I’ve long been an advocate of buying things on sale rather than paying full price. But I’ve also been traditionally standoff-ish about mega sales like Black Friday deals. The crowds are never worth the deals to me. Especially when retailers do gimmicky things like raise prices before the sales, carry a limited quantity of sale items, and only place a select few items on sale to draw you in.
But there is a time when I think you can get good holiday deals. One of my favorite times to shop is the few days before and after Christmas. If you’re patient enough to wait until the last minute (or the minutes after), you can find some incredible deals.
Most retailers want to avoid carrying seasonal items over into the next season. Or any excess inventory, for that matter. So with a few days left before Christmas (or the end of the season), they’ll start discounting items and putting the excess inventory on clearance. It’s a great way to save a lot of money.
For example, my wife and I needed some Christmas lights for our new house. We didn’t want to pay full price when the items were in season so we waited until the day after Christmas to do our Christmas light shopping. We stocked up on five packages of icicle lights at 50% off.
Now, this was something we had budgeted for and had the money setting aside. We had the cash ready and we were looking for something specific. We had to fight some minor crowds and pick through what was left, but we still got a great deal. To me, that’s a success.
Readers, Do you buy seasonal items after the season is over? Are you a plan-and-buy type of person, or are you a buy-whatever-you-find-on-sale type? Is it really a deal when you buy something on sale if you weren’t planning on buying it in the first place?