Looking for bargains after the holidays


This week is one of my favorite shopping times of the year.

It used to be that you could get great deals right after Christmas through the New Year’s weekend. But no more. That longtime sweet spot has become a frenzied blur of long return lines and people spending gift cards and money from their returns.

Right now, however, and you can fire a cannon down the aisle and not hit anybody at most retail stores. Whatever merchandise is left — and make no mistake, this is scavenger time because it’s harder to find what you might want — will be a much better deal. Retailers know the jig is up; anybody who was going to buy has bought already.

I’ve been asked before if January white sales are a deal. They are. Last year around this time, I bought new giant bath towels for $2.50 each and wash-clothes for 25 cents each. Wow!

In fact, I do most of my gift shopping for the upcoming year in January. Everything’s a steal: Wrapping paper, bows, gift bags and the gifts that go in them. Especially the “last minute” gifts that retailers are clearing out, like belts, ties and perfume. By January 10, those items could be up to 90 percent off!

There’s also another bargain opportunity beyond all the stuff on clearance right now: Costco is having its semiannual furniture event. With most furniture retailers, it’s all about the financing (“no down-payment, no payment, no interest for 3,000 years!”) But there’s a huge imbedded cost in that, not to mention the price of delivery. By contrast, nothing at Costco can ever be marked up more than 14 percent over their cost. You buy it, you take it, it’s yours.

So this week (and month, really) is the bargain time. There are no crowds and you can usually park close to the door. Get out there and shop!

Clark Deals
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