The holiday season is finally here, and if you haven’t already bought all of your holiday gifts, shame on you. Black Friday is over, and with it went a whole bunch of awesome deals, deep discounts, and buy one, get one free schemes to make every holiday shopper happy. If you missed out on it, tough luck.
While most stores slowly move away from holiday sales, there are a few in-demand items you can still pick up for a song. Unfortunately, there also some popular gifts that are back up to regular retail prices…or higher.
These are the six best and worst purchases you can make this month. Some of them are obvious, while others might take you by surprise. One thing’s for sure: if you waited this long to go holiday shopping, you probably won’t do the same next year when you see some of these prices.
Good Buy: Toys
Discounts on toys aren’t as steep as they were on Black Friday, but they’re still pretty great. Places like Toys R Us, Target, and Walmart are all offering impressive markdowns right now on toys for parents who forgot to shop last month. Just get in when the getting’s good; those markdowns disappear the week of Christmas.
Good Buy: Gift Cards
Gift cards are the best way of saying “you’re complicated to buy gifts for, so here’s some money for a store you like.” For the next week or two, buying a gift card for a particular store (and not on those gift card racks at the supermarket) can land you an extra gift card of equal or lesser value. That’s basically free money for the recipient, but they don’t have to know you spent less on them, now do they?
Good Buy : DVDs and Blu-Rays
Yes, people still buy physical copies of movies. On Black Friday, some of the biggest movies of the year were discounted to $5 or less. While you won’t find those crazy discounts now, you definitely won’t have to pay full price for, say, that copy of Deadpool you wanted to get your kid brother.
Bad Buy: Electronics
Did you miss all the electronics deals on Black Friday? Too bad. You won’t find steep discounts on TVs, computers, and video game systems until after the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Until then, have fun paying full price for that giant 4K HDR TV.
Bad Buy: Gym Memberships
People have a month left to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions or get a jump on next year’s resolutions. Gym memberships know that better than anyone, and they make a killing off memberships from now until early spring. If you want to sign up for a gym now, get ready to pay that commitment fee, sign-up fee, and anything else they throw at you.
Bad Buy: Jewelry
Planning on a proposal or a jaw-dropping holiday present? You should’ve bought it earlier in the year. Jewelers know that you want to give the love of your life that last-minutes something, and they’re not going to haggle with you on the price one bit.
If you want to buy electronics, consider doing so online during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If you want to join a gym, many gyms have Black Friday deals, but they also have promotions during the summer when sign-ups are low. Jewelers see less foot traffic in their stores during July and August, so if you’re going to buy an engagement ring or holiday present, do it well in advance.
Just do yourself a favor next year: don’t wait until the last minute. Or else.
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