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To buy or not to buy, the best holiday deals might come after Christmas

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We’re currently in the thick of the holiday shopping season. With just a few days until Christmas, the stores are packed as people hope to check off the last few items on that Christmas Wish List and score good deals in the process.

However, right now might not be the best time to get that gift.

What NOT to buy

Tech and Consumer writer Elizabeth Harper says the three biggest things to avoid buying in December are exercise equipment, bedding, and winter clothing.

Part of the reason to wait on most of these is that retailers are capitalizing on the change in seasons in order to sell gym memberships and make way for new inventory.

In the case of all the exercise equipment, Harper says they saw 80% fewer sale prices in December as they did in January. “Retailers will use sales — and those New Year’s resolutions — to tempt you into buying new fitness gear.”

When it comes to winter clothing, Harper says that you can expect to see as much as 80% off regular prices on winter gear in the new year — because retailers will soon start to make room for warmer weather clothing. In other words — hold off before you buy.

What TO buy

Harper says that one of the best things to look for in December is gift cards. She says more than 75% of the deals they found were before Christmas.

“The most common offers on gift cards last year,” she says, “were for clothes, but there were also deals for Target (10% off), Lowe’s (10% off), Google Play (20% off) and Starbucks (30% off) cards.”

Other good options to be on the lookout for are headphones, jewelry, and DVDs.

What to buy AFTER Christmas

The big winner for after Christmas, Harper says, is toys.

“Last year, we counted almost 600 gaming and toy deals, and 47% of those were Staff Picks. That’s a lot of toys at some of the best prices we saw all year.”

She says there were also some incredible deals on video games and video game consoles. Many AAA games went on sale for as much as 50% off, which makes it the perfect time to stock up on games for any newly purchased consoles.

The deals don’t just extend to consoles though: December also coincides with PC video game seller Steam’s annual Winter Sale.

Holiday Decor

As retailers start cleaning their shelves to allow for more inventory Harper says that after Christmas is one of the best times to pick up holiday decor.

“During the last week of December 2018, we saw retailers trying to clear out the last of their Christmas stock, with Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and Macy’s cutting prices by 50% to 80%.

“By January, your options for holiday glam will be pretty picked over,” which is why she says that if this is on your list, it’s best to start looking right after Christmas.