It's December, the malls are bustling and "Sale" signs are everywhere. Good time to grab the deals? Not so fast.
Savvy shoppers should realize that some items are actually a better deal after the holiday season.
BIG-NAME TVS AND ELECTRONICS: Sure electronics retailers have pulled out all the stops with doorbuster deals on big flat-screen TVs. But those are often second- or third-tier brands. If you're looking for top-brand TVs or TVs with extra features, the best time to buy is February or March, says Lindsay Sakraida, features director at DealNews.com. Why? Because generally new electronics models are introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show, in January. After that, last year's models go on sale.
The same holds true with other electronics, notably the expensive digital SLR cameras from companies like Nikon and Canon.
WINTER WEAR: Retailers have to clear out winter merchandise quickly after Christmas to get ready for the influx of spring clothes.
"Anything cold weather-related is certainly going to get dramatically reduced post-Christmas," says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group. That's true for footwear like boots, and coats, gloves and scarves. But Cohen says on most other clothing items, it may not pay to wait. Even though prices will be low, you'll be picking over remnants.
FURNITURE: Furniture makers release new models in February, so stores need to make room in advance. Thus January is an excellent time to get good discounts, Sakraida says.
FITNESS GEAR: With many Americans trying to stick to New Year's resolutions to get in shape and lose weight in January, fitness equipment and accessories makers slash prices to drive sales during their peak demand season.
CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS: You might not be thinking of stocking up on holiday decor just after the holiday ends, but that's the best time to do it, Sakraida says. Christmas decor is usually 75 percent off after Christmas.
— Associated Press