After-Christmas shopping may yield the best bargains

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Experts say stores want to quickly clear their inventory

With millions of people receiving gift cards at Christmas, holiday shopping will continue after the big day. In fact, evidence suggests the week after Christmas might be the best time to make purchases.

Criteo, a marketing data company, says there's usually a spike in consumer electronics sales right after Christmas. Company vice president John Roswech says online data suggests consumers buy electronics at the same rate between Christmas and New Year's as they do on Black Friday.

Lindsay Sakraida, Director of Content Marketing with DealNews, a shopping information site, says consumers browsing for post-Christmas electronics bargains will find plenty of new Android and refurbished iPhones this year.

"Look for bundles that include choice freebies with the phone, or offers that slash the price of the monthly installment plan," Sakraida told ConsumerAffairs. "With the latter option, you'll end up saving up to $200 over the course of 24 months, making your new smartphone purchase more affordable in the long run."

Other price reductions in the electronics department will include camera kits from both Canon and Nikon for under $400, after rebates.

"Often these sets will include additional lenses, which can be expensive on their own. So if you want that flexibility, it's a good way to save," Sakraida said.

Seasonal items may carry the biggest discounts

But patient consumers can save on more than just electronics. The more seasonal and "giftable" a product is, the more likely it is to be marked down after Christmas.

If a store has stocked up on a particular item, anticipating it will be a popular gift, it is more likely to be willing to cut the price on remaining stock to move it off shelves once Christmas has passed.

"Clothing — specifically fall and winter clothing — will see excellent discounts next week," Sakraida predicts. "In fact, many clothing retailers will offer their strongest discounts of the year, some even matching their Black Friday coupons."

Deals on video games and holiday decor

There may also be some attractive deals on popular video games. Again, stores may have stocked up in advance of the holidays and have a number of unsold games.

"At this point, many of this year's titles are close to a year old, and even if they were released in the fall, the big push to buy this giftable item will have passed," Sakraida said. "Expect stronger discounts on video games released earlier in the year, but newer titles could still be marked down by as much as 50 percent."

Consumers may also find deals next week on products that aren't necessarily holiday gifts. For example, Sakraida predicts strong sales for exercise equipment. If you're looking for a good buy on a treadmill, she expects Amazon will mark down fitness equipment and accessories by as much as 40 percent.

The week after Christmas is also the time to purchase wrapping paper and decorations for next year.

"You can score a ton of Christmas decor for half off or better, which makes this a particularly good time to buy a new artificial tree or other big purchases like an inflatable lawn item," Sakraida said.

Black Friday may have a few spectacular deals, but Sakraida says the week between Christmas and New Year's Day usually brings a greater number of bargains as stores try to clear their inventory.

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