Deck the Halls With These Top December Buys

Deck the Halls With These Great December Buys
With all the holiday shopping going on in December, it can really help to know what deals are worth your money. Here are some of the best and worst buys of the month.

While buying a new bike in the winter might feel counterintuitive, this is actually a great month for sales. In recent years, DealNews found the most Editors' Choice bargains in December from vendors like REI, Walmart and Performance Bike.

You can also nab great bargains on floor models this month. From appliances to lighting, retailers are scrambling to get their showroom floors ready for next year, so you can expect to see up to 50 percent off on some items. If you see something you like, asking a salesperson can really pay off.

As for what items to avoid, hold off on buying furniture. New inventory arrives in February, which is why you should wait until January to make your purchases. This is when many stores have markdowns of up to 50 percent off so they can make space for all the new stock.

Another item to skip in December is linens. If you can wait, many stores will be having their "white sales" in January, when you'll find towels, blankets and sheets at up to 60 percent off.

This holiday season, keep these December deals and duds in mind. With all the spending going on, it helps to save a little, too.

14 Famous Sales Worth Waiting For
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Deck the Halls With These Top December Buys -- Savings Experiment
There are sales, and then there are SALES. Some annual (or semi-annual) sales are so popular -- and the payoff is so huge -- that consumers wait all year long to snap up their favorite brands and coveted products on the cheap.

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Sale: 'Running of the Brides'
Location: Flagship is in Boston, Mass. (Also in N.Y., Ga., Va. and Ohio)
When: Varies per location, typically in February or March.

Why It's Worth the Wait:
First held in 1947, The Basement's Bridal Gown sale has become a tradition among brides-to-be who mob the store in search of designer wedding gowns at ridiculous prices. Dresses worth thousands can be had for as little as $249. See More on This Sale
Sale: Semi-annual sale

When: Each year in January and May

Why It's Worth the Wait:
The store brings out its signature pink bins and fills them with items up to 70% off. Keep in mind that the sale can start online almost a full month before hitting the bricks & mortar stores.

See More on This Sale
Sale: Annual anniversary sale

When: Last two weeks of July

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Savings up to 40% draw hordes of bargain-loving summer shoppers. The sale also extends to its online catalog, Even greater deals are available on leftovers at Nordstrom's Rack Stores, where unloved goods go for a song.
Sale: Annual sale
When: Late July to early August

Why It's Worth the Wait:
The prices are pretty reasonable on most things and discounts can occasionally be found in the room where returned goods are kept (though they are sometimes damaged) year-round. But anyone looking for serious bargains has to wait for the once a year sale in late July to early August when stores knock 20 to 60% off selected merchandise. See More on This Sale
Sale: Semi-annual blowout sale

When: January and June

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Twice a year, the high-end purveyor of quality cookware slashes its prices on selected items by 50% -- even 75% -- off, making sometimes unaffordable items, well, affordable.

See More on This Sale
Sale: "Rather Famous" annual sale
When: Oddly, this "annual" sale is held several times a year

Why It's Worth the Wait:
The oldest continuously-published catalog in the U.S. offers many of its unique items for up to 65% off. If you were hoping for a water-repellent goat suede blazer or an Italian Merino ruffled cape -- these sales may be you chance to snap up some pretty unusual stuff. See More on This Sale
Sale: Post-Holiday sale
When: January

Why It's Worth the Wait:
This catalog merchant holds a great post-holiday sale and carries a wide line of impressive goods. It offers women's and children's clothing and household items from linens to furniture. During the sale, a wide selection of its products are available at savings ranging up to 75% off. Garnet Hill offers e-mail sale alerts to clue you in to upcoming bargain opportunities.
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Sale: Half-off clearance items
When: Usually in early spring and late summer

Why It's Worth the Wait:
A couple of times a year, Hot Topic puts all of its clearance items on a half-price sale. Unfortunately, these sales are usually not announced until the absolute last minute; in fact, the store employees aren't even told about them until the day before the sale begins. See More on This Sale

Sale: Preferred Customer sale
When: January and June

Why It's Worth the Wait:
The suits normally cost a minor royalty's ransom -- the Golden Fleece two-button pinstripe, for example, retails for $1,600. However, the company's semi-annual sales knocks 25% off of much of its stock. If you open a Brooks Brothers credit account at that time, you can bump this discount up to 33%.

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Sale: Fit-in-a-bag sale
When: Possibly August

Why It's Worth the Wait:
In this promotion, Menards sends full-sized grocery bags out with a sales flier. Shoppers can fill them with whatever they wish, (subject to restrictions) and items in the bag are then discounted by a percentage (which varies from sale to sale, but last August's was 15%) off the normal price of the items in the bag. A Menards spokesman declined to confirm the sale. See More on This Sale
Sale: Semi-annual sale
When: January and late August

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Twice a year even the grand dame of New York elegance marks down goods in order to clear the way for the latest runway hits. In late August and January, savvy shoppers from all over the country find their way to the mansions to score clothes, accessories and some cosmetics to carry home in Bendel's trademark white and brown striped bag.
See More on This Sale

Sale: Sample shoe sale
When: Possibly in May and November

Why It's Worth the Wait:
If you want to get $500 shoes, for say, $100, you'll have to keep on your toes. The sale is never announced until just a few days before the event. Usually, they are on any given day in May and November, but in 2004, they had a sale in the month of February; earlier this year, they had one in January.

See More on This Sale

Sale: Sample/clearance sale
When: Late November

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Wang's fashions can be also be found in Saks, Nieman-Marcus and Marshall Fields, but only in NYC does this killer deal take place. Past sales have found shoppers fighting over gowns and using aisles as dressing rooms to score 75% off of Wang's dresses that cost up to $10,000.

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Sale: BUY-WAY Yard Sale
When: August 7-9, 2008

Why It's Worth the Wait:
If you want to find your bargains in a more interesting manner, check out the longest yard sale in America. It stretches out from West Virginia to Illinois along the Lincoln Highway (old U.S. 30 in most places).

See More on This Sale

Over the last couple of months, there has been a flurry of announcements from retailers that they are closing stores, slowing expansion plans or ceasing operations altogether.

From Sharper Image and CompUSA to Macy's and Ethan Allen, we round up more than 20 retailers that are closing (at least some) of their doors. Are some of them your favorites?

See 23 Stores in Trouble

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