For many of us, the days leading up to Christmas are a shopping frenzy.
After hunting down deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and braving the crowds to shop for gifts in December, it wouldn't be surprising if you were all shopped out by Christmas.
But if you're not shopping for those after-Christmas sales, you're missing out on some of the best deals of the year.
Many major retailers offer huge discounts on all sorts of items once the holidays are behind us.
We know it's a busy time of year, so we're going to make it easy for you. In this article, you’ll find out when the after-Christmas sales start, where to find them, and what to buy.
What are after-Christmas sales?
After-Christmas sales are self-explanatory — they’re sales that happen after Christmas. But let's dig into the details.
When do the sales start after Christmas?
Most after-Christmas sales start the day after Christmas, December 26.
Sometimes they even start on Christmas Day. After all, the shopping rush is already over by then.
Every after-Christmas sale is different, but it’s common for them to last until the end of December. Prices often get lower over the course of the sale.
After-Christmas sales vs. Black Friday sales
The holiday season through November and December is the busiest time for shopping in the U.S. — Black Friday is the busiest day of them all.
But the day after Christmas also makes the top five holiday shopping days (Source: Sensormatic).
Black Friday sales were down in 2021 (Source: CNBC), so the same might be true of after-Christmas sales in 2021.
That’s good news for motivated shoppers — there will be more sale items to go around.
What to buy in after-Christmas sales
You can buy anything in an after-Christmas sale. Many big retailers offer discounts across every department.
But there are a few areas you can count on for the best deals.
Artificial Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, tree ornaments, stockings, lights, inflatable reindeer — if it’s Christmas-related, stores will likely discount it after the holiday.
You might not be thinking about buying wrapping paper right after Christmas, but it’s the best time to buy it.
It’s the same deal with Christmas cards. Stock up on next year’s cards now.
Toys and games
Toys and games are popular holiday fits. Many stores stock extra for Christmas. Starting on December 26, you can find great sales on anything left over.
Food is sold year-round, but some types of food are especially popular during the holidays. Think wine, cheese, chocolates, mince pies, and supplies to make Christmas cookies.
While any kind of clothing might be part of the big after-Christmas clearance sales, the best deals can usually be found on winter clothing. There’s still plenty of winter to go, but most people have already purchased seasonal items like coats, hats, and gloves, so stores will put them on sale.
Unlike some of the other Christmas sale items, winter clothes will continue to drop in price throughout the winter.
Of course, now is also a great time to get next year’s ugly Christmas sweater.
Candles are a classic Christmas gift (and sometimes a Christmas decoration), so they’ll be discounted after Christmas like the other holiday items.
Another popular type of gift is the holiday gift set. These usually contain several small items from a single brand in one box.
They’re not nearly as popular after the Christmas gift season is over, so stores are likely to put them on sale around the end of the year.
Best after-Christmas sales in 2021
The stores on this list typically offer after-Christmas sales every year.
We can’t tell you exactly what will be offered this year, but by looking at the history of each retailer, we can give you a heads up about where to look for the best deals after Christmas 2021.
Walmart typically has an end-of-year clearance event that starts right after Christmas and includes holiday items, fashion, beauty, tech, toys, and more.
Last year, items across the store were discounted up to 50% on December 26. Some offers were up to 75% off by the end of the year.
Find Walmart coupons and promo codes here.
Target Christmas Clearance includes items from across the store. They sometimes reach 90% off by the end of the year.
A few examples of great Target deals in 2020 include 50% off women’s sweaters and BOGO 50% off beauty and personal care gift sets.
Find more Target coupons and promo codes.
If you’re the crafty type, you can’t miss the yearly after-Christmas sales at Michael’s. The post-Christmas discounts in 2020 included 40% off kids’ art sets and 50% off all yarn.
Michael’s already has a lot of sales on Christmas items happening, as well as 20% off all regular price purchases.
Find that coupon code and more here.
In 2020, the Kohl’s after-Christmas sale lasted until December 31 and offered up to 60% off. Some of the most discounted items were home goods like linens.
For example, The Big One bath towels were marked down from $9.99 to $3.99, and Cuddl Duds bedding was 50-60% off.
Find more Kohl’s discounts here.
Home Depot offers sales throughout the holiday season. Last year, starting after Christmas, the home improvement retailer offered 35% off select furniture, kitchenware, and decor. Even more sales dropped in the new year.
Find Home Depot promo codes and coupons.
Barnes and Noble
You might not even think to look for book sales after Christmas, but Barnes and Noble offers 50% off a wide variety of books after Christmas.
There are other sales as well. For example, in 2020, you could get 30% off select lego sets and 30% off boxes of holiday cards.
Find Barnes and Noble coupons.
Bath & Body Works
Bath & Body Works has a regular after-Christmas sale. In 2020, the best bargains included 50% off select three-wick candles and huge markdowns on winter-themed lotions like “Winter Candy Apple.”
Get Bath & Body Works promo codes.
Your pets can reap the benefits of after-Christmas sales, too. Last year, Petco offered up to 65% off in its End of Season Sale. The sale included pet toys, beds, and more.
Find more Petco deals here.
As a big seller of winter gear, REI offers big winter discounts. In 2020, REI’s Year-End-Clearance offered up to 50% off of a variety of items.
For example, you could get 50% off certain winter jackets and 40% off fitness gear like indoor cycling equipment.
Find more REI promo codes.
Wayfair typically holds a clearance event at the end of the year. 2020’s sale offered up to 60% off on furniture, decor, kitchen items, and more.
A few of the after-Christmas deals included area rugs starting at $49 and 50% storage solutions.
Get Wayfair coupons and promo codes.
Macy’s 2020 after-Christmas sale included offers on everything from ornaments to electronics. Some of the best sales were up to 80% off on holiday decor, up to 60% off Finish Line shoes, and up to 70% off of Brookstone headphones.
Don’t skip Macy’s if you’re looking for sales on pretty much everything.
Find more Macy’s discounts here.
You can count on Nordstrom to hold a post-Christmas sale each year. In 2020, you could get up to 60% off on designer styles and 40% off brands like Adidas and Spanx.
Find Nordstrom deals and promo codes here.
Get ready — the after-Christmas sales will be here before you know it. Hit up the retailers above for steep savings on just about everything.
Watch social media, store websites, and weekly store mailings as Christmas approaches to get hints about where to find the best deals.
Or find coupons here.