January is a good month to buy a lot of different things, and that’s especially true this year. Spending was down in December, and retailers are very eager to boost sales.
We’re just halfway through the month, so it’s not too late to snap up some great deals. Here are 10 things to look out for:
Carpeting and flooring. The busy time in this business is typically the fall for two reasons: 1) Many people buy houses during the summer and spend a lot of money on them in the fall to get them looking the way they want; and 2) Others want to get their houses looking great in time for holiday get-togethers, so they’re also spending in the fall. Business slows down dramatically by the middle of December and into January, when carpet stores typically offer their best deals of the year. If you have any money left over from the holiday shopping season, buy now.
Gift cards. Many of the people who don’t want the gift cards they received for Christmas will sell them on websites such as eBay, giftcards.com and giftcardgranny.com, which sells them at 15-percent to 25-percent discounts. The best deals are in January, when most unwanted gift cards are for sale.
Bikes. Some stores discount bikes by as much as 33 percent after the holiday shopping season, in part to make room for new products that arrive in stores in February and March.
Furniture. January is one of two great months to buy furniture. (The other is July.) Buyers can expect the lowest prices of the year during these months because retailers are trying to make room for new models, which arrive in February and August. There’s nothing wrong with the older models. In fact, often the newer ones have the same frames with different upholstery in different colors.
Jewelry. January is a good month to buy jewelry because it is one six non-gift giving months. Prices rise in February for Valentine’s Day, May for Mother’s Day, June for graduations, Father’s Day and weddings and October, November and December for Christmas. January and the other non-gift-giving months are when you’re more likely to see real sales, as opposed to the jewelry that gets marked up in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas and then put on sale.
Linens and bedding. The white sale was a marketing strategy devised by John Wanamaker in 1878, and it was so successful that retailers still follow his lead today. Major department stores still discount their wares in January because that’s when they tend to do their annual inventory. And many catalogers often follow suit. For those who miss the January white sales, new linens come out seasonally, so there are always opportunities to get good deals on winter linens in the spring, and spring linens in the summer, and so on.
Winter coats. They go on sale starting in January. The longer you wait, the lower the prices — retailers will need to make room for spring clothing. But the longer you wait, the worse the selection will get.
Prom dresses. New styles show up in stores in January and February, and selection is the largest. The most popular styles typically sell out long before prom season, and shopping early also gives you plenty of time to have the dress altered.
Boats. The winter boat show season, starting in January, is when dealers offer their best prices.
Houses. January is one of the best months to buy a house because sellers are especially eager and there are fewer buyers. That’s especially true this year for two reasons: 1) Home prices are creeping up in most markets; and 2) Mortgage interest rates are low, low, low. So why wait? Home prices and interest rates are only going up.