This post comes from Louis Ramirez at partner site DealNews.
December is a month traditionally cluttered with sales. While that may sound like a dream come true for some, it actually makes shoppers vulnerable to overspending, especially since the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to increase by 4.1 percent. Conflicted by year-end sales, free shipping promotions, and an unforgiving holiday countdown, it’s easy for shoppers to give in to the first discount they see.
But just as we cautioned shoppers to be vigilant in November, so too must they be sharp in December. Many products you see on sale pre-Christmas will be significantly cheaper post-Christmas.
We understand that nobody wants to give gifts late, but if you have the luxury of trading gifts after Dec. 25, or if you happen to be shopping for yourself, we’ve compiled a list of items you should buy after the holidays.
1. Clothing and apparel
Apparel is the one item you absolutely shouldn’t buy before Christmas. Sure, you’re bound to see various clothing deals leading up to the holidays, but 45 percent of all after-Christmas sales are for clothing. Moreover, the majority of post-Christmas apparel deals are Editors’ Choice level, meaning they’re the biggest discounts of the year. Basically, you’ll save more on the majority of items if you wait.
Shoppers looking to save a few bucks should especially avoid buying items from the Gap (and its sister sites Piperlime and Banana Republic). These stores save their biggest percent-off discounts for the day after Christmas. Other brands that offer better post-Christmas sales include 6pm, Express, Macy’s and New York & Co.
Our rule also applies to luxury brands. Brooks Brothers, Saks, Calvin Klein and Betsey Johnson hold above-average after-Christmas sales, so if you can manage it, you’ll want to avoid buying anything from them before the holidays.
2. Fitness gear
We applaud anyone who starts their new year’s resolutions in December, but if getting fit is your top priority in 2015, you may want to hold off any purchases until January, because that’s traditionally the month that offers the best deals on exercise equipment.
For instance, last year Sears’ pre-Christmas fitness sale was trumped by its after-Christmas sale, which took an extra 10 percent off items that were already marked 40 percent off. NordicTrack, Weider and Powerline are just a few of the brands that see better discounts after the holidays.
Come mid-January, deals get even better, with sales from stores like Amazon, Sports Authority and Walmart jumping into the fray. Expect these retailers to offer fitness gear discounts that range from 40 to 90 percent off.
Even fitness accessories see better discounts in January, so whether you’re looking for workout gear or exercise machines, it pays to wait until after the holidays.
3. Most consumer electronics
November brought an astonishing number of TV and laptop deals, many of which shattered our carefully picked predictions. While many of those deals will bleed into December, you’ll want to be cautious of what tech you buy. Every January, manufacturers convene in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, where the year’s new TVs, laptops and gadgets are unveiled.
For December shoppers, that means the tech you buy today will be outdated within weeks. And even if you don’t mind owning a previous generation, it also means you could see bigger savings on those items in February and beyond, when the new merchandise starts making its way onto store shelves.