models come out in spring, so after the holidays, prices on last year’s models are being slashed. “January is definitely a good time for TVs and other electronics,” says Jennie Sanford, founder of BargainBlessings.com, a money-savings website. “But don’t wait too long. The good stuff might be gone.”

Jewelry. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are the two biggest jewelry-giving holidays, so it’s no surprise that there will be a lull in demand for diamonds, rings and necklaces. Take advantage of the low prices by shopping early for Valentine’s Day or birthdays, or treat yourself to some well-priced bling.

Fitness gear. New Year’s resolutions often involve getting fit, and many stores exercise their right to slash prices. Starting in early January, sales on workout apparel and gear come out of the woodwork.

If you can wait a while longer, though, you can find more deals in a few months, Sanford says. “If you’re open to buying gently used fitness equipment, Craigslist will be booming with those items by April, once people start abandoning their New Year’s resolutions.”

Winter wear. Stores are bringing in spring items quicker than you can say Kriss Kringle, and that translates into money saved on winter coats, boots and the like. If you need winter wear, get it while the pickings are still good.

“Some items will get marked down more as the season goes on,” says Michelle Madhok, CEO of SheFinds.com. “This is especially true of items like sweaters and slippers.”

Air conditioners. This is a classic case of supply-and-demand: There’s no pervasive humidity in January, so air-conditioner prices are at rock-bottom prices. “For air-conditioner companies and carpenters who work on, say, deck-remodeling projects, January is usually very slow,” Sanford says. Get a few quotes from different reputable companies, and let them win you over with their great deals.

WHAT NOT TO BUY AFTER THE HOLIDAYS

January is not the best time of year for everything. Here are a few items worth avoiding until later:

Grills and patio furniture. Summer (not late spring) is rife with deals on these seasonal staples.

Swimsuits. By January, last year’s stock has been picked over, and this year’s suits aren’t out yet.

Luggage. Late-winter vacations are popular, so there’s great demand for suitcases right now. Better to wait until the travel off-season to snag a new bag.

HOW TO GET GREAT DEALS ONLINE

Shop via NEA Click & Save. You’ll find member-exclusive deals, and merchants are frequently updating their discounts. Log in and check the site regularly. You also can sign up to get email alerts on deals you’re monitoring.

Load up on rebates. At Ebates.com and Hoopladoopla.com, for example, you can get cash back on purchases at a slew of national stores. You don’t need to keep and mail receipts because the sites do the tracking for you.

Trade in unwanted cards. Gift-card sites such as CardCash.com let you sell gift cards you received but will never use. You can invest instead in cards you actually want while getting a deep discount on the swap. Buying $50 worth of gift card for $30 is like getting free money, Sanford says. And as people unload unwanted gifts, the gift-card selection at these kinds of trade-in sites is at its peak after the holidays.

Get sales alerts. Sign up for price alerts at sites such as PricePinx.com, or find calendars of current sales at sites including Madhok’s SheFinds.com.

Avoid the crowds. “Shop from the bottom up,” Madhok says. When you do a search on a retailer’s website, “hit ‘view all,’ then start at the end. Everyone else will be shopping from the top down, and things sell out more quickly at the top.”

 

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This article was published in NEAchieve!, our monthly e-newsletter. Subscribe now to receive helpful tips and information each month.

GET NEW DISCOUNTS DAILY

 

From cellphones to Disney cruises, find exclusive member-only discounts through NEA Click & Save.

 

Start shopping


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