What Not to Buy for Valentine's Day
If you haven't already bought Valentine's Day gifts for your loved ones, take note: There are several items you should avoid buying if you value getting a good deal. Granted, it's difficult letting price dictate Valentine's Day purchases if your sweetie is expecting something particular. But you can get these four things for much less when retailers dramatically slash prices on them after February 14.
SEE ALSO: Best Buys of Winter
Chocolate. You can find affordable boxes of chocolate. But if your significant other won't settle for anything less than the best, you'll be better off surprising him or her with a special treat in March. Those boxes of chocolates that didn’t get snapped up for Valentine’s Day will be marked down by as much as 50% in March, according to dealnews.com, and you’ll find the best deals at high-end chocolate shops. Dealnews.com recommends looking at stores such as Godiva and the gift section of department stores for decadent ways to treat your loved one on a budget.
Jewelry. You might see a few retailers offering modest discounts on jewelry before Valentine's Day. But if you wait a week or two after February 14, you'll see jewelry at many stores marked down as much as 80%, says Offers.com savings expert Amber Sager.
Perfume. Perfume sales tend to peak around Valentine’s Day (and Christmas). So retailers tend to discount perfume heavily after these holidays have passed. Luke Knowles, creator of FreeShipping.org, says consumers can expect prices to be slashed by as much as 50% in March, with the best sales at Web sites dedicated to perfume.
Roses. Prices for red roses are notoriously high on Valentine's Day. The markup can be attributed to demand. More labor is needed to harvest such a massive number or roses and more cargo space is needed to ship them, according to Bankrate.com. And those extra costs are passed on to the consumer. 1800Flowers.com, for example, is charging $50 for a dozen roses. It'll cost you another $10 for a basic vase, $15 for delivery plus a $5 surcharge to guarantee delivery on Valentine's Day. Throw in tax and you're looking at paying about $7 per rose.
How to Get Deals on Valentine's Gifts
Okay, so we've just told you not to buy the most popular Valentine's gifts because you'll pay a premium for them. What now? There are ways to avoid paying the full retail price for some of these items, or you could consider alternatives that actually are on sale now.
Look for coupons. You may be able to find department store coupons that can be used storewide, so they may help you get a discount on chocolate, jewelry and perfume. For jewelry, in particular, dealnews.com recommends looking for coupons for lower-cost jewelry sites such as Ice.com, Limoges Jewelry, Netaya and Ross-Simons. And several of the major online florists, such as 1800Flowers.com and ProFlowers.com, have promotional codes for 20% off or more. You can find coupon codes at sites such as Offers.com and RetailMeNot.com.
Shop around. Rather than just heading to the mall in hopes of finding a decent price on jewelry or perfume, compare prices online at PriceGrabber.com or several stores' sites to find the lowest price on the specific item you want to buy. For flowers, you might find that local florists offer lower prices than online florists -- even those with coupons -- so compare prices before placing an order. This is especially true if you pick up the flowers from a local florist rather than paying extra for delivery. (See How to Get the Best Price on Valentine's Roses.)
Give a gift card. Unless you know what type of perfume your sweetie wears or the specific piece of jewelry she wants, you'll probably be better off giving her a gift card so she can get exactly what she wants ... when the price is much lower after Valentine's Day. And to get even more bang for your buck you can find discounted gift cards at sites such as Gift Card Granny.
Consider alternatives. Rather than spring for pricey red roses, opt for an orchid or other potted flower that will cost less and last longer. Although not as romantic as jewelry or perfume, a nice winter coat for evenings on the town could make a great gift -- especially considering that you'll get a great deal on one now. Retailers are marking down outerwear and cold-weather clothing an extra 30% to 60% on top of clearance prices that already are 70% off original prices, according to dealnews.com. You'll also find great deals on televisions for cozy nights at home watching your favorite movies. See 6 Great TVs at Great Prices and Best and Worst Buys of February for more things you can get for a good price this month.