8 Things You Should Wait Till January to Buy, According to Retail Experts

Put these items at the top of your shopping list for the new year.

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

People tend to run up so many purchases from Black Friday through the holidays that running out to do some more shopping in the earliest days of January seems like a far-fetched idea. The retail fatigue that sets in during the new year can make it unlikely you'll buy much more than the bare essentials until the first signs of spring. But while you're probably considering putting your credit card away for a few weeks to let your budget recover, you might also be missing out on some of the best deals on items you need. Read on to see what retail experts say are the best January discounts worth holding out for.

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1
Victoria's Secret items

Victoria's Secret perfum bottles and shopping bag. Editorial use.
Shutterstock

Most major brands make it a point to offer some of their biggest discounts of the year in the earliest days of the holiday shopping season. But if you're in the market for lingerie, clothing, or fragrances from Victoria's Secret, experts say your best bet is to wait until after the decorations have come down for the year.

"The retailer's winter semi-annual sale should be kicking off shortly after Christmas, but it'll last for a few weeks past the start of the new year," Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, tells Best Life. "If you're interested in any of these items—including beauty and accessories picks—the sale is a good one to shop."

Just make sure you're strategic about when you head into the store. "If you wear popular sizes, earlier is generally better. But if you wait a bit, the discounts may get even better and go from around 50 percent off to as much as 70 percent off over time," Ramhold says.

2
Winter apparel

mens puffer coats hanging up
Entienou/iStock

Depending on where you live, there's a good chance you already invested in a sturdy coat for the season as soon as the temperature began to drop. But if you're planning on upgrading or replacing your current cold-weather gear next year, you can actually save some money by heading into the shops while it's still chilly.

"Post-holiday sales will give way to big discounts on goods retailers have left over, but especially any winter apparel," consumer expert Andrea Woroch tells Best Life. "Believe it or not, they will be starting to shift towards spring mode, so moving coats, boots, and other winter accessories will be a priority. You can expect savings of 40 to 60 percent off."

Just make sure you do a little research before making your purchases. "Don't check out without looking for additional savings first. Clothing retailers are known to offer coupons that you can apply on clearance items further, especially stores like Old Navy, GAP, Macy's, and Kohls. So look for a coupon code first through a deal site like CouponCabin.com before buying," suggests Woroch.

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3
Exercise equipment

morning workout, person getting ready to workout
Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock

The end of one year allows people to look back, but it also helps them plan ahead for the future—including picking up healthier habits when the calendar changes. Fortunately, you likely won't have to break the bank if your plans involve incorporating more exercise into your routine.

"With the new year beginning, plenty of people will be making health-related resolutions, and retailers will be discounting various pieces of equipment accordingly," says Ramhold. "Prices should drop pretty low on basics like free weights, kettlebells, resistance bands, and even yoga mats, but even larger, more expensive pieces of equipment will likely see some kind of discount. It may be more modest, but if you're looking to save, something is better than nothing."

4
Gym memberships

Young male athlete listening music while exercising on treadmill in a gym.
iStock

Just because you're getting into a new health routine doesn't mean you have to set up your own home gym. But whether you don't have the space for dumbells or are just looking to get a feel for exercising, the first month of the year is when you can get the best deal on fitness club memberships.

"If you'd rather not invest in your own equipment, it can also be a great time to join gyms," says Ramhold. "These kinds of establishments know that people are making those health-related resolutions and will offer sign-up bonuses during the month of January."

Of course, it's important to keep in mind that you might not be the only one with a newfound passion for working out. "It can be a good time to try out a new gym or fitness class, but a lot of other people will be doing so, which means crowds may be larger at this time. This is a good thing to remember when trying to decide if it's worth signing up right at the start of the new year," says Ramhold.

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5
Prepaid wireless phone service

stylish Older woman with short hair on purple couch looks at phone
NikolaVukovic/shutterstock

Starting off a new year with a focus on your budget often means cutting back on spending on new items or meals out on the town. But few people realize that some of their regular payments might have ballooned over the years to become a major burden. That's why experts say it can be helpful to consider this when charting your finances for the rest of the year.

"If you're overpaying an arm and leg for your wireless service and looking for new ways to save in the new year, begin with your monthly bills—especially data and wireless service," suggests Woroch. "The beginning of the year is a good time to make the switch and prepay for wireless service through online-only wireless carriers that offer much cheaper options. For example, Mint Mobile offers new customers a deal where they can get talk, text, and data for just $15 a month when they pay for three months in advance. This can significantly reduce your monthly spending so you have more to help pay off your holiday debt."

6
Bedding and linens

stack of sheets
Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

As a place where you spend a good portion of your time, it's crucial to feel as comfortable as possible in your bed. And if you're looking to get the most for your money, experts say there's no better time to upgrade to replace your linens than the first few weeks of the year.

"White Sales are a big event for January, and because of that, it's a good time to buy bedding of all kinds," says Ramhold. "Sheets, comforters, pillows, blankets, and more will see discounts, but so will other home goods, so if you want to refresh these items, be sure to keep an eye out."

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7
Big-screen TVs

interracial couple buying TV
Shutterstock/Dusan Petkovic

Whether they're woefully outdated or no longer working properly, big-ticket items like electronics can be painful to replace. But experts say that some of the best deals on TVs can be found after the holidays, making it possible to take a little bit of the string out of your purchase.

"If you missed out on Black Friday sales or your old set gave out, the end of January is a great time to find deals on big screens from electronic retailers who will be promoting savings ahead of the Super Bowl," says Woroch. "You can expect to save 20 to 30 percent off select TVs. Just make sure you do your home and research and go in knowing what you need from a TV so you don't end up wanting to replace it for something bigger or with more features."

8
Activewear

High Intensity Workout Class
El Nariz/Shutterstock

Even if you're not just starting on your fitness journey, it's almost impossible to have enough workout-appropriate attire in your wardrobe. Fortunately, you can count on the first weeks of the year to provide some of the best deals that will help upgrade or expand your selection of sweat session gear for less.

"Like other exercise-centric items, activewear will see discounts in January, too," Ramhold says. "After all, people need something to wear when they're working on those new year resolutions to get into shape, and retailers will happily include things like yoga pants, athletic shorts, sports bras, and exercise shirts in their round of exercise discounts."

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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