Hope you didn't spend all your Christmas money - because now that the biggest gift-giving holiday of the year is behind us, it's really time to shop.
Huge deals can be had in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, as retailers slash prices to entice a final rush of shoppers before the end of the year. amNewYork spoke with Christine Frietchen, editor-in-chief of ConsumerSearch.com, to find out why now is the best time to open our purse strings.
Why is the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve a good time for shopping? From a retailer standpoint, it's the last chance for stores to record sales. ... Retailers know people will be at their stores to spend gift cards and make returns, so they don't want to waste the opportunity to sell you something else. For consumers, that means great discounts on winter clothes and shoes, seasonal items, decorations and home items - but those will go fast.
Are there more and better deals to be had? Are we talking up to 75% off? Definitely - especially on holiday items. Get next year's cards, wrap and decorations now, even though you might not be in the holiday spirit anymore! ... As for electronics, discounts will likely not be quite as steep as before Christmas, but it's still a good time to buy a television, since stores will need to clear out inventory in anticipation of the arrival of new technology. Same with laptops.
Where are the best places to find these deals? Big-box stores will have the best deals - but they'll also be the most manic - so don't forget smaller outlets like Radio Shack and office-supply stores like Staples and Office Depot. Those retailers often have fantastic deals on technology - and they aren't nearly as crowded as Best Buy. For clothing, check discounters like Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls and Filene's Basement for outerwear, hats, scarves and other winter apparel. For ladies, it's a great time to shop for a "little black dress" - useful year-round, but since those dresses are often lumped into the holiday category, you can find terrific discounts.
Can you find better deals online or in stores? Always check both, because it will vary. But many of the holiday free-shipping deals from websites will be gone.
Do retailers mark down returned Christmas gifts? Many traditional Christmas items will be steeply discounted already. That's a big problem if you're making a return without a receipt, since you'll only get the item's current selling price [back]. But there may be additional open-box discounts for returned laptops and Blu-ray players.