Christmas music and holiday displays seem to arrive earlier every year in retail stores, but the after-Christmas sales always start on the same day. Come Dec. 26, the rush of sales tends to feature the biggest discounts on the same types of products every year. We’ve analyzed the sales and put together this list of the best items to buy after Christmas.
Clothing and apparel
Time magazine named Dec. 26 as “the best day of the year to buy clothing,” and a recent DealNews analysis found that 45% of after-Christmas deals were on clothing items. This puts clothing and apparel at the top of our list of things to buy after Christmas.
The one exception to this rule is winter apparel. January is known as the best month to buy winter apparel, so you may want to wait another week or so. Most people already have their coats and scarves by January, and clothing retailers will be in clearance mode after Christmas.
Toy retailers are stuck with excess stock once Christmas is over, and toy purchases obviously decline after the kids have all unwrapped their gifts. You’ll see deep discounts on toys right after Christmas, particularly at Toys R Us or other toy retailers. If you have the extra budget to spare after Christmas, this is a great time to stock up for kids’ birthday gifts because the items are more likely to be on sale.
The week after Christmas and the first week of the new year are a sweet spot for buying electronics and tech gadgets. Christmas has resulted in many buyers already having the HDTVs, laptops or tablets they coveted. Meanwhile, the looming International Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas, will see the unveiling of all of 2016’s latest and greatest TVs, electronics and tech gizmos, rendering the 2015 stock obsolete. This makes after Christmas a particularly good time to find deals on electronics.
The economics of the fitness industry are different from other industries. The fitness industry is about to enter its peak season, but will tend to lower its prices rather than raise them. Yes, fitness habits will be all over New Year’s resolution lists, and the gyms, athletic shoe companies and treadmill manufacturers all realize this. But they will be competing hard for those consumers’ dollars and attention, making late December and early January a peak time of year for fitness retail sales.
We’re talking indulgences and junk food here, not healthy food. The holidays left kitchens well-stocked with baked goods, appetizers and beverages, and food retailers know that refrigerators are packed with leftovers. Healthy food will become more popular with those New Year’s resolutions ready to kick in, further decreasing the demand for rich and extravagant treats.
And as you’ve surely noticed before, Christmas foods — or anything with Christmas referenced on the packaging — will be slashed to a fraction of its normal price once the holiday is over.
Gift sets and gift baskets
Also obsolete right after Christmas are those lovely gift sets of fragrances, cosmetics or spa baskets. The products inside work just fine year-round — only the exterior packaging identifies these fragrances and soaps as holiday-related. Many of these gift baskets or sets work very nicely as birthday gifts or gifts for other occasions too.
Everyone has seen the signs and sales announcing Christmas trees, holiday wrapping, Christmas cards, and holiday decorations at 50% to 75% or more off the day after Christmas. This year will be no different. Make a note of the lights that burned out, the garland that got warped or the little tree you’ve outgrown, because after Christmas is the ideal time to replace them. You will never see prices on these items as low as in the days right after Dec. 25.
After-Christmas sales will pop up in lots of places, so it pays to shop at stores that offer price matching. Price matching means a store will match a competitor’s lower price if you can prove the other store is offering one. There are some great shopping apps that instantly do the research for you and make price matching a snap for your after-Christmas shopping spree.
Image via iStock.