10 Things You Should Never Buy in December

Mall during winter holiday.

The holiday shopping season is upon us and there are sales and great deals everywhere we turn. It can be overwhelming. And even though we’re supposed to be shopping for other people, if we see a great deal on something we need or want anyway it can be tempting to give in. But there are a few things that aren’t worth the “deal” you may receive in December; you’ll do better to wait.


Blankets, sheets, and pillows usually look like great deals on Black Friday or over the holiday season, but you can save more if you wait until January. Many stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Overstock have white sales in January and put all their bedding, towels, and other linens on sale. On average you can save as much as 50 percent, sometimes more, by waiting until January.


New bling always makes a great holiday gift, but December is not the time to buy. Just after the holidays and in the week or two before Valentine’s Day you’ll find the biggest sales.


If you didn’t book it in the first week of December, wait until after the holidays. Cruise packages are at their lowest for the first few days of the month, but then the prices double, or even triple, the closer you get to the holidays. If you want to go somewhere warm over the winter, wait until January to book your trip.


Equipment Black Friday and holiday deals may look good for expensive exercise equipment, but the prices are at their absolute lowest in the beginning of January when everyone is thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. If you want a new treadmill, wait until the first week of January.


Need a new laptop? If you can, wait until the summer. You’ll find some sales over the holidays, but the best deals will be late spring to mid-summer during the back-to-school season. By waiting a few months you can save anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent.

Winter Clothes

Many retailers are offering great deals for gift giving, but if you can wait a little longer all those things you want will be on clearance. When the spring and summer clothes start to appear, all the winter clothes will be marked down as much as 70 percent off.

New Car

If you’re in the market for a new car, the best day to negotiate the best price is New Year’s Eve. Why? Dealers have monthly, quarterly, and yearly sales goal to meet and all those goals come together at the end of December. You’ll find dealers are in more of a negotiating mood when they have a goal they need to meet quickly.

Christmas Decorations

It may seem strange to avoid buying Christmas decorations near Christmas, but that’s when they are most expensive. If you can wait until anytime between December 26th and early January you’ll find all those decorations on sale for 50 percent to 70 percent off. Then just store them away for next year.


If you’re in the market for a new bed, you’re better off waiting until Memorial Day weekend when you’ll find even deeper discounts than the holiday season. Labor Day weekend is a close second, with deals almost as good as Memorial Day.

Final Sale Items

While the prices may be great, you won’t be able to return or exchange it if it doesn’t quite fit. If you’re shopping for a gift, this is probably not the best option.

There are plenty of sales that are worth it in December, but avoid these ten items if you can. You’ll find a better bargain at another time.

Worried about next year's budget? Let one of our certified financial counselors help you build a budget that meets your goals. Counseling is free, confidential, and available online and over the phone 24/7.

Tagged in Smart shopping, Reducing expenses, Psychology and money

Emilie writes about overcoming debt, while balancing trying to eat healthy, stay fit, and have a little fun along the way. You can find more of her work at BurkeDoes.com.

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