December is here and with it end-of-year sales and winter and holiday deals. Plus, the month brings Green Monday, a counter-Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale that eBay created in 2007. And as we nudge closer to the holidays, retailers like Macy’s, Target and Walmart are reducing prices on everything from festive decor to toys, video games and more. To better understand how to shop this month — especially if you’re still on the hunt for gifts — and save during December, we consulted retail expert Julie Ramhold from DealNews.com.
What stores are having big sales right now
While only some of these sales are Black Friday and Cyber Monday-level deep, many come close to those discounts and others are still worthwhile. We looked through what’s on offer and list some of the best ongoing sales below. Not every deal within each sale will be the best available given the breadth of discounts in each, but the following will give you an idea of what’s on offer at your preferred retailers or which of the items on your shopping (or gifting) list is on sale.
Best sales: reader favorite brands and retailers
Best sales: home and kitchen
Best sales: tech and gadgets
Best sales: wellness and self-care
Best sales: fashion and style
- Abercrombie & Fitch is offering up to 50 percent off clearance, as well as up to 30 percent off select styles at Abercrombie Kids
- Adidas is giving you 30 percent off select items sitewide with code CELEBRATE, including the Ultraboost 20, Adissage Slides, and Tiro 19 Training Pants.
- Aeropostale is giving you up to 70 percent off sitewide
- Belk is giving you up to 75 percent off Cyber Monday doorbusters through Dec. 7, up to 80 percent off clearance, up to 25 percent off women’s designer shoes and up to 25 percent off activewear
- Bonobos is offering 40 percent off sitewide with code SLEIGHFUL
- Kohl’s is offering an extra 25 percent off sitewide with code FAMILYSAVE, an extra 20 percent off fine and silver jewelry with code SPARKLE20 and an extra 10 percent off watches with code WATCHES10 through Dec. 9
- Lord and Taylor is offering up to 70 percent off sitewide
- Macy’s is giving you an extra 30 percent off select items sitewide and 15 percent off select beauty products with code FRIEND, as well as deals on cold weather essentials, including coats, kids options and items by Martha Stewart and Calvin Klein
- Nordstrom is giving you up to 40 percent off designer clearance, up to 30 percent off women’s sweaters, up to 25 percent off Nike items, up to 15 percent off beauty and more
- Nordstrom Rack is offering an extra 25 percent off holiday decor through Dec. 6 and Cyber Week flash sales through Dec. 8
- Old Navy is offering up to 60 percent off storewide on all jeans, coats, sweaters and jackets
- Olympia Sport is giving you up to 70 percent off select footwear, apparel, accessories and more sitewide
- Shoes.com is giving you 30 percent off with code CYBER30 through Dec. 4 and up to 45 percent off select sneakers
- STATE Bags is offering up to 75 percent off select items during its Warehouse Sale
- Uniqlo is offering Cyber Week deals on select women’s, men’s, kids and baby items
- Victoria’s Secret is offering up to $20 off PJ sets, up to $30 off select bras, up to $25 off robes and more
- Wilsons Leather is offering an extra 55 percent off sitewide with code MONDAY
Best deals to shop right now
If you’re looking for a Roomba, consider iRobot Roomba i7. It has greater suction power, sports two multi-surface rubber brushes to sweep up pet hair without getting tangled and is equipped with an allergen filter and dirt detect sensors. It also features smart mapping to know what areas need cleaning and which to avoid, as well as an automatic dirt disposal and more. Plus, you can set cleaning schedules through the iRobot HOME app.
This iHealth thermometer is Amazon’s No. 1 bestselling health care thermometer and was one of NBC News Shopping readers’ most purchased items during Cyber Monday. It uses infrared technology to detect your temperature from 3 centimeters away and works in about one second. When finished it will display the reading in large, white LED lights that can be seen in dark environments.
If you could use a new TV, consider the TCL 40S325 smart TV. Another Shopping bestseller during Cyber Monday, this 40-inch TV is equipped with Wi-Fi, features access to more than 5,000 streaming channels and fits well in most living rooms. It also includes voice control through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
4. AeroGarden Harvest 360
As winter is just around the corner and Covid-19 restrictions continue to rise, you may be feeling stuck inside your home and indoor plants can create the illusion of being outdoors. The AeroGarden Harvest 360 allows you to grow plants, including herbs or flowers year-round and without water or sunlight. It features LED lights equipped with an automatic timer and includes a free seed kit with purchase.
5. Eddie Bauer Flannel Button-Down Shirt
Another Shopping bestseller from Cyber Monday, this long-sleeve flannel by Eddie Bauer is made from 100-percent cotton that’s been brushed on both sides for a soft feel. It’s machine-washable and includes fade-resistant technology and a pocket detail at the chest. Plus, it comes in over half-a-dozen colors and patterns, including Royal Red and Bone.
6. Joy-Con Charging Dock for Nintendo Switch
Consider gifting this Joy-Con charging doc to a gamer in your life (or yourself) this holiday season. The dock can charge up to four Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers at once. It includes a USB port to plug into an outlet or your computer when it needs more power. Additionally, the dock features a weighted base for stability. Once your controllers are charged, a green light will appear.
Best things to buy in December and what can wait
During December, Ramhold suggested readers keep an eye out for special offers on gift cards, including “buy-one-give-one” deals from stores and restaurants. And while the largest discounts on holiday decor are likely to be seen after Christmas, Ramhold said we can still expect substantial discounts by mid-December, leaving plenty of time to save during this shopping season.
Ramhold also said that now is an especially good time to purchase video games, including PC games on Steam and GOG.com, as well as DVDs and Blu-rays as gifts or in bulk. “Look for collections of 20 movies to go for around $24, or sets like Game of Thrones to be under $200 for the entire series.”
Lastly, Ramhold said, we can expect after-Christmas sales on everything from clothing and the aforementioned holiday decorations and video games, to select TVs, portable speakers and more.
While there are many things to save on in December, there are products Ramhold said shoppers should hold off on purchasing this month, including fitness equipment, bedding and winter clothing. Although we might see some attractive home gym or winter clothing deals, Ramhold said all of these items should see larger price discounts and a wider variety during January.
In addition to the insights above, Ramhold cautioned shoppers regarding major shipping delays this year by shopping early and considering backup plans, as well as directly shipping gifts to recipients. For instance, FedEx, UPS and other delivery services are bracing themselves for a potential “shortfall of as many as 7 million packages a day,” NBC News reported in October.
“With the carriers having troubles and forecasting delays, there’s a good chance paying that extra amount won’t get your items to you any faster,” she said. “Instead, save that extra cash and consider warning your recipient their gift might be late this year.”
Catch up on the latest from NBC News Shopping guides and recommendations and download the NBC News app for full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Looking for the perfect gift? Check out the Shop TODAY Holiday Plaza.