After Christmas, prices were often slashed dramatically at Target stores in my area of Indiana. Based on the New Year’s Day sale promotions which appears in my email and regular mailbox (the one at the end of our driveway, not just the online one), prices for New Year’s Day sales appear even more tempting.
But as we enter 2009, what are the best sales and shopping tips, not only for New Year’s Day sales, but throughout 2009? A brief update on the economic news could help when planning a New Year’s Day sales strategy and also be useful during many 2009 sales, especially during a recession or worsening economic climate.
I’ve been keeping tabs on the economy and it appears that things aren’t going to improve greatly, especially in the first part of 2009. IN fact, according to one article here at CNNMoney, thousands of stores could face bankruptcy this year. This makes me more determined than ever to try and support the stores I like – but to do so during New Year’s Day sales and throughout the year with the recession in mind. I don’t intend to stop shopping but do intend to try to use my dollars to help both retailers and our own family budget.
How to shop New Year’s Day sales during the recession of 2009
Of course, you’ll want to use these New Year’s Day sales tips with your budget in mind. If you can’t afford more than the bare necessities, than focus on those rather than the deluxe espresso maker or newest tech gadget. But if you know you’ll need to buy a particular item, from a vacuum cleaner to a new suit for work, New Year’s Day sales could be the time to find rock bottom prices. So why pass those up? You might not find better deals soon.
Here are some other top tips for bargain hunting during New Year’s Day sales – and other 2009 sales events:
Tip one for New Year’s day sales and the 2009 recession: plan ahead
Think carefully about changes you’ve faced in 2008 and those you are likely to face in 2009. Maybe you’ve changed jobs and could be job hunting. If finances are tight, make a list of items you absolutely must have, even in a 2009 recession. Perhaps that includes one good suit when you go out on job interviews. For us, it meant stopping by Wal-mart and Target to buy basic school supplies and gift wrap for next year’s Christmas, especially at discounts of 90% or more.
Tip two: be honest about your financial situation before hitting the New Year’s Day sales
If you are unemployed or living from paycheck to paycheck, why splurge on things you don’t need? However, if you find food or clothing at prices way below normal prices, it could pay off to buy those products now, use them later and put the savings back into your bank account later. By shopping carefully for necessities, we’ve managed to use the savings to pay off credit card debt and avoid going to the grocery store or spending extra on gas to get there.
Tip three- Before hitting New Year’s Day sales, use online resources such as ShopLocal.com.
I’ve used Shop Local (at ShopLocal.com) here to find weekly ads and bargains and wrote about it here. Often, New Year’s Day sale prices are listed there as well as other special sales events for 2009, saving money during a recession year. You’ll find every major stores listed there, including Wal-mart and Target. You’ll also find brand names such as Acer or Microsoft and can fine tune your shopping experience even more, finding stores that are likely to carry products you need during New Year’s Day sales.
Tip four – Call ahead so you can make sure which stores are open on New Year’s Day
Sometimes the website info will provide hours. But many smaller stores may be closed for New Year’s Day so be sure that you’ll arrive at a store which is open and likely to have New Year’s Day sales.
Tip five – be sure to check your local paper to take advantage of last minute coupons.
You can sometimes double your savings by taking advantage of New Year’s Day sale discounts and getting a deeper discount with special coupons.
Tip six – Consider negotiating with retailers at New Year’s Day sales – but do so ethically
It is no secret that this is a tough economic climate. Holiday sales were absolutely dismal for many retailers and (as noted above) thousands of stores are predicted to close in 2009. So don’t make it tougher for retailers during New Year’s Day Sales – or any sale in the 2009 recession- if you can truly afford an item. Buy it at the discounted price and hope that it helps the store to stay in business. However, if you really can’t afford to pay a cent more, try asking the store manager if he or she would accept a slightly lower price.
You might be surprised how often you’ll get a “yes” in response. This has worked for me. It might work for you. But I want to repeat the importance of being fair and honest about this. If you can afford to pay the discounted price, negotiating will only cut into a store’s profit margin. Also, your nonverbal communication can usually let retailers know whether you are being honest or not. So operate in good faith.
Tip seven – Think about using New Year’s Day sales to buy for Christmas 2009.
It is hard to predict the hot toy or gadget for Christmas 2009. However, you might have some basic items that can fill out next year’s Christmas list, including clothing and even some packaged food products with long shelf lives. Why pass up those bargains, especially if they are below your budget for them? This strategy often works well with baby toys.
When my children were two or three years old, I could buy toys during New Year’s Day sales, making sure they are in the age range for my children during the upcoming Christmas – even if it was a year away. It worked just fine and they were happy with the toys and other gadgets. Children’s flashlights, blocks and other common playthings can be found at New Year’s Day sales.
How I use ShopLocal here
Thousands of Stores to Disappear in 2009, CNNMoney: here