Spending

5 of the best deals you can get at Target and similar stores after Christmas

Twenty/20

Holiday decor is an obvious after-Christmas bargain, with stores like Home Depot offering significant discounts on artificial trees and lights. But there are other great year-end sales to look out for, too, at stores like Target. Many of these sales actually start in the days before Christmas, says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com.

"As soon as they go live, they're worth checking out," Ramhold says. "While discounts will get better over time, the selection will also diminish."

Here are five items on which experts predict you can get a great deal between now and New Year's Eve:

Electronics

Two days after Christmas, according to data from Adobe, is a great time to buy small electronics and smart home devices. On December 27, its analysts expect that smart speakers like the Echo Dot and headphones will be at a peak discount of up to 27% off. Last year at Target, Beats Solo wireless headphones were discounted from $299.99 to $199.99.

Department store clearance sales

"Department stores, big-box stores, and home goods stores tend to throw these [sales] to capitalize on the foot traffic as people return gifts," says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert from Offers.com. "In past years, we've seen Macy's, Kohl's, Home Depot, and others participate."

In 2018, one-third of after-Christmas sales were on clothing and accessories, according to DealNews.com. For example, last year Kohl's was offering up to 70% off its clearance items from December 26 to 31, while Macy's offered 20% off clearance items.

Box set gifts

Box set gifts are prepackaged items stores sell as ready-to-gift presents, like a makeup kit or a collection of skin care items. For example, right now at Kohl's you can find celebrity fragrance sets for 25% off and at Target all "cosmetic, beauty and personal care" gift sets are 25% off.

"These items are less popular after the holidays, and they're often contained in sparkly holiday packaging that limits their shelf life to New Year's Eve at the latest," McGrath says. "Use them for your own self-care, or rewrap and regift them."

These items are less popular after the holidays, and they're often contained in sparkly holiday packaging that limits their shelf life to New Year's Eve at the latest.
Kristin McGrath
Shopping expert at Offers.com

Toys and games

Retailers will be clearing out all unsold toys, which means it is a great time to shop for upcoming birthdays or other gift-giving holidays. At Target, a set of 14 L.O.L. Surprise! dolls are discounted from $129.99 to $99. And at Kmart, toys like drawing easels and bicycles will be up to 70% off.

But don't expect to find deals on gaming consoles or video games. "These items usually get discounted for the gift-giving season and then return to their regular prices outside the holidays," McGrath says.

Candles

"Be on the lookout for anything pine or cranberry scented, as well as candles decorated with snowflakes and other winter or holiday motifs," McGrath says. Like gift sets, candles around the Christmas season tend to be holiday-themed or holiday-scented. That's why stores will be eager to get rid of them. At Bath & Body Works, three-wick candles are almost 40% off.

Some products you may want to hold off on purchasing until late January. For example, so-called white sales on bedding are more common over the long weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and at the end of January. And winter clothes will become more discounted as "stores start shifting to spring fashions in late January," McGrath says.

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