It’s blacker than black Friday, and Cyber-Monday shudders in its shadow. It’s the sale that puts the other sales to shame. While most people are worn to the bone and glad it’s time to rest, you’re strapping on your sneakers and stretching out your hamstrings. You know when it comes to Christmas sales it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. There’s one sale left, and it’s a big one. There’s a special place in your heart for this sale, the one that happens after the wrapping’s been ripped off the gifts and there’s not a thing to be found under the tree but a few pine needles and a lone silver ball. It’s the after Christmas sale, and here are a few tips from a consummate professional:
Before you go: visit sites like RetailMeNot.com, DealCatcher.com, and Coupons.com, to name a few (Google “after Christmas coupons”). You may find even more promotional coupons to use for your after Christmas shopping. Or, if you don’t like the thrill of the chase, you could do all your after Christmas shopping online using these special coupons.
1. Keep a sharp eye out while you read your morning paper: There are coupons waiting to be found while you gulp down the caffeine necessary for the fuel to keep you going when others are losing steam.
2. The early bird gets the worm – and the discount: Be prepared to shop early to get the best deals. But don’t fret if you can’t get to your favorite store first thing because some smart aleck took the parking space you’d been waiting for: some early bird specials last until early in the afternoon. And better news, if you forgot your coupons for a particular set of matching porcelain dolls you’d had your eye on since the November flyer came out, ask the cashier if he or she will scan theirs for you; most will.
3. Look for inventory sales: Not only are stores shedding their Christmas items, they’re paring down their inventory for the New Year. Less inventory on the shelves in January means less inventory for worn-out clerks to count and that means more money in savings for you to pocket as the inventory items get marked down, too.
4. Do your research: For example, according to the site IBT.com, here are some of the best in-store and online deals of 2014:
Amazon: 40 percent to 70 percent off savings on everything. Plus, students with an .edu account, and adults with Amazon Prime qualify for free 2-day shipping.
Best Buy: Many electronics are marked down to incredible prices. You can’t have a glut of last year’s televisions, tablets and computers when 2015 rolls around.
Big Lots: 50 percent off Christmas merchandise. Use this merchandise next Christmas and no one will be the wiser. Wait another week, and your savings will go up as high as 75 percent off.
Costco: Computers up to $500 and more off retail prices, TVs up to $800 and more off, Cameras up to $900 and more off. Got your attention?
Crate and Barrel: Up to 60 percent off holiday merchandise, furniture, home accents, kitchen, bedding, lighting, etc. Next year’s Christmas gifts, anyone?
Dick’s Sporting Goods: Up to 60 percent off apparel, $15 off athletic shoes, 50 percent off Reebok apparel, 25 percent off Nike apparel. All deals are usually good from 12/26 until 12/29, so better hurry.
Dollar General: More than 25 percent off Christmas baking and candy items and 50 percent off Christmas merchandise. This year’s discount is next year’s holiday home decor.
Forever 21: 50 percent off some sale items, and they usually offer free shipping on purchases of $50 or more; Last Chance Holiday Deals starting at $1. $1? Jump on this one!
Kmart: 4-Day After-Christmas Sale: 60 percent off clothes, 60 percent off home merchandise, an extra 50 percent off toys already on clearance, 50 percent off Christmas items, up to 50 percent off holiday storage items, and fitness-related merchandise on sale.
Kohl’s: Kohl’s Gold Star Clearance Sale – Save 60-80% OFF Clothing, Shoes, Handbags, Jewelry, Home Décor and more!
Neiman Marcus: 25 percent to 33 percent off already marked-down merchandise.
Sports Authority: 20 percent to 80 percent off certain items in-store and on-line until 12/30.
Staples: 65 percent off on-line and in stores until 12/29 on TVs, cameras, computer equipment and other consumer electronics; free shipping on-line on all orders with no minimum purchase.
Target: $10 gift card when you spend $75.