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Black Friday makes November a prime time for deals, but that doesn’t mean December is a bad time to shop. With holiday gift lists and the party season in full swing, stores are still competing for your cash, with competitive offers on everything from toys to apparel.
To help you sort the treasures from the trash, we’ve scoured the DealNews archives from years gone by to guide you in your quest for thebest purchases for December.
Buy in DecemberGift cardsThey may not seem like the most creative stocking stuffers, but according to a WalletHub survey,gift cards are the most desired giftsof all this holiday season. And luckily for you shoppers, we’re likely to see a flood of promotions in December, withdiscounted gift cardsto suit all interests from Domino’s toGameStop. You can expect to see ever popular $100iTunesgift cards fall as low as $84, while the best price for a $50 card last year reached a low of $43.
It’s not just cheap gift card offers that will help you save. Many retailers offer bundle deals come December that will save you big bucks at the most popular stores. Last year,Delloffered gift cards worth up to $250 withTVandgame console purchases, which helped undercut prices atAmazonandBest Buy. Starbucks also hosted one of the most popular deals of the month, as it gave away $5 gift cards with every $10 spent on holiday coffee.
ToysWe may have seen slightly moretoy dealsin November of last year, but December is when all thingsLEGO,Fisher Priceand Barbie traditionally plummet to their best prices of the year. In 2016, a quarter of all toy and hobby deals were at Editors’ Choice prices in the run up to the holidays, which makes it the very best time of year to buy.
Amazon knocked 40 percent to 80 percent off in one of its best toy sales of the year last December, with some prices at 75 percent less than what any other store offered. Big discounts on Star Wars toys atshopDisneyand Best Buy were among the most popular of the season, too. We expect to see similar promotions onThe Last Jedimerchandise two weeks before Christmas.
Know that the bulk of the best LEGO deals came fromToys”R”Usand Target, with the former knocking 40 percent off and offering free shipping on a selection of sets in the second week of December.
Christmas decorations . after ChristmasIt should come as no surprise thatholiday decorationswill see their biggest discounts from Dec. 26 onward. BothHome DepotandWalmartwill likely be the first to slash prices on all things festive again this year, as they each knocked around 50 percent off all inflatables just days after Christmas last year. Expectfestive lightsto fall to around $5 after the holiday, while those highly discounted inflatables should start at just $14.
If you must buy before the big day, however, look to Target, which offered the best sale on holiday decor in the days leading up to Christmas with artificial trees falling to half price. Expect pre lit trees of all sizes to sell from around $40 in the days before Christmas. Also, keep in mind thatfresh cut trees will start seeing steep discountsfrom around Dec. 20.
TVsWe know. Here at DealNews we tell you that Black Friday is simply thebest time of year to buy a TV. And that’s true. But you can still save big bucks on discounted units through the first weekend of December. In fact, you can find retailers offering TVs for as much as 30 percent less than what they’d cost at other stores.
Last year, we saw the cheapest ever65 inch 4K Smart TVfall back to the Cyber Monday price of just $600, while Dell continued to offer all time lows into the weekend. These end of week deals are perfect for those too busy spending time with family or working to shop Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals.
Winter apparelBlack Fridayand Cyber Monday apparel sales may look alluring, but you should know that not all things sartorial fall to their best prices of the year in November. Winter apparel most notablycoats and jackets doesn’t reach all time lows until winter is in full swing in December. In fact, a substantial 24 percent of all coat deals were marked Editors’ Choice in this month last year, as opposed to just 16 percent come the January sales.
Most of our favorite stores offered at least 50 percent off outerwear last December, but Amazon won out by slashing up to 75 percent off a wide selection of coats during the second week of the month. You can expect to shop generic fleece jackets for men and women from as little as $5 at Walmart, while big brand outerwear likeColumbiaandReebokpieces could plummet below $20.
Cold weatheraccessoriescan also be found at budget friendly prices. Look toOld Navy, as it offered a whole host of microfleece hats, gloves, scarves, and socks for just abuck in store last year.
Select iPhonesAlthough Black Friday is generally the best time of year toshop previous generation Apple gadgets, if you don’t score agreat deal on the iPhone 7, 8, or the more recently released iPhone X, never fear! December promises to bring a host of impressive savings with it, too.
Last December had some of the best deals on the iPhone 6 we actually saw the year’s all time lows on the iPhone 6 16GB and 128GB models that month. As such, we’re expecting strong iPhone 7 offers to hit our inbox this month. We’ve already seen the 2016 release fall to $450, but anticipate that it willfall as low as $400 before the end of the year.
Best Buy hosted a BOGO free contract offer on the recently released iPhone 7 last December, so we’re looking to that store to drop another budget busting deal toward the end of this year, too.
JewelryDecember’sjewelry dealsmay not be jaw dropping, but know that we’ll see the best offers of the coming months in the run up to the holidays. Whether you’re shopping for Christmas gifts or thinking ahead to February, you’ll get better deals on diamonds and pearls in December as compared to Black Friday and Valentine’s Day sales. Elsewhere, diamond earrings started at around $20, while AAA pearl necklaces sold for as little as $38.
ChampagneIf you’re partial to the good stuff, know that you can cut costs on luxuries like champagne. And according toReader’s Digest, December is the verybest time of year to splurge on bubbly, as competition drives prices down during the busy party season GuildSomm even found that22 percent of all champagne sales are rung in during this month. Shoppers can save around 50 percent on their purchases by hitting the stores in mid to late December.
Wedding dressesWedding dresses traditionally hit their best ever prices in Decemberfor many reasons. Bridal stores try to offload dresses in order to boost end of the year sales, but also to clear the shelves for the influx of new styles they’ll receive at the end of the year. Wedding expert Linda DiProperzio told Fox Business that you cansave up to 30 percent on your dress purchaseif you don’t mind buying last season’s styles.
Golf clubsLike with most outdoor activities, the golf season tames as the cooler weather begins, and soDecember is a great time to buy a new set of clubs. Retailers will be looking to clear out their inventories in time for the release of new lines come the new year. Last December, we sawadidas Golfhost its best sale of the year (which tied its Black Friday offering) by knocking a combined 47.5 percent off all already reducedgolf gear.
CookiesDecember has plenty of holidays to look forward to, but we like the sound of National Cookie Day the most. On Dec. 4, youdon’t need to spend a single cent, as many top stores and restaurants will offer free baked goods on that day. Last year Hershey’s offered a free bag of cookies via supermarket coupons, while Insomnia Cookies gave out a free treat when you made any purchase that day. Whole Foods even got in on the celebration by discounting all its freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to just 25 cents!
Wait to buyHigh end electronicsIf you’re planning to shop premium electronics, know that many top brands introduce new models ofhigh end computersand top of the range TVs at theConsumer Electronics Showin January. As a result, 2017 models will generally hit better prices when the new lines of futuristic tech are announced in Las Vegas. (Of course, not everything follows this cycle: Smartphones tend to be announced in late spring, while Apple products keep their own individual annual schedule.)
Following the event, from the second week in January, look for deals on sophisticated tech like smart home appliances, 3D printers, and VR headsets.
New carsIf you’re updating your vehicle at the end of this year, know that you should hold off until the very end of December to make your purchase. Autotrader suggests the end of the month, and theend of a quarter or yearparticularly, will see the very best discounts on the previous year’s line of cars. 31 tends to see most competitive average discounts of the year. In 2013, New Year’s Eve saw anaverage discount of 8.8 percent off.
Exercise equipmentGym owners and fitness retailers alike know that January is most people’s month of renewal, so they’ll drop theirbest discounts of the season come the new year. We’ve also found that January sees around double the number ofdeals on exercise equipmentcompared to December with prices on dumbbell sets hitting just $5 in the month, and exercise bikes starting at around $60.
Broadway show ticketsYou may be planning to buy tickets for your favorite show this Christmas, but know that January will see far better discounts on all things Broadway. Not only is it regarded as a slow month on the scene, but January will see the return ofBroadway Week. That’s when you can shop highly discounted tickets and even score BOGO free offers for many popular showtimes.