Just in time for the holidays, you’ll see deals this month on toys, Blu-ray movies and other potential gifts:
Bikes: December, not spring or summer months, is actually the best time to find these deals, says Lindsay Sakraida, features director at DealNews.com. More discounts become available this month from such stores as J.C. Penney and Walmart than the rest of the year combined. And sometimes the coupons even apply to outlet stores.
“We saw some really good sales” from performance bike companies last year, Sakraida says. “Ourdoorsy retailers like [Bike] Nashbar and REI had some good sales on bikes in December as well.”
Blu-ray movies: If you shopped Black Friday, you saw selections for as low as $4.99, and Sakraida says you’ll continue to see “just crazy good deals on those. It’s such an easy thing to get for people or to have on hand. It’s one of those good things to stock up on.”
Dan Butler, vice president of merchandising and retail operations for the National Retail Federation, says low Blu-ray prices are an easy way to get shoppers’ attention.
“You’ll have a lot of retailers during special seasons featuring loss leaders — they’re just to help drive traffic into the store,” Butler says.
Kitchen items: Although Sakraida says there’s a slight drop-off in cookware deals from November to December, the prices are still significantly better than the rest of the year.
One kitchen appliance on sale almost everywhere this season is the single-serving coffee maker. Macy’s, for example, was offering 30 percent off all its Keurig models last week.
“What happens in any category is there are new items that drive sales,” Butler says. He notes that as businesses started using single-serve coffee makers, employees became accustomed to using them at work, which has inspired people to buy them for personal use. It’s a little more expensive per serving, Butler says, but there’s less waste.
“Sometimes you want to make a pot, but sometimes you just want a cup. A lot of people find the convenience of it very useful.”
As seen on TV: Butler says another trend during the holidays is the “as seen on TV” displays, profitable for retailers because customers are already familiar with a product after watching infomercials at night.
“As a retailer, even though I didn’t pay for that ad, I’ll have sales on those particular items,” Butler says. “They make it very visible because they’re well-known and desired products, so you’ll see a lot of great buys on those types of products.”
Toys: You’ll only have to wait a few more days for some toys to hit rock-bottom prices, according to research from DealNews.
“Most of them hit in the two-week mark before Christmas,” Sakraida says.
Also keep an eye on: Tools and hardware, cosmetics, free gifts with purchase, fragrances, desktop computers, Christmas decorations (after Dec. 25).
Worst things to buy: Jewelry, watches.
What’s on your list this month?
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter