January’s best shopping deals

(Photo: macys/com)(Photo: macys/com)Welcome to January 2013. Last year’s gift season is over. The Super Bowl is coming, as is Valentine’s Day. Resolutions are still fresh and possible. Anything can happen in a new year, especially when it comes to bargain hunting. Here’s a chance to get started on the ground floor.

Some say January is a slow month for sales, but the hardcore shoppers know this is the time to come out and play.


1. Winter Clothes

Major department stores are the best places to look for great deals on winter styles they’re looking to push out the door. They’re making room for spring and summer items, so this is the time to strike for coats and winter accessories such as hats and gloves. Same for sweaters, winter shoes and other cold weather items. Some of these items may be last year’s style, so that may stifle the fashion-forward folks out there. However, classic looks never go out of style. Keep that in mind when hunting down the deals.


(Photo: zappos.com)(Photo: zappos.com)2. Swimwear

Swimwear? In January? Yes, this is a great time to buy swimwear. Retailers need to move any lingering items from the recent summer season that's left on the shelves. You’ll even see some advanced hype for the upcoming season and styles. And here’s a great incentive for you to get and stay fit for swimwear season: Buy the swimwear now, and stay mindful of it all year.


(Photo: Sony)(Photo: Sony)3. HDTVs/Home Theater

You have two things going for you when it comes to shopping for TVs and home theater systems in January. One, the Super Bowl is around the corner and retailers want to make sure you can see and hear the action in shattering definition and decibels. Two, the new models are also on their way. Retailers need that shelf space.

Finding a quality HDTV or home theater system is easy. You can research prices and performance online before you buy. But remember to stick to your guns and not be swayed by deals that are too good to be true. Few items carry such a high risk for buyer’s remorse.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Retailers have more wiggle room on TVs and accessories than you might think. It can’t hurt to ask.


(Photo: biglots.com)(Photo: biglots.com)4. Furniture

If you work in a furniture store, January is a lonely month. Since it is typically a sluggish time for sales, retailers are willing to make deals to make room for their spring and summer collections. As mentioned above, classic lines never go out of style. And just like when shopping for electronics, be ready to haggle. Most furniture salespeople expect haggling from customers since the markup on furniture is notoriously high.


(Photo: kettlerusa.com)(Photo: kettlerusa.com)5. Fitness equipment

This category also includes fitness DVDs and gym memberships. January is when we all decide to craft a Wolverine body out of our bloated, post-holiday buffet selves. Gyms are still reeling from the recession, so their aim is to entice you with low monthly fees, free membership, and reduced or free access to trainers and classes.

If you want a home gym, look at it as a lifetime investment for your family. If you stick with it, the upfront cost will pale in comparison to a lifetime of gym membership fees.

Finally, frugal shoppers may want to look to online auction and sales sites to buy equipment that has been forsaken by owners who gave up the fitness fight.

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