The Complete After-Holiday Season Deal Hunting Guide
Have you ever seen people casually pick up sunglasses, sunscreen, beach towels, swimwear, and floral-print shirts in freezing sub-zero temperatures, in the middle of winter? Yes, such people really exist and no, they’re not crazy – they’re just smart shoppers who know how to spot a good deal. If you’d like to turn into a savvy shopper yourself this holiday season, Herself360 Magazine has you covered with this bargain-hunting mini-guide:
Always shop when demand is low, supply is high
To save the most money, you should always shop when the prices are lowest. And prices are always lowest when demand is at rock-bottom. Essentially, you should wait until after the festive season ends, when most people are finished with their holiday shopping and the seasonal rush is done and dusted. Retailers will be clearing out their holiday inventories to make room for new stock for the following year. They slash prices on old inventory and offer great deals, usually at the end of December (after Christmas) and early January.
Online vs. offline: Which option scores you better deals?
It depends on the retailer and the type of item you’re buying. Not all discounts are worth publicizing or listing online. For example, if it’s a niche retailer and the item in question is small or unique, you’re likely to get the best deal by visiting a brick-and-mortar store. For large, non-unique items available everywhere, online shopping is almost always better, as The Balance can confirm.
Double-check the price of any item before committing to a purchase
Beware of fake bargains. Sites often markdown items to convince you that it’s a good deal. That’s not always the case. You may find another retailer offering the same item even cheaper. It’s why you should always double-check the item’s price online before making a purchase. You can use a shopping search engine like Google Shopping or Pricegrabber.com.
Get good deals with coupons, rebate sites, bulk retailers
Often, retailers hand out coupons for discounts and free shipping – they’re worth checking out. Simply Google the retailer’s name and tack on “coupon” at the end to find some. You can also visit a coupon-curating site like Coupons.com. Next, visit a rebate site like Swagbucks. These sites offer good deals and give you “cash backs” on purchases made. Last, visit wholesalers like Costco. They specialize in lots and overstocked items, meaning they can afford to sell near cost.
Automate your deal hunting
Use browser extensions, shopping, and deal-hunting apps for the best results. A browser extension like Honey will automatically find and apply coupons to your shopping cart. Shopping apps for big retailers like Amazon often have a “sale” section with excellent deals.
The best time to pick up specific items
The time of the year determines how cheap certain items are:
- Electronics and appliances: Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales are best if you want gadgets like laptops and gaming consoles or gift items like wireless chargers that conveniently charge up smartphones. Early January is also a good time, especially for big appliances.
- Furniture: Furniture is cheapest when new stock comes in and the old one needs to be cleared out, which is around January for indoor furniture and September for outdoor furniture.
- Winter or summer-specific items: Winter items – like clothing, décor, and space heaters – are cheapest during the summer season and vice versa (summer items during winter). Plan ahead.
- Cars: Again, like furniture or appliances, cars are the cheapest after new versions have been released, which is mostly around New Year (assuming you’re okay with a preceding model).
- Fitness: People purchase fitness equipment just before New Year (with the resolution of being fit). The end of January and February is when prices of fitness gear go down. You can also visit a listing site like Craigslist to get second-hand equipment from the people who fall off the fitness wagon.
Be smart about your finances if you truly want to save money. Never purchase anything on credit (unless you’re planning to pay it off immediately) – the interest you pay back will exceed any savings made. Last but not the least, never buy unless you need it.
Image via Unsplash
Mariah Flowers created Gift Guides For All because like so many others she loves giving but often has trouble picking out the right gifts for her loved ones. With her website, she explores the beautiful world of giving and helps visitors find the perfect ways to celebrate everything and everyone.