Christmas is exciting, but the week after the holiday can be just as much fun. That's when retailers quickly replace holiday decor with sale signs that advertise big end-of-season sales, in a final effort to entice shoppers to buy winter products. Smart bargain shoppers flood the stores looking for deep discounts on winter merchandise.
Before you shop, look carefully at promotional materials to be sure the items that interest you are on sale at your favorite store. Shops like Target, Walmart, and Kohl's will certainly run after-Christmas sales, but check to be sure you're hitting the right store at the right time to find the items that interest you and your family.
What to Buy and Not to Buy Now
For retailers, competition during the week after Christmas is almost equal to what shoppers see on Black Friday. Sale merchandise flies off shelves as the prices drop.
While the atmosphere inside stores after Christmas is all about clearance sales, not all merchandise is at rock-bottom prices. Staple items, meaning products that are not seasonal, often remain at regular price or with discounts hovering around 10 percent off. Seasonal products quickly get slashed 50 to 70 percent off of standard retail.
Shoppers will find bedding, especially flannel sheets and heavy blankets and quilts, at some of the best prices of the year throughout January. As the month progresses, additional discounts will be taken on winter bedding.
After Christmas is the perfect time to think about buying that new computer, TV, or iPad. Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, HH Gregg, and Newegg.com are duking it out with additional discounts.
Prices are being slashed on electronics from previous years, special buys, open-box merchandise, and refurbished items, while the older models may not see the really big price drops until around February. This also holds true for computers, laptops, and printers. Shoppers should be cautious when buying open-box merchandise. Much of this merchandise has been returned and items in the boxes may be missing.
Now Is the Time to Buy for Next Christmas
Merchandise that will be at the lowest prices includes any item related to Christmas such as holiday decor, holiday gift baskets, holiday-related apparel, and sleepwear. Shoppers will also find deep discounts on some winter clothing, cold-weather accessories like hats and scarves, slow-selling outerwear, shoes and boots.
Did you decide to wait until after Christmas to get an artificial Christmas tree? If so, it was a smart decision. Artificial Christmas trees, like other holiday items, receive drastic price reductions as soon as Christmas is over. When prices jump to over 60-70 percent off, the products sell out quickly. Other items to think about include:
- Wrapping paper, labels, and decorations (these throwaway items can cost a fortune, but are essentially identical from year to year)
- Stocking stuffers including Christmas ornaments or holiday-themed toys
- Gifts for next year (remember that kids' interests may change, but many types of gifts, such as art supplies, fuzzy slippers, and stuffed animals can be gifted from year to year)
- Holiday lights and outdoor decorations (this year's special LEDs and icicles will be just as beautiful next year, so why not stock up?)
- Artificial wreaths, holly, and poinsettias.