Good time to shop after Christmas

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren't the only prime shopping opportunities during the holiday season. Carey Rossi, editor-in-chief of ConsumerSearch.com, gave us some insight on post-Christmas shopping.

Why is this week a good time for shopping? The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve is the last week of the year and retailers last-ditch efforts to make sure they finish the year in the black. To do this, the sales that you saw prior to the gift-giving season will continue.

Are there more and better deals to be had during this time? I'm not sure if there are more deals but many times there are better deals so that retailers can get rid of old merchandise so they have room for new merchandise.

Where are some of the best places to find these deals? The best are places that offer gift cards. Retailers want to entice consumers who have received gift cards to come in and get more for their gift. Most of the time consumers spend more than the gift card amount. It is these residual sales that help retailers end the year with a profit.

As we are an NYC-based newspaper, we were wondering if you think sales could be affected post-Sandy? Not really, because those affected will be rebuilding their lives and replacing the necessities (e.g., appliances, cars, furniture, etc.) that were destroyed by the storm.

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Can you find better deals online or in stores? More and more retailers are trying to find ways to get customers into brick and mortar stores and the "in-store only" sale is one way to do that. A good example of this is the Gap. Currently in store, you can get up to 50% off on selected styles. Go to their website and there is no mention of this promotion, just one for 35%. Whether one is a better deal than the other depends on what you are buying, but the huge 50% in the store window is definitely enticing.

Do retailers mark down returned Christmas gifts? I can't speak to this since I really don't know. My inclination is to say no, they don't unless there is visible wear.

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