What Not to Buy This Holiday Season
The halls are decked in most of the stores, so as much as I hate to say it, the holiday shopping season is upon us. Here is a guide to what you shouldn't buy this shopping season.
Black Friday is almost here and stores already seem to be going bananas with their deals, but sometimes there are some things that aren't always as cheap as they seem to be. Here are a few things to wait on when it comes to gift giving.
If your goal isn't to own the latest technology, wait until Christmas is over to buy it. Many manufacturers release the new stuff in October or November, just in time for the holiday season, but they don't put it on sale right away. Laptops are best bought in early fall as they release the new models, the model one older than the new one is usually found for a deep discount. If you need a new digital camera, wait until Valentine's Day to buy it. New camera models are released right around late January or early February, so "older" camera models are on sale for 30 percent off or more as retailers clear the shelves for the new merchandise.
Do you have a skier on your gift list? Better buy them a hat and gloves as skis are high priced this time of year because it's the ski season. Skis go on sale in March and April as the season is coming to an end and retailers want to get rid of the winter stuff to make room for canoes and paddles. This may sound odd, but wait to buy a bicycle until after the Christmas rush. Cold weather is a great time to buy a bike, but wait. Bike shops jack the price up for Christmas and then discount them immediately afterward, so if you're going to buy a bike for someone, take them shopping after New Year's. They'll be cheaper then and the place you buy it from may throw in free accessories because they're looking for business during slow times.
Looking to score a deal on a car for someone? Take them after Christmas. Ideally, the best time to buy a car is during the day on New Year's Eve. Many dealers are willing to haggle because they want to clear out the inventory to make room for the new models. TrueCar estimates that vehicles will be about nine percent below sticker price on December 31.
Cruises are a great way to go if you're looking to see a lot in a short period of time, but wait to surprise someone with it until after the new year. If you're looking to go for summer break, cruises are way cheaper to book in January, February or March. If you need some new luggage for that cruise, it's best to wait on that as well. The months following Christmas are slow for vacations, so wait for lower prices on luggage in February and March.
If you're looking for blankets, sheets and towels, wait until January for the white sales. Department stores, online retailers and catalogs discount those items as much as 60 percent. Same goes for tools. If Dad wants tools for Christmas, make him wait until Father's Day. Prices fall by as much as 25 percent by June.