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Slide Show | November 2013

12 Things Not to Buy During the Holidays

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The deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, not to mention discounts throughout November and December, are tempting. But some potentially pricey items that may be on a family member’s holiday wish list -- or that you may be thinking of buying for yourself -- are even cheaper if you wait. Here are 12 items you can score better deals on before or after the holidays.


12 Things Not to Buy During the Holidays

Brand-Name Big-Screen HDTVs

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Yes, you'll find plenty of deals on off-brand HDTVs on Black Friday. But for the best prices on brand-name big-screen HDTVs (55 inches and up), you need to wait until a week or so before the Super Bowl, generally in late January or February, according to dealnews.com. Expect to see prices on 55-inch brand-name LCD HDTVs 10% lower than Black Friday prices. Sales are widespread because electronics retailers are competing to get consumers who are looking to upgrade their TVs before the Super Bowl into their stores.

Brand-Name Big-Screen HDTVs

Furniture

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You might be thinking about sprucing up the living or dining room before guests arrive for the holidays, but you'll get much better deals on a sofa or table and chairs after Christmas. Furniture stores have clearance sales in January to clear out inventory before new styles are released in February. Many stores offer 0% financing along with discounts of up to 60%, says Brett Billick, senior director of Deals2Buy.com. Because new models often are released in August, too, July is another good month to get deals on furniture.

Furniture

Skis

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You may want a new set of skis in time for a holiday ski trip, but the best deals are in March and April, as the ski season winds down and stores discount models from the past winter, says Stephen Regenold, editor of GearJunkie.com.

Skis

Bicycles

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The best time to get a deal on a bike is before the holidays. New models of bicycles arrive in the fall, so you can find discounts of about 25% on the previous year’s models in September, says Luke Knowles, founder of FreeShipping.org. Usually bicycles don’t undergo a major redesign every year, according to Bicycling magazine, so you’ll be getting a good deal by buying the previous year’s model if the new model hasn’t been changed much.

Bicycles

Cars

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Forget the notion of waking up on Christmas morning to find a new car in the driveway. Instead, think New Year’s Eve (during business hours, of course) to get the best deal. Car dealers are in the mood to haggle and clear their inventory before year-end to make room for new models and earn manufacturer incentives. Looking for a used car? Hold off until April for the best deals. It’s the month dealers tend to buy the most at auction, giving you the best selection.

Cars

Caribbean Cruises

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A Caribbean cruise during the holidays might seem tempting. But travelers can sometimes save hundreds of dollars per person by booking a Caribbean cruise that sets sail in the spring rather than the peak winter and summer seasons, says Colleen McDaniel, managing editor of Cruise Critic. Plus, you don’t face the threat of hurricanes if you take a cruise in April or May rather than during the Caribbean’s other low season, fall. You can score some of the best cruise deals if you book at the last minute -- just don't expect the really cheap tickets to get you a stateroom with a view.

Caribbean Cruises

Luggage

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If you need to replace a beat-up roll-on that’s been tossed around too many times by airline baggage handlers, March is the best time to buy. Retailers mark down luggage because sales have slowed after the busy holiday travel season and haven’t picked up yet for summer travel, says Brett Billick, senior director of Deals2Buy.com. Look for discounts ranging from 20% to 70%.

Luggage

Jewelry

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A new piece of jewelry ranks high on many holiday wish lists. But high demand often means higher prices, so you may want to give your sweetheart a rain check and wait until after Valentine's Day to buy that pearl necklace or those diamond earrings, says Howard Schaffer, vice president of Offers.com.You'll find much better sales then than the meager markdowns that might appear around the holidays.

Jewelry

Linens

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Wait for January "white sales" before buying sheets, blankets, towels and the like. The tradition of department stores discounting linens in January started back in the 19th century. Now those sales have come to include all sorts of bed and bath products. Expect discounts ranging from 20% to 75%, according to dealnews.com.

Linens

Perfume

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Perfume sales tend to peak around Christmas and Valentine’s Day. So retailers tend to discount perfume heavily after these holidays have passed. Knowles says consumers can expect prices to be slashed by as much as 50%, with the best sales at Web sites dedicated to perfume.

Perfume

Suits

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Maybe you want a new suit for a holiday gala or something to freshen up your closet for the New Year. It’s worth waiting until January, when spring collections hit stores and fall and winter suits go on sale. The same cycle happens in July, when the fall collections arrive and retailers discount spring suits.

Suits

Broadway Tickets

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You can get two tickets for the price of one to several popular shows during Broadway Week in January, which actually lasts two weeks. Some shows even offer the discount for up to four weeks, says Erich Jungwirth, chief operating officer of the Lyric Theatre (formerly Foxwoods Theatre), home to Spider Man Turn Off the Dark. January and February are good months, in general, to see Broadway shows because it’s off-season and ticket prices tend to drop.

Broadway Tickets

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