The Next Rush
The Sale To Beat The Last Sale
Starts Dec. 26
Post-holiday sales begin as soon as humanly possible
By Brian M. Rafferty
I still remember the jingle 27 years after I first heard it. I was 10 years old and on vacation by myself, visiting my aunt in Miami. I had flown down on my own the day after Christmas, as would be there through Jan. 3.
I have vague recollections of Parrot Jungle, learning to ride a 10-speed, the stacks of cases of beer in my uncle’s den, my older cousin Kathy’s college-age friends.
But the thing that has stood out more in my mind over the years was the Sears ad. The catchy jingle played over and over again, during every commercial break, on every radio station and even in my sleep: “Almost everything you wanted, but didn’t get for Christmas, is on sale now at Sears!”
I can still picture the dancers, the lightning-fast flashes of products, the way the word “almost” starts slow, like a record player getting up to speed, then spinning out of control as the tempo picks up by the end of the tune.
Years have passed, and I have come to learn one very important lesson – the jingle was right. Almost everything you wanted, but didn’t get for Christmas really is on sale at Sears – and every other retailer across the country.
Yes, you’ve been through the holiday wringer, and you know that the stores are going to be just as mobbed as they were before the holiday with people standing in line to return the gifts that somebody else stood in line to purchase just a week earlier.
Oh, but the sales are dramatic. If you’re looking to get a jumpstart on next year’s season (or just don’t want to pay full price for essentially the same merchandise 11 months from now), this is your chance to make a real leap forward.
Wrap It Up
Stores that specialize in party supplies, like Party City, often are great resources for holiday wrapping paper, but once the holidays have come and gone, they need to trim inventory fast to make way for Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, so the knock as much as 85 percent off the cost of some premium wrapping paper.
That is your chance to move in and stock up on paper, ribbon, gift cards and more. Let’s face it, most of your wrapping paper is ancient anyway, so what difference will it make when your 2007 presents are wrapped in 2006 paper?
From ornaments to gifts with a holiday theme to stockings and stocking stuffers, there’s a whole lot of inventory at discount stores like Target, Kohl’s, Kmart and TJ Maxx, and just like the paper goods, they need to be gone.
Take advantage of this. Light sets, figurines, stuffed animals, and trinkets of all shapes and sizes can be found with incredible mark-downs, but you had better move fast. The selection starts off great, but all the lunatics who actually go out on Dec. 26 first thing in the morning aren’t all that crazy – though many of them are returning bad sweaters and shirts that are three sizes too small, many of them are headed straight for the discount racks, so time is of the essence.
All The Rest
It’s not just the items that follow the holiday theme that turn into great deals Dec. 26, but it is also the great gifts that all the stores over-buy, and need to get out of their inventory for the spring lines ASAP. The sales may not be as dramatic, but you’re still going to find great markdowns of 25 to 60 percent on certain everyday items like clothing, tools and personal hygiene items.
Don’t look for a dramatic drop in the price of electronics after the holidays. Most items like TVs, computers, digital cameras, DVD players and gaming systems have such little mark-up that they never really drop in price until they’ve been rendered obsolete by advancing technology. For those deals on last year’s electronics at cut-rate prices, try the discount stores like BJ’s or Costco around the end of February – that’s when they get the most recent leftover electronics items at prices that beat the holiday sales.