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12 things not to buy during the holidays

Anjelica Tan

(Photo: Thinkstock)

The deals on Black Friday, Super Saturday and Cyber Monday, not to mention discounts throughout November and December, are tempting. But some potentially pricey items that may be on a family member’s holiday wish list -- or that you may be thinking of buying for yourself -- are even cheaper if you wait.

Here are 12 items you can score better deals on before or after the holidays.

(Photo: Thinkstock)


Most new laptop and computer models (and, this year, tablets) are released in October and November, just in time for the holidays. Retailers need to make room for the new inventory and will discount older models in late summer and early fall. If owning the most up-to-date technology isn’t a top priority, then back-to-school season may be a better time to get a deal on a laptop.



(Photo: Thinkstock)


It would be nice to give your spouse a new camera to take pictures of the kids during the holidays. But you may be able to get a better deal in February. The biggest electronic trade shows of the year happen in January and February, when new models are introduced.

By late February, older camera models sell at discounts of 30% or more. Presidents’ Day weekend is an especially good time to find sales.

(See more: Hot toys on layaway cause shortage )


You may want a new set of skis in time for a holiday ski trip, but the best deals are in March and April, as the ski season winds down and stores discount models from the past winter, says Stephen Regenold, editor of

(Photo: Thinkstock)

(Photo: Thinkstock)


The riding season winds down for most people as cold weather arrives, so you may think that bicycles are ripe for discounts. You're right -- if you wait until after the holiday rush. By then, discounts will be steep on older models.

Shops are more likely to throw in a few extra free accessories because they are looking for business during the slow winter months. Plus, fewer customers mean you’ll get more personal service.

(Photo: Thinkstock)


Forget the notion of waking up on Christmas morning to find a new car in the driveway. Instead, think New Year’s Eve (during business hours, of course) to get the best deal.

Car dealers are in the mood to haggle and clear their inventory before year-end to make room for new models and earn manufacturer incentives. TrueCar, which collects automobile data, estimates prices on vehicles nationwide will average 9% below sticker price on December 31.

Looking for a used car? Hold off until April for the best deals. It’s the month dealers tend to buy the most at auction, giving you the best selection.


Cold weather may spark thoughts of cruising through the warm seas of the Caribbean. But you can get the best deal if you wait until "wave season," from January to March, to book a summer cruise, says Jaime Freedman, of TravelZoo, a travel Web site.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

You’ll find an onslaught of deals as cruise lines compete for customers. Rising airfares have made cruises, with their all-inclusive pricing, increasingly enticing, says Freedman.


(Photo: Thinkstock)


The months after the holidays are a quiet period for vacations, so stores tend to lower prices on luggage. If you need to replace a beat-up roll-on that’s been tossed around too many times by airline baggage handlers, February and March are the best times to buy.

(Photo: Thinkstock)


A new piece of jewelry ranks high on many holiday wish lists. But high demand often means higher prices, so you may want to give your sweetheart a rain check and wait until spring or summer to buy that pearl necklace or those diamond earrings.


Jewelers are more willing to negotiate in April, after tax season, and in July and August, when there are no gift-giving holidays.


Wait for January "white sales" before buying sheets, blankets, towels and the like. The tradition of department stores discounting linens in January started back in the 19th century.

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Now, some catalog retailers follow suit, offering deals at the beginning of the year. Look for discounts ranging from 10% to 60%.


Consider giving Dad that new drill or circular saw on Father’s Day in June -- when prices on tools will fall by 25% -- instead of during the holidays. His list of home projects may have to wait a little longer, but he’ll be happy you saved the cash.


Maybe you want a new suit for a holiday gala or something to freshen up your closet for the New Year. It’s worth waiting until January, when spring collections hit stores and fall and winter suits go on sale.

(Photo: Thinkstock)
(Photo: Thinkstock)

The same cycle happens in July, when the fall collections arrive and retailers discount spring suits.

Broadway Tickets

(Photo: Thinkstock)

January and February beat November and December for scoring discounts on Broadway tickets.

July is another month when tickets are cheaper because fewer people are seeing shows. Depending on the city you’re in, the shows during the off season may be less popular, but they’re the perfect way to branch out and experience new genres.

More from Kiplinger:

10 Ways to Find the Best Holiday Deals Online

Outlet Mall…Deal or No Deal?

10 Online Shopping Traps That Catch Even Smart Shoppers