Merchants are mobbed between Christmas and New Years by shoppers looking for post-holiday sales. Racks claiming 30 to 50 percent off fill stores as retailers try to off-load overstock items and clear out shelf space for spring merchandise. Clearance prices and special coupons can make purchases very tempting, but what should you buy at this time.
Coupon Sherpa offers seven tips to making the most out of these post-holiday sales.
1. Clothes: This is a good time to buy ageless fashions, but beware of merchants trying to off-load styles that were hot this year and will look dated next year. This year's tired fashions include plaids, single-shouldered and sheer fashions for women and military styles and deep v-neck tops for men. Gladiator sandals were heavily favored on runways and red carpets in 2009 but may look old in 2010. Stick to the basics and you'll get your money's worth.
2. Stock-up for Christmas 2010: Prices on Christmas cards and decorations plummet the day after Christmas. This is the time to replace tired-looking ornaments, broken light strings and weather-damaged outdoor ornaments. Restock your holiday craft items, usually marked down to 75-percent off. Cards also are so cheap you can pick them up for a song. Just don't forget where you stored them.
3. Go for the reds and greens: Buy your red Valentine's Day and green St. Patrick's day craft supplies and decorations. You might also pick up and freeze chocolates for Valentine's Day giving.
4. Year-round parties: Silver and gold decorations and party favors are now popular for the holidays, so if you're planning a wedding or anniversary party, why not pick up these items and store them for future use?
5. Future gifts: Keep an eye out for gifts to give next Christmas and for year-round celebrations. Bath sets, cologne and perfume prices in particular plunge after the holidays.
6. Wrapping paper: Not all holiday wrapping paper is sprinkled with Santas and other Christmas fare. Golds and silvers are particularly useful for year-round gift giving.
7. Electronics: Most electronics retailers will try to off-load last-year's electronics at this time. This can be rather sticky as you may find yourself longing for an upgrade within a month. If you're not the type who has to have the latest and greatest electronics, this may be your time to buy. Keep an eye out, in particular, for floor models, but make sure all parts are included.
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