In these weeks after the holidays, many of you are holding on to gift cards - and you may be wondering when you'll be able to spend those to get the best bang for your buck.
One of the more popular holiday gift areas is electronics. and now that the holiday rush is over, local salespeople say it's a great time to find discounts in the stores.
"Honestly, the best time to buy is right after Christmas," said Juan Lopez, a mobile specialist at Best Buy in Tyler. "With everybody holding their gift cards, they'll actually have an opportunity to spend them since not everybody is coming in here trying to pick up last minute gifts."
DealNews.com says early January is one of the best times to find deals on brand-name HDTVs, which you can find for up to 50 percent off.
And Deal News says February is a great time to buy consumer electronics like tablets, for 20 to 50 percent off.
"With Valentine's Day coming up, that's actually a huge e-reader and tablet season, so everyone decides to get their significant other, their loved ones really cool tablets and those are really huge this time of year," Lopez said.
Travel is another thing that's great to book at the beginning of the year.
"It gets people out of the end of the year, the Christmas spree, as you will," said Leisure Travel Consultant Holly McInnis. "It gives everybody a fresh start, and there are a lot of deals out there because the airlines and the cruise lines, the tour companies are trying to attract people to get booked now so that there isn't so much of a rush later."
McInnis says you should go ahead and start researching those trips, even if you don't want to travel right away.
"If you're looking for a February, March, Spring Break kind of trip, of course it is time to book now for sure, but you will find a lot of summer deals now if you're ready to start looking for a summer vacation or even fall travel.
McInnis says that many tour companies have a low price guarantee, so you may be able to match a better deal after you book.
"It is one of those things that if you perceive it to be a good deal, it really is time to book it, because the way things change so frequently now, if you find something today, it's not necessarily going to be there tomorrow," she said.
But not to worry if you miss a deal.
"There's not an expiration date, per se, on the "travel deal" season," McInnis said. "There's always something that will come along that will have an expiration date, but then something will quickly follow that that will have its perks as well."
The experts at Best Buy did share a tip - some of the more stable items right now, price-wise, are phones. Typically, the steepest discounts on those items happen in November and December.
And both experts say it's a good time to go in - go see those tech experts in the store, now that the holiday shopping craze is over, and even if you decide to research your trip on your own, check in with a travel agent you trust to make sure you're booking a great deal.
Click here for a full list of the best times to buy a variety of products.
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