Shopping is a big part of the holiday season, but it doesn't all end on December 25th.
According to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, 70% of Americans include the day after Christmas in their shopping plans. That's in keeping with the usual trends but may spike higher this year since December 26th is a Monday, and most people are excused from work.
Commonly known as “Exchange Day” by retailers, the sales that are held on the day after Christmas let you stock up on wrapping paper, Christmas decorations, and all the other goodies you wanted, but at a much lower price.
Retailers know people are looking to exchange their unwanted and wrong-sized Christmas gifts before they forget, and they tempt consumers to spend while they are at it.
Here are some simple steps to make the most of these superb day-after-Christmas sales.
1. Browse The Christmas Aisles & Big Box Stores
Many of the big box retailers have to unload all of the Christmas stuff they didn't sell. This includes:
- Christmas Decorations
- Christmas Gift Wrapping & Packaging
- Christmas Themed Candy & Foods
- Anything else that is Christmas themed!
Seek out the special aisles (typically in the back or sides of the store) the retailer has set up with leftover Christmas stuff at a discounted rate. While the rate may vary, some items are marked 25% off and sometimes 50% off.
Stores also look to entice shoppers to grab a few other things. Clothing, appliances, and electronics are often sold at discounted rates – sometimes even lower than before Christmas – with special incentives.
What to Shop For:
Not everything will be on sale. Just because you are out shopping the day after Christmas doesn't mean your groceries or hand towels will be on sale. Obviously, holiday-themed items are on sale and will continue to be reduced each day from the day after Christmas all the way up to the New Year.
Bearing that in mind, look for the following:
- The aforementioned Christmas-themed items (get next year's wrapping paper and tinsel for pennies on the dollar).
- Winter items like jackets, boots, sweaters
- Home decor
- Gift-like items (colognes, toiletry sets, etc.)
Pro Shopper Tip: Ask for the actual receipt from family members instead of a gift receipt. You will get more back when you return the item. Another option is to ask for gift cards instead of actual gifts if you have family members who always give you clothes.
2. Use Apps for Bigger Savings
The best way to take advantage of shopping deals is in person, down the discount aisles. That being said, if you are not one for crowds, or are worried about the latest COVID numbers, then you can check out apps to see what kind of deals are out there too.
Rakuten is a popular retail shopping app. Users earn points that they can redeem for cash back after they spend money shopping. Rakuten has partnerships with over 2,500 online retailers and stores, making it the perfect place to go the day after Christmas to find sales.
Rakuten features coupons, deals, promotions, and of course, cashback for your purchasing. Since its inception in 1997, Rakuten has paid out over $800 million in cashback. Obviously, you have to spend money to earn it back, so why not get a little cashback if you plan on spending already?
From group vacation deals to dining, Groupon has everything to offer, including online shopping deals. This is a great app or shopping website to consider for your day-after-Christmas shopping shenanigans.
Whether you are looking for a discounted oil change or even scrambling to get a gift for someone you haven't seen yet, Groupon is a great place to start. Some cool features Groupon offers include:
- Deal of the day
- Support local businesses with their shop local tab
- Unique offers in dining, travel, and service
Unlike Rakuten (which focuses on retail bargains), Ibotta is ideal for groceries and everyday shopping. Still, the popular cashback app can offer someday after Christmas sales if you browse the right sections.
Make sure you scan your receipts after you shop or use the Ibotta app to check out when you go to pay. Doing this will help you earn rewards (which means cashback). You can also shop with Amazon through Ibotta!
3. Use The Week After Christmas Method
The pressure is on for retailers in the last week of December. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, they are desperate to unload the leftover Christmas excess to find more floor space for their boxed chocolate displays. The week after the day after Christmas is when you can really save some money.
This is when the somewhat ransacked Christmas aisles become littered with 75% off signs and “Buy One Get One Free” promotions. Whether you are looking to scoop up a new Christmas tree or grab some more wrapping paper – now is your time!
Lastly, one of the best Christmas savings tips is to do your Christmas shopping the day after Christmas or subsequent days after. If you are super organized, the days after Christmas are some of the best opportunities to score gift-like items for people.
For example, last year, I bought some items for my step-siblings that I knew they would enjoy this year for Christmas!
Side Hustle Idea: If you are a hustler and like to sell things online, you can flip items you buy at a discounted rate. Things like winter wear and fake Christmas trees offer great resale value, and if you can, hold on.
The day after Christmas usually starts with sleeping in, followed by a trip to a local strip mall or retail center near you.
With the increase in online shopping, perhaps the best bet is to look online. But if you want to find a fake Christmas tree for 50% off or household Christmas decorations for pennies on the dollar, then December 26th is your date to get some sweet sales.
Just be sure you have a list, don't spend recklessly, and also keep this one last point in mind:
Make sure you have adequate storage! Fifty rolls of wrapping paper and ten fake Christmas trees can take up quite a bit of space for the next eleven months.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $200,000 in student loans with his wife in less than four years, has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan.