For the next two months, we’re likely to see quite a few “sale” signs and advertisements. But are those winter sales really “sales?”
Winter is a slow time for retailers. Most consumers are shopped out from the holidays. Many are still paying the debt they accumulated on their credit cards. Also, winter does not inspire us to go visiting shopping malls. We are more apt to go to the movies, the ice-skating rink or cuddle up at home in front of the TV with a steaming hot cup of chocolate.
Retailers know this. They bring out all their best marketing strategies to lure you into the store and to the checkout counter. Their job is to get you to buy. Your job is to protect your budget. You need a strategy that includes a maximum dose of self-restraint. Plus, you need to be savvy about retail strategies.
Retailers Have Strategies to Get You to Buy
Do you need the item that is on sale? One retailer strategy that can trip up your budget is the “buy one, get one free” sale. We can be easily lured into buying something we don’t really need because we get an extra one for no money at all! Free stuff—who doesn’t love that? If it is a really steep price deduction, we might think that it would be a tragedy not to buy it even if we don’t need it.
Don’t allow the retailers to make you feel you have no time to think about the sale. Those in-store or online only specials, that last only a few hours are designed to make you believe that you will miss out on something amazing if you don’t buy now.
Retailers can also make you feel like you are passing up a chance to save money. They don’t focus on your budget, of course. Your job is to make sure you need it, that the sale price can’t be beaten anywhere else and that you can afford it.
Tips to Make the Best of Winter Sales
Stores tend to mark down items roughly six to eight weeks after they have been on the shelf or rack. So, just be patient. Even if you see items on sale, don’t buy right away, unless the stock is limited. Wait a few days. You will see the sale price will go down even more.
If you can swing it, go shopping on a weekday, especially Thursday. On Thursdays, the stores are already organizing their sales racks. You won’t have so much competition and the supply will be much better.
What Should You Be Buying in the Winter?
With all the above in mind, here are some tips on what purchases you should make during the winter months. You still have some shopping days left in January. You will find good winter sales on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is next week, January 21.
Linens and Beddings
Department stores run very good sales on linens and other beddings, including towels. You can snag sales prices as much as 75% off at major department stores like Nordstrom or Home Depot.
If you are still looking for the perfect fitness equipment for your home gym, in pursuit of your New Year’s resolution to get in shape, the winter sales in January on fitness equipment are worth taking advantage of.
TVs and Electronics
Television and other electronics typically go on sale toward the end of the month of January, particularly just before the Super Bowl. TV winter sales continue into February, and in fact other than Black Friday or Cyber Monday, January and February are the best months to take advantage of winter sales on televisions.
Presidents Day sales are a good opportunity to buy winter clothing that you still need. Retailers are anxious to move out the old and bring in the 2019 summer stock. The best winter sales are going to be on coats, which take up a lot of space that retailers would prefer to use to begin displaying summer attire.
Winter is also a great time to purchase holiday decorations, special dishes, and other accessories. Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart typically offer as much as 85% off holiday-themed items. Buying now will go a long way toward reducing your 2019 holiday budget.