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Finding post-holiday bargains

The holiday shopping season has come and gone, but consumers looking for bargains might not want to stay at home too long. Post-holiday sales offer plenty of opportunities to further cut your gift bill and save money going forward.  Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, offers some tips on how to get the best deal.


First, seek out price adjustments.  Post-holiday clearances can yield better deals even on presents you've already given. Many stores offer a one-time adjustment if you bring in your receipt within two or three weeks of purchase. Some credit cards have similar benefits. You won't need to have the item on hand, just the receipt and proof of a cheaper price.

Don't be afraid to shop a little more too.   It's a great time to snap up wrapping paper and holiday decorations, but other items get cheaper after Christmas, too. Travel bargains abound, and electronics like televisions and digital cameras get progressively cheaper. You'll also find plenty of discounted sweaters and outerwear.

Remember to make your returns early.  Many stores have extended return policies, but unless you have a gift receipt, it's tough to tell if your item qualifies. Plus, sales often push prices lower -- whether you're getting a cash refund or store credit, waiting could get you less.

Also, sell your unwanted gift cards.   Stores like PlasticJungle.com and CardAvenue.com will buy your unwanted cards, and offer you slightly less than face value. You might get $20 for a $25 card. Shop around to see which site has the best rate. Some offer extra if you take Amazon.com credit instead of cash, too.

And finally, wait before you take your items to eBay.   The number of listings, presumably many of them unwanted gifts, surges in the days after Christmas. That benefits buyers who want a bargain, but not necessarily sellers hoping for top dollar. If your gift is a popular one, hold off for a week to list it.

For more tips on how to save after the holidays, and other consumer advice, visit SmartMoney.com.

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