(Updated 11/29/16) As I have talked about many times, I am a huge fan of trying to figure out the best times to make online purchases to maximize savings in terms of both deals and coupons made available by popular retailers. So I dug back through 8 years of data here at Rather-Be-Shopping.com and figured out when we get the best deals and coupons sent to us in December.
I then broke the data up by product category and was able to decipher the exact day you should shop in order to get the best price between now and Christmas. Use this info as a helpful guide this year and I really believe you can save some significant money.
Thursday, December 15th: This date falls on a Thursday this year. Last year we saw the absolute best prices and coupons for toys on December 15th.
The reason? This is when we reach crunch time for toy sales and the incentives begin to be thrown out by retailers in order to cash in on those “semi” last minute shoppers.
Important Note: If your shopping list includes the hot toys of the year, like anything Hatchimals related, you’re going to need to snatch those up when you find them and not wait until the 15th.
Stocking Stuffers (Small Gifts)
Monday, December 12th: Our data the past five years shows excellent mid-month coupons from “specialty gift” online retailers like Red Envelope.com, Things Remembered, Personal Creations, and Shutterfly.com.
They usually have new coupons starting on December 15th that last for at least a week. Shop early in that time period to ensure Christmas delivery.
Apparel, Shoes, and Accessories
Friday, December 16th: Cyber Monday is always the best day of the year for online coupon codes at apparel and footwear retailers. Easily save 40-50% off. Not going to help you much now that we are in early December. So take advantage of the 2nd best day to save and shop online for clothing and shoes which is Friday, December 16th.
This is also known as Free Shipping Day, a day where hundreds of online retailers offer guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery at no extra charge. A large majority of online sites like Gap.com, Lands’ End.com, American Eagle, Macy’s, and Old Navy will have fantastic coupon codes to go along with their free shipping offer. A big double win.
Shopping in-store? Be sure to shop on Sunday, December 20th for the best clothing and footwear deals.
HDTV’s (Name Brand Variety)
December 9th – 11th: So if you’re not buying a new TV for yourself, then you’ll want to wait until late January, early February, when new models are released and last season’s models have their prices severely slashed.
But if you’re buying a TV as a gift, be sure to check out deals between December 9th and the 11th. Over the past 6 years in particular, we’ve seen some killer weekend deals 2 weeks out from Christmas from Best Buy.com, Costco.com, and Walmart.com.
Look for deals this year in the 30-40% off range on Samsung, Sony, Vizio, and Panasonic.
Tools and Hardware
Wednesday, December 14th: Shopping for tools for Dad, Mom, or Grandpa this year? I had to throw Mom in there as my Mom is one of the handiest people I know when it comes to DIY projects and home repair/improvement projects. Take a look at the deals available online on December 14th.
Also, shop in-store for tools and hardware from the 16th up to the 24th for some pretty darn good deals, easily in the 20-30% off range.
Not shopping for tools as a Christmas gift idea? Then wait until after the holidays, several months actually, and shop for tools in the couple weeks leading up to Father’s Day. By far the best time of year to save on power tools, tool sets, and anything for the garage.
Tuesday, December 13th: So for the past three years on December 13th, Dell.com and HP.com have hooked us up with some incredible online coupons. Like $500 off a top of the line Inspiron 15 laptop (the best price of the year) and also allowed shoppers to buy a very capable budget laptop for under $250.
Look for the same this year. Also, check Costco.com for some attractive deals on laptops mid-December. Last year they offered several great deals on laptops from Dell, HP, Acer, and Toshiba.
Not buying as a Christmas gift and can afford to wait? Wait until graduation season, followed by the back-to-school shopping season when we see our best prices of the year on a new laptop.
No Set Date: The pricing on Apple products can be a bit tricky to figure out. We saw some pretty decent deals on Black Friday as the iPad, iPod, and iPad Mini all saw their lowest prices of the year with some pretty cool gift card incentives to boot.
So what do you do if you didn’t take advantage? The best way to score a deal in December is to buy refurbished Apple products. Savings in the 20-40% off range on iMacs, iPads, iPods, and even the Apple TV.
Worried about the quality of these refurb items? Don’t be. From the Apple Store site, refurbished items “undergo a rigorous refurbishment process to make sure it’s up to Apple’s tough quality standards. We back it with our standard one-year limited warranty.”
PS4 & Xbox One Systems
December 14th – 17th: While Black Friday was a great day to buy video games and new gaming system bundles, fear not as you still have a chance to save money before Christmas.
Every year over the past 8, we have seen some great deals from Gamestop.com, Amazon.com, Walmart, Target, and NewEgg.com in mid-December. In particular, between the 14th and 17th of the month, retailers really offer some attractive incentives to Christmas shoppers.
We have seen new video game titles priced at 35% off the original price and older games at 60% off. Also, look for great deals on the XBox One and PS4 systems.
Friday, December 16th: If you’re buying winter apparel as a Christmas gift, you’ll definitely want to shop online on December 16th. Not only will you get free shipping from hundreds of retailers as it’s Free Shipping Day, but many websites will also have coupon codes available to entice those last minute shoppers.
Not buying for Christmas? Wait until the end of the winter season in March and take advantage of clearance sales on jackets, boots, sweaters, etc.
Jewelry & Wedding Bands
December 4th – 25th: I have been informed by several jewelers that jewelry stores freeze their prices, independent of gold and silver prices, in the few weeks leading up to Christmas.
So if you are window shopping for a wedding band now is a pretty darn good time to consider buying as prices could conceivable rise significantly after the holidays. The same goes for jewelry for your sweetie that you want to wrap and place under the tree.
Fitness Gear & Equipment
Will it happen again this year? I can’t guarantee it but I have already gotten word from a couple online sporting good stores that they’ll have some great coupons again in mid-December.
Another good day is December 16th as Dick’s, Reebok Store, Under Armour, and Puma Store have already announced they will ship for free on that date.
Not buying for Christmas? Shop right after the New Year when retailers offer great deals on fitness equipment and gear. Some of the best prices of the entire year.
Friday, December 16th: December is always one of the best times to buy stuff for the kitchen. Stuff like cookware, dining sets, silverware, small appliances, and kitchen gear and decor.
But exactly when in December is the best day to get an awesome deal? The answer is Friday, December 16th.
Why? Because the following online retailers have already stated that they will ship items for free (with guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery) on that date: Pfaltzgraff, Belk, Mikasa, Brookstone, Lenox, and Chefs Corner Store.
Look for even more stores to jump in as we get closer to the 16th.
Ask the Reader: When in December do you tend to find the best deals and coupons?
By Kyle James
Photo credit to Dafne Cholet.