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Best Bargains for January

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for bargain hunters

wide view of a big shopping mall decorated with red "Sale" banners hanging down from top to bottom of the interior space
E+ / Getty Images

Ready to get out and spend all the holiday gift cards you received last month? Stretch those gifted dollars even further by shopping for items that stores are offering on deep discount this time of year.

Here’s a look at some categories where you can find great deals now, according to shopping experts, including where to shop and how much you could possibly save:

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Open-box tech

The last week of December and the first week of January are the busiest times of the year for retail returns, thanks to giftees taking back those presents that they didn’t want or need. That includes unused items that gift recipients opened before returning to the seller unused.

Some stores offer additional “open-box” discounts on such items, although the inventory will be limited.

“That’s a great way to find value, if you’re willing to go on what I call the Open Box Treasure Hunt,” says Brad Godwin, senior vice president and head of retail partnerships at Shopkick.

Where to look for deals: Best Buy, Amazon, Newegg

Potential savings: 20 percent or more

Toys and games

Since demand for these items drops significantly as soon as the holiday season is over, so do their prices.

“Any of the toys and games that retailers didn’t sell last month are going to be pretty cheap because they want to get as many of those as they can get out the door,” says shopping expert and editor Kristin McGrath of RetailMeNot, a coupon and deals company.

Where to look for deals: Walmart, Target, Kohl’s

Potential savings: 40 percent to 50 percent

Small kitchen appliances

January sales on products like waffle makers, air fryers and stand mixers reflect not only excess inventory left over from the holidays, but also increased demand from those who are ready to stay home and eat in more during the colder months or after a busy holiday season.

“Some people may have also made New Year’s resolutions focused on spending less on takeout or dining out, so they need those appliances to cook at home more,” says Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.

Where to look for deals: Wayfair, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s

Potential savings: 20 percent or more

All things holiday

Anything themed for the winter holidays will go on deep discount the last week of December and into the first few weeks of January. This is your opportunity to stock up on decorations, serving dishes, holiday lights and trees, wrapping paper and even holiday-themed clothing.

“If you have the space to store it until next year, you are going to find a good deal,” says Caroline Moss, who runs the podcast and online community Thanks, Just Bought It!

Where to look for deals: CVS, HomeGoods, Michaels

Potential savings: 75 percent or more

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‘Soft’ home goods

Discounting linens and towels for January “white sales” (although that term has largely fallen out of favor) remains a long-standing tradition for retailers. Expect great deals on both brand-name products and store-brand sheet sets, comforters and bathroom accessories.

Where to look for deals: Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, JCPenney

Potential savings: 30 percent or more

Workout gear

Retailers lean heavily into “New Year New You” messaging and discounts in January.

“They know that getting in shape is on a lot of people’s New Year’s resolution lists, so you see a lot of sales popping up for things like treadmills and workout gear,” says Kimberly Palmer, a spokesperson with personal finance website Nerdwallet.

Discounted products range from small items like yoga blocks or exercise bands to big-ticket equipment like elliptical machines or stationary bikes. You’ll likely also see sales for exercise tech like fitness trackers and other wearables as well as workout clothes.

Where to look for deals: Bowflex, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fitbit

Potential savings: 20 percent to 60 percent

Winter clothing

While there may be a few months of winter left, retailers are already focused on making room for warmer-weather items when their spring shipments arrive. That means you’ll start seeing deals now on cold-weather apparel, including coats, hats, scarves and gloves.

Last year, DealNews staff tracked more than 130 retailer discounts on coats. Apparel retailers rely heavily on coupons, so find additional savings by checking to see if there are any available before making your purchase.

Where to look for deals: Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, Men’s Warehouse

Potential savings: Up to 60 percent

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