If you've visited a brick-and-mortar store or glanced at any e-commerce site in the past couple weeks (and who hasn't?), you might get the impression that everything is on sale. In a new shopping era of perpetual sales and discount codes, it's an understandable mistake to make. However, some months are just better for particular product categories than others. "Yearly sale cycles are important to understand when looking to make certain purchases, and by understanding these sale cycles you can save yourself a lot of money not just in December but year round," says Lauren Gruetman, savings expert for Flipp, an app focused on making sure you're getting the best deals.
Since Flipp is an app that combines current available circulars, coupons, and your shopping list to maximize savings, it can also keep you in the loop on sales cycles. Using this data, Flipp compiled the item categories that are basically a steal in December, along with those that aren't priced as competitively right now (but will be in January). Read up, then update your shopping cart accordingly.
The "Do Not Buy" List:
Furniture. Whether you're in the market for a new bed or sofa, wait a month. Gruetman has observed that prices for furniture tend to take a dip in January (partly because new inventory comes in February), making it easier to find a deal.
Linens. Definitely hold off for that yearly tradition of the White Sale. "White sales have since grown to include all linens, towels, and household items and it is the best time of year to make these types of purchases," Gruetman says. "You may see sales on them during December but don't fall for that trap, by knowing about sale cycles you can hold off a few weeks and get the best deals in January."
High-end electronics. This one surprised us, since electronics seem to have doorbuster prices every holiday season. But, a landmark event next month means that better deals might be awaiting. "In January, the Consumer Electronics Show unveils all the latest tech gadgets, and stores start to discount their high-end electronics that month to make room for the newer models," Gruetman says.
Gym memberships. Seriously, hold off on this one, because optimistic New Year resolutions means there's a bigger market for gyms to try to win over (which leads to attractive discounts). Gruetman says that the most common discount gyms will offer is to waive pesky initiation fees.
Instead, stock up on the following:
Toys and games. Of course, the holidays mean toy sales galore — but the low prices aren't just on last year's big things."Prices on toys get slashed in the month of December," Gruetman says. "Even some hot gifts are available in December at a discount thanks to restocking." We've even seen the occasional sale on LEGO systems, which can be a rarity. Some stores with super competitive pricing include Target (who is currently running a "spend more, save more" special), Amazon and, of course, Toys'R'Us (don't miss their flash sales).
Wedding dresses. If you're stressing about finding a dress that suits your budget, stop whatever you're doing and shop now. "Sounds strange, right? But December is a popular month to get a great deal on a wedding dress," Gruetman says. "Many retailers are eager to make a sale, so they deeply discount their prime dresses during the off season."