Still, finding post-Christmas bargains at traditional merchants is more challenging now than it was a few years ago.
Here are some tips;
• Looking for a fur coat? You're in luck this year. A mild winter has depressed shoppers' appetite for cold weather items. That means stores are already cutting prices on coats and heavy sweaters. Some Macy's have men's coats at 75 percent off.
• It's best for shoppers to get to stores soon after Christmas to get the best selection. By mid-January, stores will have already started to stock up on spring merchandise.
• Shop for holiday 2012. Holiday wrapping paper, holiday lights and greeting cards are already being reduced by up to 50 percent. They'll be as much as 90 percent off on the days after Christmas, according to Dan de Grandpre, editor-in-chief of deal aggregator website Dealnews.com.
• As for toys, it's a good time to buy basics like board games, which could be marked down up to 60 percent during the post-Christmas sales, according to Chris Byrne, an independent toy consultant. But don't expect the season's hottest toys like the $99 LeapPad Explorer to be on sale.
• It's a good opportunity to buy gifts for babies and toddlers for upcoming birthdays and next year's holidays. But hold off on buying toys far in advance for older children. What they want may change, Byrne said.
• Take advantage of shopper's remorse. Shoppers were willing to buy this holiday season, but they have also been returning purchases at a rapid clip as they realize they just spent too much. Check out second-hand stores in your area or sites like Craigslist to grab others' unwanted items that weren't returned to stores.
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