The holiday season accounts for far more shopping in America than any other time of year. Between November and December, the National Retail Federation predicts that American spending will shatter previous records. The forecast for holiday sales projects an increase between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion (excluding cars, gas, and restaurants).
With more people spending to buy those perfect gifts, money is flowing this holiday. So it’s essential to know the best things to buy in December!
As a rule of thumb, buying cars late in any month will save you money since dealerships and salespeople usually have quotas that they’re eager to hit. Shopping late in the month gives you some leverage – shopping late in the year gives you even more. Despite the increased cost and demand for new cars this year, it’s still one of the best things to buy in December. Dealerships will be offering holiday deals, and salespeople will be trying to clear the lot and sell as much inventory as they can before January. For the average consumer, that means a chance for significant savings on a new ride.
2. Tech and Electronics
Not all tech deals are equal, particularly this time of year. Items like phones, tablets, and smartwatches will all be discounted, for instance. Most brands have rolled out new models, knocking down the prices on previous generations, and retailers will offer holiday discounts. Larger items, like television or laptops, are probably best suited for Super Bowl or Black Friday deals, respectively.
3. Gift Cards
Gift cards are consistently some of the most popular holiday gifts and usually some of the most steeply discounted. Many stores, brands, and restaurants offer discounts on gift cards in December because they know how popular they are as gifts. But that also makes gift cards one of the best things to buy in December for yourself or anyone else. If you’re in a pinch for time, it might be wise to pick up a gift card for that special someone, especially with this year’s supply chain crisis. You just might not get that Amazon Echo in time!
Discounts vary from brand to brand, but WalletHub put together a helpful list showing the average discount on various gift cards.
4. Fall Clothing
With cold winter weather here to stay in many parts of the country, retailers are rolling out their winter clothing lines. That switch means that summer and fall clothes are on sale. You won’t find deals on parkas or heavy sweaters, but you should be able to find some gems for your autumn wardrobe. Even though it may be too cold to wear what you buy now, you’ll be ready to go for next fall! For the absolute best deals, shop on December 26th. You’ll find the perfect balance of discounts without empty shelves.
The demand for toys is at its highest in December. However, retailers typically need to empty most of their holiday stock before the end of the year and start to get a bit antsy as the month drags on. The hottest toys of the year will either go out of stock or increase in price with this year’s pent-up demand and limited supply. But not to worry: if you’re flexible, there will be tons of discounted options for you to scour.
6. Holiday Decorations
As with any holiday during the year, the best time to buy decor comes immediately after the actual holiday passes. In the last week of the month, you’ll be able to find all the supplies you need to deck your halls next year at a fraction of the usual price (even a new artificial Christmas tree for 70% off!). The same goes for holiday food if you have a sweet tooth. Candy canes, eggnog, pies, and more can all be found cheap toward the end of the month.
Bottoms up! Whether it’s Veuve Clicquot if you’re feeling fancy, a cheaper Blanc de Blancs, or even a rosé champagne, sparkling wine is the drink of celebrations. More than 20 percent of all champagne sales in America happen in December, more than Valentine’s Day or summer wedding season. Although the demand is high, stores typically try to draw customers in with heavy discounts on champagne in the hopes that they’ll pick up another bottle (or four) that they weren’t planning to buy. You can even stock up ahead of December 31st for a fabulous New Year’s Eve. So, now that you know the secret, you can just cash in on discounted bubbly and turn your house into a champagne house!