Why it pays to shop right after the holidays

Two women are looking through clothes in a local shop.

Image source: Getty Images

It’s a tactic that could really pay off.

Key points

  • Many people buy a lot in December and cut back in January.
  • However, loading articles this month might help.
  • Some retailers launch sales in January to unload excess inventory left over from the holidays.

If you spent most of December running around the store and spending hours browsing Amazon to check gifts off your list, then the last thing you might want to do in January is shop online or set foot in a mall. Also, if you racked up a huge credit card bill last month, you may want to ease up on your purchases this month.

But if you’ve got some wiggle room in your finances and aren’t completely suffering from retail fatigue, then it could be worth your while to do your shopping in January. Here’s why.

It’s all about making a deal

You’ll often hear that the best deals to be found tend to fall during the holidays — especially during big shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. But this is not always the case.

You’ll usually notice that retailers will offer the biggest discounts on products right after the holidays. Reason? They have excess inventory that they want to offload.

When you think about it, getting great deals on products really comes down to supply and demand. During the holiday season, demand tends to be strong as consumers have gifts to buy. Also, many people end up with year-end bonuses that they are eager to spend rather than save. It can also lead to high demand.

Meanwhile, in January, demand for goods tends to decline. The holidays are over and many people, unfortunately, start the year with residual holiday debt. And that makes it a great time to hit the stores and get the things you need or even want (assuming money isn’t an issue).

What things should you buy in January?

Money may be less than you’d like it to be these days due to factors such as inflation and recent vacation expenses. If this is the case, any purchases you make in January should be limited to necessities.

Has your toaster oven recently shut down? It’s a good item to swap out this month, especially if you can find one on sale. Are your favorite sneakers starting to show major signs of wear? You need good shoes to avoid injury if you do a lot of walking and exercise, so now could be a great time to replace them. But if you’re short on funds, stick to the necessities and save your wants for another time—even if that means giving up some bargains.

On the other hand, if money is not an issue, now is a good time to pick up some items on your wish list that you may not have bought before. You may have received a huge raise to start 2023, giving you more options to spend your money. Or maybe you got a year-end bonus last month that you haven’t dipped into yet. In that case, you can have a little more fun with your January shopping. Just do your best to stay out of debt.

Overall, January can be a good time to buy things at a discount. And as long as you shop wisely, you could find yourself in a great position to enjoy some serious bargains.

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