By Barbara Pronin
Most shoppers think linens in January – and with good reason, since January White Sales have been a staple in the American economy since 1878, when department store magnate John Wanamaker introduced them.
But, according to Huffington Post consumer watcher Jeanette Pavini, there are at least seven other January sale items worth looking into:
- Furniture – Many manufacturers release new furniture designs in February, which means stores need to clear out inventory now. It’s an especially good time to buy dining room furniture, because pieces not sold in time for the holidays will be deeply discounted now.
- Gym memberships - Gyms depend on New Year's resolutions to get members in the door, so look for incentives like a waived enrollment fee. But, because many gym memberships go unused, avoid long-term commitments. You can bargain for a good rate, but also negotiate a month-to-month until you're positive the gym is for you.
- Winter produce – It’s soup and stew season – and diet time – and also the best time to find low prices on healthful seasonal produce like members of the cabbage family including cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, and root vegetables like beets and turnips.
- Fine jewelry – The holiday gifting season’s over and it’s slow at the jewelry store, making this a good month (before Valentine’s Day) to buy some bling.
- Gift cards – Right after Christmas, many people are trying to exchange gift cards for something they will actually use. Look on gift card exchange websites to buy cards at a discounted rate. They sell for up to 35 percent less than face value (although around 10 percent seems to be the norm for more popular stores), and you can even purchase them for practical items like groceries, gas or office supplies.
- Calendars – If you can stay organized on your own until mid-January without a calendar, you’ll be able to save over 50 percent on 2014 calendars and planners for your desk, home office or handbag.