Cars, cookware and gift cards among best buys for December

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, but don’t think that you’ve missed out on all the deals.

“There are still some good buys that can be found in December,” says DeAnna Lucas, management consultant for the Parker Avery Group, an Atlanta-based boutique strategy management and consulting firm specializing in retail.

On the higher end, it is a good time to buy automobiles, she says. At the other end of the spectrum, expect to see holiday decorations marked as low as 75 percent off. Here are the details on these deals and more for this month:

Cars: Dealers will do anything they can to clear out last year’s models, Lucas says. And you can get an even better deal if you are willing to go with an off-beat color such as a metallic green. “Black and silver are popular colors, but if you are looking for something other than that, you can probably find a good deal,” she says. Bikes are also a good bet since most people are not shopping for bikes until the weather breaks in spring.

Winter gear and outerwear: Deals on these items have high availability in the Southern states, Lucas says. Spring seems far away, but it isn’t for retailers who tend to bring out new items two to three months in advance of the upcoming season. So they will offer discounts on outerwear such as coats, ski clothes and other winter gear starting around 25 percent in December, going up to 50 percent in January, Lucas says.

Cookware and small appliances: These are really big gift items, Lucas says. Stores know they are in competition with each other and will run sales of 25 to 50 percent off these items because they are so popular during the holiday season.

Tools: Like cookware, tools because they are often considered among the best holiday gifts for men. The best discounts on tools happen during Father’s Day and Christmas, Lucas says.

Gift cards: “People don’t think of these as being on sale because you think a $50 dollar gift card is $50 dollars,” Lucas says, “but some restaurants and retailers are offering incentives.” For example, if you buy one gift card at face value, you might get a free card with a lower dollar value or a percentage discount if you spend a certain amount on a gift card.

Holiday decorations: Dec. 26 is the time to stock up on holiday decorations whether ornaments for Christmas trees, cards or wrapping paper,” says Lucas noting that these items will run about 50 to 75 percent off. Buy a year in advance if you have a place to store these items and be sure to shop early, Lucas says. “These items run out quickly because everybody knows it is a prime time for those things.”

Are you shopping any of these categories this month? Let me know what deals you find!

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– Nedra Rhone, for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

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