Just before Christmas, most stores start their sales on all of their holiday décor. Then, immediately following the big day, they cut those prices even further. Most of the time it will cost more to ship the items back to their supplier than it would be just to sell it at a fraction of the cost, so you can take advantage of the Christmas clearance bargains to be had. Just after Christmas is the perfect time to stock up, just keep in mind a few key points to make sure you are not frivolously spending your money.
Sales Aren’t Really Sales
You may have seen this recent article on the Wall Street Journal. The perception to the public is that items come in and go on the shelves. When those items get old and the store wants to move them out, they mark the price down. When they really need to make room they sell them cheap, even if that means it comes at a loss to the store. In reality, the items come in and the final sale price is often the price the stores fully expect to sell them for. Read the article for an in-depth look at it; it’s fascinating.
Need vs. Want
Technically, holiday decorations are never a need. There is nothing about our well-being and survival that dictates we must have a Christmas tree, a wreath, and 10,000 strings of lights. However, in our modern day and age, that is what we have come to enjoy and expect. So bear in mind that just because something is 75% or 80% off, if you don’t need it, you’re not getting a good deal.
What to Buy
Since we don’t really need any decorations, what is the best thing to pick up on these sales? Ideally we would get things that tastefully match the rest of the décor in the house. We would replace damaged or broken items. For instance, every year we have ornaments that break. Don’t pay full price for glass balls; get them at 75% or more off. Upgrade the Christmas tree, buy holiday greeting cards, and buy any regular use product that is wrapped up in a Christmas themed container; these will all be discounted heavily.
What Not to Buy
Never buy anything on sale that has a date on it (with the exception of disposable items like napkins, etc. They can always go in the camping box where nobody really cares). While currently you might not mind that the date is on there, down the road it will become annoying and you will wish you hadn’t wasted your money. Don’t buy anything that makes a pop culture reference. It’s a joke now, but in a few years you really won’t remember what it was all about. Clutter and junk are never the way to go. Sure that talking fish wearing a Santa hat made you giggle, but what are you really going to do with it (besides give it away at next year’s white elephant gift exchange)? Use your judgment, most of the stuff you don’t really need.
Wrapping It Up
After the holidays most people don’t want to think about the holidays. But start now making your list; think of the things that you will need for next year. Go ahead and write them down because when you get into the store and see the rows upon rows of Christmas items, you will promptly forget what they are. For me, I want lights. This was the first year I decorated the outside of my house with lights. I would like to upgrade a few older strings to LED’s, but I don’t want to pay the premium for them. Instead I will be hitting up Walmart on the 26th and 27th to see if I can get them cheaper. If not, then I will wait until next season.
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