What Is The Best Shopping Day After Christmas? Find Out When The Best Sales Happen

Bethany McCamish
Updated: January 2, 2020

If you’re headed out for the day after Christmas sales, you’re not alone: Millions of Americans will go day after Christmas shopping in hopes of finding the best deals (and maybe to return that unfortunate pair of gifted camo pants). 

With sales starting as early as the night of December 25th and going through the New Year, you might be wondering what is the best shopping day after Christmas? We’re here to help you make this decision so you can spend more time watching the Hallmark channel in your pajamas. 

What is the best shopping day after Christmas? 

Do you really need to get up early and snatch up all the deals? Good question. The answer depends on what you’re looking for.  

Day after Christmas sales on December 26th

Day after Christmas shopping on December 26th, also known as Boxing Day, holds some of the best prices all year long.  

Tiara Rea-Palmer, head of retail relations for Couponfollow.com told us: “The single best day to shop after Christmas is December 26, hands down. There will be huge sales on Christmas trees, decor, holiday gifts, and lights, but you can also score some post-Christmas discounts on items not related to the holidays.” 

The blur of holiday sales on this day makes it look like everything is on sale. In some cases this might be true, but you’re only out to get the best deal- this means the steepest discount.  Below are the items on sale the 26th worth getting out of your pajamas for: 

Holiday Decor 

Immediately after Christmas, big box stores will mark down their holiday decor. The 26th is the best time to get that giant life size Santa claus for your yard. Seriously though, everything holiday will be on mark down. Need a fake tree? Holiday lights? A giant pinecone garland? Get it on the 26th and have your house looking like Better Homes Christmas issue next year.

Walmart and Target have already started some of their markdowns at 30% off. However, you will see these prices drop even lower to 50 to 80% off on December 26th. 

Winter Wear 

Speaking of all things holiday, you can expect to find major markdowns on winter outerwear and evening attire. Grab your new ugly sweater for next year or a sparkly cocktail dress. 

Stores like Macy’s and JC Penney will markdown their winter outerwear, boots, evening wear and gifts items the day after Christmas. Macy’s is offering an extra 20% off all day long and an extra 15% off that for coats, suits, dress, and swim. These aren’t the only big-box stores offering sales like this. Google the store of your choice and after Christmas sales to see what other discounts are out there for winter wear. 

Toys 

According to U.S. News and World Report, December is the best time to shop for toys. Retailers will offer discounts before the holidays, but these will drop even more the day after Christmas. Rea-Palmer suggests that any popular toys that didn’t sell out like Lego, Barbie, Star Wars and Disney are going to be part of the December 26th sales. Retailers don’t want to get stuck with the inventory into the next year. 

Items like toys can go fast because of the price point and how many kids are wanting to spend using gift cards.  Look up the store hours online to make sure you get there when they open their doors. 

Don’t forget about the savings on December 27th

Believe it or not, you can find some killer deals on the 27th of December, too. According to Adobe Analytics data for 2019 shoppers, two days after Christmas is the day to shop for electronics. 

Electronics

December 27th is said to have even better deals than Black Friday did. Savings on electronics are predicted to be a massive 27% off this year. This includes all things video games, which are the hot item for kids and teens this year.  

You can also expect to find deals on smart speakers, game consoles, tablets and smart home items. The retailers don’t want to hold on to outdated technology into 2020. If you don’t care about having last year’s model, then this works out well for you. 

After the 26th and 27th, most sales continue until January 1st. “One day you’ll want to avoid is December 31, as a lot of stores will close early or may not be open at all,” Rea-Palmer shared. 

Keep in mind if you wait until after the 26th and 27th, the inventory might not be available. The National Retail Federation (NRF) says that 68% of holiday shoppers plan to continue shopping well after the 25th. With crowds all trying to get the same deals, it’s a good idea to get out on the 26th and 27th to actually score the best of what is on sale.

How to save even more money on the day after Christmas sales

Before you head out to start your shopping, it’s important you do your research first. Map out your shopping destinations and the deals they offer. Then, try to save even more money by finding coupons. 

Major stores to search for after Christmas sales

We’ve already mentioned a few of the major retailers, but here is a list of the major stores that offer sales to get you started on your hunt for the best deals:

  • Target 
  • Kohl’s 
  • Walmart 
  • JCPenney 
  • Pro Bass 
  • The Home Depot 
  • K-Mart
  • Old Navy 
  • Lowe’s 
  • Macy’s 
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods 
  • Sears 
  • Best Buy 
  • Pier 1 Imports 
  • Saks 
  • Dillards
  • Neiman Marcus 
  • Big Lots 

There are many small businesses and online retailers that are not on this list that also offer deals. The NRF reports that 73% of shoppers will research on their phone or tablet before making a purchase. We recommend you do the same with the item you want to buy so you can find the store with the best discount. 

Finding coupons and extra discounts 

Part of your online research should include finding extra coupons. Websites like Retailmenot.com and Groupon are known for having coupons at most retailers. You could get even more of a discount on your sale items. Don’t forget to look at the fine print before you try to use them though.  Some coupons can be stacked with merchandise that is already on sale and some can’t. 

