Beware of After Christmas Sales

I don’t know if it’s just me but I have noticed that a lot of merchants are heavily promoting after Christmas sales this year. It seems they are trying to appeal to our desire to save money during this economic situation by promoting day after Christmas discounts. But don’t be fooled they are still trying to get you to spend. Here are some things you may want to consider before you hit these “sales”:

  • Don’t get sucked in the “clearance” game. At some point or another I have fallen for this one: “what if I don’t need it? It’s XX% off!” Only to buy something that sits collecting dust and never gets used. Talk about a serious waste of money. So yes, maybe the item is 75% off but if you don’t need it then you are just wasting your money. Think once and then think again if this item you are thinking of buying really is something you will use. If it isn’t then keep your money in your pocket.
  • Hold on until the greater discounts. The truth is chances are that you may be able to find the same items that are on discount at 50% when they go on deeper discount at 75-90%. As much as I am really looking forward to shop the clearance sales (because I am, don’t get me wrong), I am waiting until they hit 75% off. This is mostly because the only thing I really need is wrapping paper and I know chances are pretty good that there will still be left over when the discount is 75%.
  • Watch the register. Make sure you are getting the advertised sales discount. It can happen that a store has not marked down all of their items and even though you think you are getting a higher discount, you may be actually getting a lower one. Don’t trust what a sign or sticker may say, scan items for prices if the store has price scanners or make sure the price at the register is the right one.
  • Check expiration dates: This is particularly important if you are thinking on stocking up on food that has been packaged for the holidays or food that you can only find during the holidays. Make sure to check the dates and that you get only enough to be used by that date.
  • Check return policies. Many stores don’t allow returns on clearance items. Find out what the store’s policy is and consider this when you purchase something.

Have fun bargain hunting but make sure you don’t waste your money.

Originally posted 12/26/2008.

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  • Ta-TA

    Thanks for the reminder. I used to get sucked in to the “But it’s 75% off, I’m sure I can use it for some thing” game. This year I have a specific list of after Christmas things I’m looking for. There are only a couple items, so that helps.

  • Chief Family Officer

    If you just need wrapping paper, you might want to wait for the 90% discount – at least at Target, I’ve always found tons of paper at that price.

  • Jennifer

    I was at Target today and the toys were only clearanced at 30% off and the holiday stuff was just 50% off. Not that great of a deal.

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  • In the past, I have also been sucked in by the after Christmas clearance. This year I did not shop on 12/26. I will probably check the clearance at some stores in a few days. I have found the best way not to be sucked into the clearance money wasting is to stay out of the stores unless there is something I really need. If I don’t see it I won’t buy it!

  • Kim

    You guys aren’t missing much. Went to Target. Ended up only buying paper towel and ziploc bags (those always go the first day). Had so few items I was able to check out in the “10 items or less” aisle!!! (I did forget to go back to the Target dollar section, which was 50% off…might be some good deals there). Also went to Michael’s Craft store and Walgreen’s. Both were duds. I think the stores really cut back on stock this year and have very little to discount.

  • Lana

    I so agree! Lots of shoppers in Wal Mart this AM with piled carts-my thought is always-what are you going to do with all that stuff? We did take advantage of the $15 jeans at Old Navy though-a great price for our picky college boys.

    • Heather

      I got some great maternity jeans at ON for $15 today. That did really seem like a good deal!

  • Sheena

    Yeah, only went out to the stores this morning because I had to drop off hubby at the airport at 6am. What duds for sales this year. I noticed a lot of stores (I.E., Sam’s club and Michael’s) had clearance sales for xmas stuff BEFORE xmas this year. Last year, I remember heading to Costco and Sam’s the morning after xmas and nothing was left. They sent back what they had…and this year, only things I scored for what I thought was worth it were the gladware tupper ware and ziploc bags for $1.49 and the palmolive dishwashing liquid for $1.24. At least those are good even if it has the holiday designs on it!

  • sarah strzelczyk

    I dont have any christmas stuff and i never really needed anything because i always went to my moms for christmas but not that its me and my husband living together and were expecting a baby where hoping to stock up on alot of stuff for next christmas, we need everything! the only things i baught at walmart for 50 percent off today was a christmas tree and the clerk said i could get the 75 percent off if i bring in my receeipt when it goes to 75 percent off so i hope i can do that.

  • Joy

    One of the things I make sure I get at 50% off is containers for Christmas treats to use the following year and LED lights. But no one today has any LED light strings left just the basic lights. I did get the blue snowflake LED stake lights for 50% off at Target but no string lights.

    Candy is only 30% off at Target. So not a bargain really, but don’t count on any being left in a few days.

    I also try to buy Christmas bags, boxes and tags at 50% off. I look for the “Made in USA” label and stock up before they are gone (yes, these do exist at Walmart you just have to look). I stopped buying the cheapo wrapping paper because it always ripped or creased. Instead I look for heavyweight stuff on clearance. This year though I used my Hallmark coupons to stock up on better quality wrapping paper.