For the last few months the majority of Americans have been in a panic because Christmas was around the corner and they needed to get all their Christmas shopping done. There was a frenzy on Black Friday as people scrambled to scoop up the deals that only come once per year. Or so the retailers would have us believe.
Actually Black Friday isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as we covered in a recent podcast episode. As we discovered, some retailers actually raise their prices just before Black Friday so the sales look better. I personally don’t think fighting the crowds for a few mediocre sales is worth it. I prefer to wait and take advantage of the better sales later on in the year.
What?! There are better sales than Black Friday?? Yep. And they’re going on right now. Retail stores stocked up on inventory to meet the holiday demand, and many of them still have a surplus inventory on hand. Christmas is over so the demand is down and they’re not likely to sell all that surplus anytime soon. In the retail world, floor space costs money so they need to liquidate that inventory in order to bring in the next season’s inventory. What do they do? They put stuff on sale at deep discounts to get rid of it so they can free up floor space.
I shop a lot at Walmart and I know their winter coats will be going on sale in the next week or two. A $40 winter coat will drop down to $25 as the inventory gets lower and they need to get rid of it. I’ve purchased decent coats and hunting gear from Walmart in the weeks after Christmas and saved TONS of money. I saved way more than if I had bought them during Black Friday. I did have to be careful to make sure they still had my size in stock, but a little planning goes a long way here. But that should be obvious – buying without a plan almost always costs more.
Kohls is another one of my favorite clearance stores. Kohls stocks HUGE inventories of clothing that they never sell in time, and by late January & early February, all the winter clothes are on sale at 70% off. They do the same thing in September with their summer clothes. I can go into Kohls at select times of the year and get a whole new wardrobe for less than $100. That’s a pretty good deal in my book. In fact, when I watch the sales at the right times, I can get brand new clothes cheaper than I can buy used clothing at thrift shops.
Stop looking for sales when everyone else is. Don’t buy Christmas gifts in the months before Christmas. Shopping after the holidays and in the off-seasons is where you can save the most money.