Shoppers who make the majority of their purchases between
Black Friday and Christmas Eve may not mind paying high markups on everything
from toys to ugly Christmas sweaters, but for true bargain hunters, shopping
after the holidays is the best way to save money. This tactic may not work for
everyone – family and friends do expect to receive gifts before or on
Christmas, after all – but for belated Christmas get-togethers or shopping for
items you want for yourself, waiting until after the holiday insanity is over
might be your best bet.
As soon as Christmas is over, you’ll probably see huge
markdowns on all Christmas-related items (trees, ornaments, clothes, cards, etc.)
because stores want to clear out their current inventory to make room for the
next season’s big items. If you have some extra space at home and don’t mind
waiting eleven months or so to finally put up your new decorations, buying
holiday décor at reduced prices of 50% or more is a great way to save. Candy is
also a primary target for price-slashing because holiday-themed packaging
doesn’t seem to sell too well in later months (it’s not exactly romantic to give
your love a box of last season’s candy canes for Valentine’s Day, after all).
Gift Card Exchanges
Gift exchanges are common occurrences after the holidays.
While stores readily take back toys and clothes however, gift cards are
trickier. For those who aren’t thrilled with the gift cards they receive,
offering to sell or trade them on sites like Gift Card Granny or Cardpool is a
viable alternative to buying something just for the sake of using the gift
card. For bargain hunters, these gift card exchange sites generally offer
full-value gift cards for a discounted price, depending on the seller.
Stores never run out of reasons to have sales and distribute
coupons to their legions of customers. In order to maintain a reliable stream
of profits into 2014, many stores will be offering new coupons after Christmas.
You can locate these in your local newspaper or on websites like SumoCoupon, which also offers coupon
codes from online retailers. Retailers are particularly competitive after the
holiday season because sales numbers really start to plummet after the
month-long high from the end of November through Christmas, so be sure to take
advantage of the juicy deals offered when stores are scrambling to sustain
their customer traffic into the new year.
With all the K-12 and college students on winter break, many
families are making travel plans for the end of December and early January. Daily
deals sites’ travel categories – like Groupon’s Getaways and LivingSocial’s
Escapes – already cater to discount travelers, but there are other options for
cheap holiday travel (e.g., Student Universe for college students). If you don’t
mind taking risks, you could also book last-minute flights (airlines generally
lower prices on tickets in order to fill seats before takeoff) or check with
tour companies about possible discounts (even if you book at the last minute,
it’s still better than having smaller tour groups or unfilled bus seats).
How will you save
in the wake of the holiday season? Share in the comments!
Kelly Kehoe is a staff writer for Money Street Smart and works with SumoCoupon.com, a site full coupons and coupon codes.