Don't Waste Your Money: What to buy and not buy in December

(Toledo News Now) - If you still haven't finished your holiday shopping you still have time. In fact, some of the smartest shoppers this time of year are deliberately waiting to make their big purchases so they can shop the deals.

December and shopping go hand in hand.  

Now that we're in the final weeks before Christmas, shoppers are packing the mall at every opportunity, and grabbing those gifts we didn't get on Black Friday.

But despite all the hype about 24-hour sales, weekend doorbusters, and current "friends and family sales," Deal News warns not all items are on sale. In fact, it says some items are actually more expensive than they were last month, or next.

What To Buy In December

Deal News says December is a great time to buy:

-Any product with a gift card thrown in as a bonus, such as an iPad 2 or iPod touch with a $50 store gift card added. While almost every company offered these on Black Friday, now you have to hunt for them. L.L. Bean is one such store, offering a free $10 gift card if you buy $50 worth of merchandise.

-Tools and Hardware. Stores like Lowe's, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware typically see some of their slowest sales during December. Everyone has finished their home improvements for the year, and unless there is a snowstorm, which brings out the shovel and salt crowd, business is slow. So tools are on sale.

-Kitchen Goods, with lots of sales at Macy's, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, along with other retailers.

-Name-Brand HDTVs. The off-brands all had big markdowns on Black Friday. Now the name brands get marked down, especially if they are 2012 models the stores want to clear out. 

-2012 Cars and Trucks. No explanation needed.

What Not to Buy

However, Deal News says early to mid-December is not the best time to buy:

-Jewelry. Everyone wants to buy jewelry for their loved one for Christmas. As a result, the biggest markdowns start the day AFTER Christmas on jewelry.

-Christmas decorations. Wait until the day after Christmas to buy a new tree for next year. You may find one at half price.

-2013 Calendars. Everyone wants one now. Deal News says wait until Jan. 2 when the sales start. You can get them almost free in February.

What About Toys?

Deal News says big toy markdowns don't hit until around Dec. 15. If you missed the Black Friday deals at Toys 'R Us and other toy retailers, you may want to wait.

The one exception is super hot toys that are almost sold out, such as the LeapPad 2 Explorer tablet for kids, Princess Barbie dollhouses, and the impossible-to-find Nintendo Wii U. If you find one, buy it at full price. You won't find it at a discount this year.

As always, don't waste your money.

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