If you want to ensure you get a discount, print out or take a screenshot of the after Christmas sales ad online. Mistakes are easy to make during the holidays sales shopping rush, and it can be helpful to have the ad in hand to make sure you’re saving that money. 

An extra tip: If you want to get really crafty, shop all the after Christmas sales ads before the 26th and 27th. If you have a credit card that offers price matching for a period of time after purchase, you can skip all the lines. Buy your item early and then file for price matching during the after Christmas sales. Typically you need to provide the original receipt and the new discounted sale price or ad. 

What is the best shopping day after Christmas? The one you don’t need to leave home for.

What is the best shopping day after Christmas if you don’t want to think about braving crowds of shoppers? The deals you find online. The NRF reports that online sales have increased between 11 to 14% since 2018 and retailers are taking note. Now, you can find great online days after Christmas and never leave your couch. 

Wayfair, a popular website for furniture and home decor, has already started running after Christmas sale flash deals where items are 50% off. Clearance items are marked down to 75% off, and this could get even better the day after Christmas.  These online deals will continue right through the holidays until January 1st. 

Another thing to remember? Amazon is always trying to offer the most competitive pricing. They are offering discounts on electronics like the Echo Dot, Bluetooth speakers, and holiday lights. Lightning deals are running right now until the day of Christmas. You can shop their ‘after Christmas sales’ as early as Christmas day on the 25th. 

Online stores aren’t the only ones with sales. All the major retailers will have online sales too, but you may need to hunt for a coupon code to get that extra discount. Last year Barnes & Noble offered 20% off orders of $40 or more for online purchases.  Every year, Nordstrom runs their Half- Yearly sale after Christmas. In 2018, it ran through January 2nd and sale items online were marked down an additional 50%.

Tips for shopping online after Christmas sales: 

Don’t get sucked into the vortex of one-click shopping when looking for deals online. Instead, remember these tips: 

  • Purchase your items on a credit card so you can take advantage of points 
  • If it’s a common item always compare prices across multiple sites 
  • Make a budget and stick to it. Pay attention to your totals after your click “buy”
  • Look for coupons before you purchase the item. You can install the Chrome extension Wikibuy that automatically looks for coupons when you check out. (Of note, Wikibuy compensates us when you install Wikibuy using the links provided). 
  • Use apps like Ibotta and Ebates to get a cash kick back from your purchases 

If you’re not sure what you want, other than a good deal, try using the app SlickDeals. This app tracks frontpage deals from all over the internet. You can track specific items and get notified when they go on sale too. 

Another helpful website for finding after Christmas sales is Finder.com. It’s a website that helps people make better decisions, especially when it comes to deals. For example, you can look up “Boxing Day Sale 2019 and they provide a list of deals along with coupon codes. 

Day after Christmas sale items you should skip 

It’s true that you can find some killer deals in the days following Christmas, but there are a few things you should wait on. January brings in a whole new string of sales called White Sales. White sales cover household items, primarily linens like: 

  • Bedspreads
  • Duvets
  • Towels 
  • Rugs
  • Sheets
  • Home decor 

Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s, Wayfair and even Yankee Candle runs sales in January. You can typically get a better deal this month than you would at an after Christmas sale. 

In addition to the white sales, January brings a whole wave of healthy living sales. Cookware, gym memberships, workout clothing and home gym equipment will all go on sale. This aligns with the popular News Years resolution of losing weight and getting in shape. If you’ve been wanting a treadmill or new running shoes it’s worth it to wait until after the Christmas sales. 

Deals you should look out for next year 

To take advantage of all the holiday sales, you’re going to need to start before Christmas. Sales start as early as November 1st with “doorbusters” or early Black Friday sales. Even more important are the sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Adobe’s Analytics predicts that the best deals are spread over a period of days: 

  • Black Friday had the best discounts on appliances and sporting goods 
  • December 1st was the best day for finding deals on toys and computers
  • Cyber Monday steep discounts could be found on TV’s, Tools and home improvement

While these are all predictions for the holiday season spending, it’s something to pay attention to each year if you’re going to game your holiday spending. 

Don’t get blinded by the after Christmas sale 

Here’s the thing, we are still The Money Manual, and we love a good deal as much as the next person. But, we also like it when you take care of your financial health. 

Just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy it. It also doesn’t mean you can actually afford it. Last year, the NRF reported that people spent a little over $1,000 per person during the holiday shopping season.That number is expected to be even higher this year. 

You could say to yourself that you’re only going to return or exchange something. But 77% of people are likely to make a purchase when they make a return according to NRF. If you have already maxed out your spending budget for gifts, it’s best to avoid the sales all together.  Get your credit cards paid off and start 2020 by making smart financial decisions. Then you can plan for all the after Christmas sales next year

Bethany McCamish is a personal finance writer and the founder of His & Her Fi.

Feature Illustration: Laura Caseley For The Money Manual