There are many shopping deals to be had in December, which dovetails nicely with the fact that most of us shop more often this month than any other time of the year.
Toys see deep discounts in December, as do many other products that retailers have left over after the Black Friday and Cyber Monday crush. While we believe it is important to support local brick and mortar stores, the truth is the best deals are often found online.
In an interview with Yahoo! Shopping, technology expert Cameron Yuill, CEO and Founder of AdGent Digital, said savvy shoppers should be doing as much research and online shopping as possible rather than trudging to the mall. “Almost invariably the price of products will be cheaper online,” he said.
“Online retailers have an advantage over bricks and mortar stores, namely because of their cost structure – no high rent buildings and no retail staff – which is reflected in discounts to consumers.
Definitely buy in the first few weeks in December as prices go up in the final days before Christmas when last-minute shoppers increase demand for products.”
Even if you skipped Black Friday and Cyber Monday, chances are you’ll be dropping dollars in December. Here’s a list of product categories that see discounts this month.
Chances are you’re buying toys this month. If so, you’re in luck.
“Toys are a product category that always sees deep discounts in December,” Yuill said.
“Retailers typically take a stock count following the Thanksgiving sales weekend, and if they feel that they have a surplus of stock, consumers can expect deep discounts as retailers try to move it before the holidays. This holds true for most product categories. Retailers do not want to be holding excess stock following the holiday period so they will reduce pricing to move it off their floors.”
It’s hard to beat Amazon in this category, which will bring 30% off and other incentives on their toy selection.
2. Brand-name HDTVs
There’s always an argument over when to buy a new HDTV. Some say wait until the week before the Superbowl, others swear by Black Friday. Black Friday deals are often quite good, but they’re of limited supply and often feature off brands.
Research suggests the best time to buy a top-brand HDTV is from mid-December to February. According to Dealnews, last year saw discounts on top brands such as Vizio (which has received much critical praise recently), LG and Toshiba. The site suggests shoppers sign up for e-mail alerts with their favorite retailers so as not to miss the best deals of the year.
While every major electronics retailer will get in on this action, membership stores such as Sam’s Club may often have the best deals and bundles – with free shipping.
What you want to do in this category – whether it’s a laptop or desktop – is look for last year’s models. They’re about to be replaced and will be priced to move. It will take a little work on your part, but chances are you’ve already done your homework if you’re looking for such an important (and expensive) piece of tech. Make sure to look to manufacturers’ websites, not just retailers, to find the latest release dates.
Check out sites such as HP's, which offers savings on computers and software. Of course, you can always count on the Yahoo! Digital Crave blog to keep you plugged in as well.
While you’re shopping for everyone else this season you may start to think about a little something for yourself. Perhaps you want to treat yourself to a spring vacation? Now is the time to shop around for airline tickets. Traditional wisdom – which applies all year, not just in December – is to shop for tickets early in the week and book a flight that departs in the middle of the week. Try sites such as cheaptickets.com – which is currently offering a 15% off hotel promo code with the purchase of any flight.
5. Champagne and chocolate
The deals on these luxury treats are a blessing for those of you who like to indulge this time of year. You don’t have to go far for deals on these items.
Check your local liquor store for gift baskets that include a bottle and some glassware, or a high-end bottle of bubbly reduced to move this season. The same logic applies to chocolates. We’re not talking about a Snickers bar here – though there’s nothing wrong with a Snickers bar – but rather the offerings you’ll find at your local retailer.
And don’t be afraid to buy in bulk. Look to Lindt for great deals and free shipping on some volume purchases.
6. Diamonds and jewels
If your taste in luxury runs a little richer than the chocolate and champagne listed above, you may want to visit your local (or online) jeweler. December is typically the biggest month for diamond sales for the whole year.
Bargains aren’t to be had on all diamonds, but the ones that do drop are likely to be 30% to 50% off the regular price. This trend carries over to what’s known as “bridge” jewelry, a category between trendy jewelry and fine jewelry that typically features semi-precious stones.
Try Macy's, a retailer known for quality and customer service. They’re already offering up to 50% off and free shipping.
December isn’t the only time of year to get a good deal on a bike, but it’s one of the best. Quality bikes and bargains during December are typically found from vendors such as REI, Wal-Mart, and Performance Bike.
However, as we reported the last time we mentioned bicycle sales, this is a category where shopping local can be a bonus.
“If you are in the market for a reliable, well-built bicycle, a specialty bicycle store is the only way to go. Look for a store that assembles their new bikes on-site and one that has a service area. Usually there is a service plan that is included in the sale of any new bicycle. Avoid stores that do not offer this follow-up service,” said Jack Madden, owner of Legend Bicycle in Providence, RI.
8. Kitchen items
Everyone’s a chef these days. Or at least they think so. Most of are actually cooks, hobbyists who are getting savvier in the kitchen all the time. This is the time of year to find deals to help you improve those skills and maybe pick up a few items as gifts for fellow foodies.
November has always been seen as the bets month of the year for cookware, but in past years that trend has carried over into December.
Dealnews.com suggests looking for top offers from Macy’s, Kohl’s, Amazon, FoodSaver, Williams Sonoma, and JCPenney on items such as cutlery sets, bakeware, and small appliances.
Look to Kohl's - which features deep discounts on dinnerware, among other items - for a good start to your kitchenware shopping,
9. Tools and hardware
Here’s another category that posts deep discounts in both November and December.
Expect significant discounts on wrench and screwdriver sets, drills, and lawn-care tools. Plenty of retailers sell tools these days, but some of the traditional outlets are still great bets. For instance, Sears has always been known for quality tools that they stand behind. Look for deals such as a GearWrench 7PC Flex Ratcheting Wrench Set for $29.99, down from $89.99.
10. Christmas decorations
So the last category on our list may not be the most exciting, but a deal is a deal – especially in this economy.
If you wait until the day after Christmas you’ll see extreme discounts – from 50% to 70% off – at stores such as Home Depot, Sears, Crate & Barrel, and Macy’s. Even fake Christmas trees can be had for a steal. And don’t let anyone hassle you about having a fake tree. Buying a real tree is no more noble that being thrifty and rolling out the fake tree every year.