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Slide Show | November 2014

14 Things Not to Buy During the Holidays

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The deals on Thanksgiving, Black Friday 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 14 items you can score better deals on after the holidays.


14 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. And if you’re willing to skip your Thanksgiving meal or get up before the crack of dawn and battle the crowds, you might score one of the limited quantities of deeply discounted quality TVs. But if you wait until a week or so before the Super Bowl, which takes place on February 1, 2015, you’ll see widespread sales on brand-name big-screen HDTVs, according to DealNews.com. Expect to see prices on 55-inch brand-name LCD HDTVs 10% lower than the best Black Friday deal.

Brand-Name Big-Screen HDTVs

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). 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

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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Cruising during the holidays can often mean more crowds and higher fares, says Colleen McDaniel, managing editor of Cruise Critic. By booking a cruise for January, February or March, you can take advantage of lower fares, avoid the holiday crowds and beat the spring break rush. The industry's “wave season” also takes place during that time, when cruise lines offer added discounts that may help you save even more on your trip, she says. 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

Exercise Equipment

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You might see a few sales on fitness gear and equipment in December, but January is when the real deals appear, says Mark LoCastro of DealNews.com. Retailers know that people usually resolve to lose weight in the New Year, so they tend to have sales on fitness equipment in January. Look for markdowns of 30% to 70% on fitness DVDs, treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes and complete home gyms, LoCastro says.

Exercise Equipment

Furniture

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If you need to spruce up the living or dining room before guests arrive for the holidays, don’t expect to find a good deal on a sofa or table and chairs before Christmas. Furniture stores rarely offer discounts during the holidays because they’ll soon 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 Mike Spankie, director of merchandising for Deals2Buy.com. Because new models often are released in August, too, July is another good month to get deals on furniture.

Furniture

Holiday Décor

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Resist the urge to buy new holiday decor before Christmas because you can get it at bottom-barrel prices in January, says Scott Kluth, CEO of CouponCabin.com. Retailers typically mark down ornaments, garlands, artificial trees and décor as much as 90% after December 25. If you don’t mind the red-and-green theme or chocolate shaped like a wreath, you can also load up on deeply discounted edible holiday treats in January.

Holiday Décor

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. You can save 15% to 25% on jewelry during post-Valentine’s Day sales, says Howard Schaffer, vice president of Offers.com.

Jewelry

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 Spankie of Deals2Buy.com. Look for discounts ranging from 20% to 70%.

Luggage

Mattresses

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You probably don’t expect Santa to shove a mattress down your chimney. But if you were thinking about giving your holiday guests something more comfortable than a futon to sleep on, you might want to reconsider buying a mattress during November or December. You’ll save as much as 70% by waiting until Memorial Day sales in May to buy a mattress, Schaffer says. In the meantime, promise your guests a plush mattress next year, and give them a few more drinks with dinner so they don’t mind sleeping on the couch this year.

Mattresses

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. FreeShipping.org founder Luke Knowles says consumers can expect prices to be slashed by as much as 50% in late February and March, with the best sales at Web sites dedicated to perfume.

Perfume

Tools

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Tools typically are discounted during Black Friday sales. But wait to buy your dad a new drill, wrench set or tool chest for Father’s Day instead. You’ll save 5% to 15% more on tools in June when retailers have sales on gifts for dads, Schaffer of Offers.com says.

Tools

Winter Apparel

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Retailers will offer discounts on coats, sweaters and other cold-weather clothing during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. However, the deals will be even better in January when stores have clearance sales on winter apparel to make room for spring clothing. Kluth says you can expect to see markdowns of at least 75%.

Winter Apparel

Winter Sports Equipment

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Hold off on gifts for winter sports enthusiasts until the New Year. Snowboards, skis, ice skates, goggles, hockey gear and more will be marked down at least 10% to 20% in January, says LoCastro of DealNews.com. If you can wait a bit longer, expect even deeper discounts during clearance sales in February and March, he adds.

Winter Sports Equipment

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