With less than three weeks till Christmas, you may feel the need to go on a no-holds-barred shopping spree. But despite the never-ending sales, there are certain items you simply shouldn't buy before Christmas. In fact, our DealNews archives show that many of the year's biggest discounts — particularly on brand name items — come after the holiday rush, when retailers are desperate to rid their inventory of leftover stock. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of giving gifts after the holidays are over, but if you're looking to fill your own holiday stocking, take heed of the shopping list below in which we've rounded up the products you should buy after Christmas.
Brand Name HDTVs
The January Consumer Electronics Show is the premiere tech show for TV manufacturers, as this is when they debut their 2014 lineup. Soon after that, retailers will react by cutting prices on 2013 models. That means we'll start seeing new price-cuts on top-performing HDTVs. Last year in February, we saw name-brand 55" 3D LCD HDTVs drop an extra 6% in price, compared to their best November prices. In some cases the savings are even more significant, so depending on the TV you're looking at you could be in for a savings of $50 or much, much more. Furthermore, with Panasonic officially pulling the plug on its line of plasmas, there's also a good chance that we'll see big discounts on some of its top-rated plasmas like the ST60.
Turkeys aren't the only ones being stuffed this holiday season. With the constant flow of Christmas parties, chances are you may be feeling the holiday joy around the waist already. But rather than buy your workout gear now, wait until next month when we'll see a plethora of sales on fitness goods. (There's usually another spike in fitness deals over the summer.) So whether you're looking for equipment for your home or a new wardrobe that you can strut at the gym, it's worth waiting a few more weeks. Stores to keep an eye on sales at include Athleta, Joe's New Balance, and REI, which had sales of 50%, 60%, and 50% off respectively last year.
Several manufacturers will release new 2014 furniture collections in February, forcing retailers to clear their old inventory in January. The result is solid home furniture deals from the likes of Pottery Barn and Home Depot, to name a few. And while May is undeniably the best time to purchase a new mattress, for the past two years US-Mattress has discounted up to 60% off select mattresses during its Pre-New Year Sale, which is something to keep in mind if you want to start the year off with a new bed.
In addition to new HDTVs, CES will bring with it a plethora of new gadgets, from home theater systems to new Android tablets. For bargain hunters, it also means heavy discounts on this year's tech in late January and throughout early February. Expect deep discounts on 2013 HDTVs, Android tablets, digital cameras, and high-end laptops.
Clothing & Accessories
Practically every apparel store will have an after-Christmas sale on the 26th of December. However, not all sales are created equal. For maximum savings, we recommend looking to Banana Republic, Club Monaco, GAP, and French Connection, all of which had "best of the year," Editors' Choice-level sales on the day after Christmas in 2012. For GAP and French Connection, it was the second consecutive year that their After Christmas sales turned DealNews editors' heads with extra discounts ranging from 30% to 50% off. (That was on top of sales that already slashed up to 75% off.) Honorable mentions also go to Saks Fifth Avenue and 6pm, both of which offered their biggest percent-off sales along with no-minimum free shipping.
And should you shop in-store, don't forget to bring your printable coupons for additional savings. Staples, Express, and Banana Republic are just a few of the name-brand stores with printable coupons that stacked onto current sales.
While it may seem odd to buy Christmas treats and decorations days after the holiday, late December is the perfect time to stock up on decorations for next year's celebration. For treats, we recommend looking at Godiva, which traditionally discounts its chocolates by up to 40% off. Also, be sure to check stores like Neiman Marcus, which last year took up to 51% off its selection of Godiva chocolates. For holiday decorations, both Home Depot and Lowe's had particularly aggressive deals (up to 75% off) on all things Christmas last year.
The temptation to buy something for yourself this week will be high, since many of you are still shopping out of necessity. But waiting until the holiday has passed can save you 40% or more on these items. So set up an email alert now, then sit back, relax, and wait for the deals to roll in.