Xpatathens.comEven the most hardcore Scrooges will have a hard time avoiding shopping this month. This is the thick of the holiday season, complete with office parties, Secret Santa exchanges, and gifts for your mail carrier, hair dresser and neighbors.
"You may have skipped Black Friday — overwhelmed by the offers, hype, and crowds — but the holiday season is a different beast all together, with gifts from loved ones, friends, and people you barely know coming at you from all angles," says Dealnews.
Together with Dealnews and Deals2Buy, Yahoo Shopping has put together this guide to help you make the most savvy purchases in December.
Spider-ManGet Good Deals On Toys ... Or Don't
"Finally, it's the best time to buy holiday toys! Almost. In 2012, many of the year's top toys hit their lowest prices of the season during the middle of the month. In fact, last year that time frame also saw an influx of Editors' Choice toy deals. Keep in mind, however, that shopping mere days before Christmas is probably not wise; retailers realize last-minute shoppers are desperate and less able to effectively comparison shop, and prices often reflect that."
Deals2Buy disagrees.“The 10-days prior to Christmas is when many toys are heavily discounted” say Brett Billick, Senior Vice President for Deals2Buy. “This is a great time to stock up on gifts for all the little ones on your list. Make sure to also take advantage of Free Shipping Day on December 18th – many e-tailers will be participating and they guarantee delivery by the holidays.”
Some of the deals they suggest include: Fisher-Price Superstar Step ‘N Play Piano – Save 17% (expires 12/29), Crayola Digital Light Designer – Save 26% (expires 12/26), Interactive Micropet Robotic Toy – Save 55% (expires 12/15), Playskool Rocktivity Music Skool – (expires 12/8) and AirForce Drivable Helicopter – (expires 12/7).
Gift Card Freebies
"A popular promotion throughout the month of December — especially amongst restaurants — is to offer a free gift card to shoppers who purchase one as a gift. For example, last year California Pizza Kitchen offered a $20 gift card to anyone who purchased $100 or more in gift cards. Retailers, on the other hand, are more likely to offer a gift card with purchases that reach a certain order threshold: L.L.Bean currently offers a free $10 gift card to any customer that spends $50 or more," writes Dealnews.
Yahoo ShoppingTools & Hardware Deals
First of all, tools aren't just for men. Women account for more than $70 billion worth of purchases in the home improvement industry. December is a great month for anyone who has such a person on their gift list.
"Like last month, December is an excellent time for tool and hardware deals. While the sheer volume of Editors' Choice deals dips after November, there's still an above-average number of significant discounts on wrench and screwdriver sets, drills, lawn-care tools, and more."
Buy Christmas Decorations After Christmas
"At this point, it's common knowledge that holiday decorations see their greatest discounts after the holiday in question has passed, and this is no different for Christmas. If you wait until December 26, you'll see discounts of 50% to 70% off seasonal goods. However, if you absolutely must buy a fake Christmas tree before the 25th, look to Walmart, Kmart, and JCPenney for inexpensive options."
Yahoo ShoppingKitchen Items For More Holiday Cooking
"Although we noted that November sees the greatest number of cookware and kitchen deals, many sales and discounts last year carried over into December and resulted in an uptick in the number of Editors' Choice prices. Look for cutlery sets, bakeware, small appliances, and more."
Jewelry Is A Bad Buy This Month
The jewelry industry has you on the ropes with this one. Jewelry is a popular request for many Americans, but this is not the best month to buy.
"Savings exist, but you likely won't be getting the best deal. However, you can still try to get a discount through broad department store coupons that apply to jewelry. However many stores, such as Macy's, frequently exclude jewelry from these offers."
Yahoo ShoppingTwo Takes On Electronics Deals
"If you didn't jump on the electronics deals during Black Friday weekend, then at this point, you might as well wait until January and February to buy a digital camera, TV, or other device," says Dealnews.
"The Consumer Electronics Show in January is the official launch for many 2014 models, which means that all the goods from 2013 will begin to see a round of discounts."
However, Deals2Buy argues the contrary. And they have some deals to back it up.
"The holiday shopping chaos around Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but you can still score great deals on a variety of different items. Based on consumer data from Deals2Buy, deals on electronics will continue, potentially all the way up to the Super Bowl."
Some of those deals include: Canon EOS Rebel Digital Camera – Save over $100 (expires 12/18), Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7” Tablet – Save 10% (expires 12/22), Canon PowerShot Wide Angle Digital Camera – Save 35% (12/22), Samsung 46” 6300 Series HD Smart LED TV - Save 41% (expires 12/25), Garmin nuvi Portable GPS – Save 23% (expires 12/25) and Select Mac Books – Save up to $699 during PC Mall’s Mac Blowout Sale (expires 12/31)
Mainstream Haswell Laptops Undercutting Ivy Bridge
Dealnews says opting for previous generation tech is one of the best ways to save money on computer purchases.
"But for the past three months, 15" Core i5 Haswell laptop deals have averaged $408; 15" Core i5 Ivy Bridge machines have averaged $409. Though we still think Ivy Bridge laptops will likely drop further, we'd naturally recommend going for the Haswell laptop if the difference in price is minor. So if you're in the market for a new laptop, make sure to look for both options as the higher-end system might not be priced at the usual premium."
Yahoo ShoppingBrand Name TV Discounts On The Horizon, Panasonic's Plasma Farewell
"If the deluge of TV deals we saw last month didn't tempt you, the deals we see in the next few months might. While there are typically some noteworthy brand-name deals in November, the month is mostly devoted to third-tier manufacturers like Insignia, Dynex, and Westinghouse. December marks the start of deals on high-end, brand-name TVs from the likes of Samsung, Panasonic, and LG. For instance, last year 55" 3D HDTVs dropped an extra 6% during the month of February (versus their low in November). While that may not sound like a lot, it could mean keeping an extra $50+ in your pocket. Expect these deals to begin in December and taper off in February."
However, Panasonic is ending production of its highly-rated plasmas. This could encourage some retailers to discount the remaining stock they have, especially with new HDTVs being announced at CES in January.
"If you want the most bang for your buck, it's worth looking at Panasonic plasma deals in the coming months. Popular models to look at include the VT60, ST60, and S60 to name a few, the latter of which is the company's budget plasma."
Spot any great deals? Share them with us in the comments section below!