Is Christmas or Hanukkah cash burning a hole in your pocket? You're in luck because the after-holiday shopping opportunities are numerous. While the discounts usually aren't as deep as on Black Friday, the total number of items on sale (the width of the sales) is usually greater.
Here are some of the best after-Christmas deals and deal categories to stretch your dollars, followed by some helpful tips for making gift returns less painful:
Now is the time to get serious about big screen TVs. Between now and just after the Superbowl is when we traditionally see the biggest price drops on TVs.
For example, Best Buy has their store brand Insignia 55? 120Hz 1080p LED-Backlit Widescreen LCD HD Television for $799.99 with free shipping, which is the lowest price yet by $250.
Walmart has the LG 50? 1080p 120Hz LED-Backlit LCD HD Television, model no. 50LS4000, for $648 with free shipping when you put it in your cart. According to dealnews.com, that's the lowest price ever for that make and model.
Fry's is offering the off-brand, Coby 50? 60Hz LED, for $399.
PHONES AND ELECTRONICS
At Best Buy, the price on the Galaxy Note II was slashed from $300 to $249 - a new low price for the Note II. The Note is a very large phone, almost tablet-sized, and it has become popular as a hybrid device.
Amazon.com is offering the Canon PowerShot D10 12.1-Megapixel Waterproof Digital Camera bundled with a $2 Amazon MP3 credit for $199, plus free shipping. According to Dealnews.com, this the lowest price online right now by $50.
APPAREL, HOME AND MORE
Bon-Ton has up to 60 percent off most items site-wide during its After Christmas Sale. Plus, using the coupon code "AFTERXMAS12? takes an extra 10 percent to 20 percent off sale-priced items. They are also offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
Victoria Secret is hosting a sale on bras, with more than 75 styles marked down 25 percent to 40 percent off.
Didn't get that body butter you secretly wanted? Bodyshop.com is now offering a "buy two, get two free" special.
And for the home, World Market has an online furniture sale with up to 50 percent off and free shipping on orders of $150 or more when you use promo code "WMFS1502." Holiday items are also on sale.
TIPS FOR MAKING RETURNS:
A new survey from the National Retail Federation predicts about 10 percent of all holiday gifts will be returned. So here are some tips to make the process easier.
1. Expect a 15-day return window on electronics from the time of purchase, so if you want to return something, get back to the store as soon as possible.
A notable exception is Walmart, which adjusted its return policy temporarily for the holiday season: "For these items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, the limited return period will begin Dec. 26. This includes items such as TVs, cameras, computers, DVD and music players that can have a 15-30 day return period."
2. While time is of the essence, returning a gift the day after Christmas insures a long wait at the store's customer service desk. Staggering that return could be the best course of action, but since Dec. 26 falls on a weekday this year, many people will be working. Your best bet might be to wait until Thursday or Friday this week.
3. It's highly likely store clerks will ask to see your identification when you make returns. Don't be offended. For many stores it's become their new policy to try and prevent fraud and the return of stolen merchandise using counterfeit or forged receipts.