By Madeline Christensen
As Tufts students near the final stretch of the semester, many are counting down to some much-needed holiday cheer. But as many of us know, buying gifts for friends and family is not always the easiest for a starving college student. Luckily, some of the year’s best discounts happen right around the holidays. With a little research and good timing, the thrifty Jumbo can snag that dream camera or restock on winter sweaters without breaking the bank. If yoiu didn’t partake in the stampedes of Black Friday shoppers, you may not have missed much. Here are some tips on when to shop:
Retailers mark down cheaply-manufactured electronics to be even cheaper on Black Friday, but will wait to discount the more expensive items. Early December is the cheapest time to zero in on your futuristic gadget of choice. Many stores and websites have deals during the week of “Cyber Monday,” (the Monday after Thanksgiving) but many items continue to drop in price throughout December. Still unsure about whether or not to make that purchase? Just ask Decide.com, a website that makes predictions about future prices of coveted gadgets.
The best deal on a nice TV for the West quad might be in April. This apparently is because the fiscal year in Japan ends in March. New models come out and old ones go on sale.
While some of the newest games are released right around the holidays, they will often be cheaper in a month or three. Save that cash to buy a new game in the spring.
Cheaper laptops might go on sale for Black Friday and Cyber Week, but many models are lower in price right before the school year resumes.
Despite the flurry of ads to the contrary, Black Friday is typically not the most promising time for clothing sales. The end-of-November discounts will likely stay low in the next few weeks, and it might be well worth it to wait until right after the holidays to update your wardrobe. Don’t forget to check online, where you can often find discounts and coupons on specific brands that may not be offered in-store.
Unless you’re new to the North and must quickly redefine your definition of “winter coat,” it may be best to wait a few weeks—Those puffy outer layers will be cheaper in January. Also: North Face fleece jackets are a winter staple for many Jumbos. These jackets go up and down in price, but are likely to be cheapest in late spring and summer.
Jewelry is a classic gift for that special someone around the holiday season. But for that reason, these glitzy items are unlikely to be on sale— Better to wait until a less popular season!
If getting organized is your New Year’s resolution, it may be best to wait on this one. You won’t find the cheapest deals on calendars until the end of January or early February.
Have a younger cousin, niece, or sibling in your life? December is when toy prices hit their lowest, as stores rush them off the shelves before the end of the holidays. Beware though: toy prices are likely to rise again the week just before Christmas.