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With Walmart being one of the biggest discount retailers, it may be surprising to learn that the Walmart after-Christmas sale comes too late to be the “best around.”
That doesn’t mean they’re meaningless, though. After Christmas is a great time of year to shop most retailers — including Walmart. There’s only one other time of year that you’ll find toys marked down this much, and Walmart has lower base pricing than stores like Macy’s — making the end result cheaper products, even if the markdowns take longer to get here.
1. Find early sales on holiday decor in 2022.
This year Target ran out the gate with their post-holiday sales on holiday decor way early. Like mid-December early.
In response, Walmart discounted a few holiday decor items by 25% – 36%, even before Dec. 25 came around. Markdowns jumped to 50% off on Dec. 26, but then rose to 75% a few days later, on Jan. 2, 2023. Items will be added to this list as time goes on.
Deals you can shop now at Walmart:
2. Don’t wait for the 90% off discount to shop the Walmart after-Christmas sale.
Walmart’s after-Christmas sales are released in waves. The first wave is 30% – 50% off eligible items on Dec. 26.
The next wave is 75% off starting on Jan. 2.
The final wave is 90% off sometime around mid-January.
The thing is, if you wait until it’s 90% off, there’s not going to be very much left. By mid-January, most items are gone. So if you see a deal for 75% off that you’d be sad to miss, just pick it up then and there.
3. But the best deals might not be available on Day One, either.
Walmart has issues keeping up with all of their clearance pricing. In fact, about 10% of Walmart clearance items are often less expensive than the price listed on the sticker — simply because employees are still trying to catch up on the constant price decreases.
It also means they roll out sales slower. If you shop on Dec. 26, there’s a good chance that not all of the 30% – 50% off sales have even gotten rolled out in the store yet. Same deal with the 75% off sale that launched on Jan. 2.
But if you give it a few days, you’ll see prices on a larger selection of items start to fall. Timing is tricky, though, because there’s always a chance that the clearance item you see today will be permanently sold out tomorrow.
4. Expect to see these items discounted during the Walmart after-Christmas sale.
Walmart doesn’t mark down the entire store for their after-Christmas sale. It’s only going to apply to select items.
Some of the product categories to keep your eye on are:
- Artificial Christmas trees
- Books (Especially holiday-themed books)
- Holiday decor, like Christmas lights
- Holiday gift sets
5. This is one of the two best times of year to buy toys at Walmart.
Once you get to the 75% off discount, you’ve arrived at one of the two best times of year to buy toys at Walmart. The other is usually in July — which just so happens to be around the same time as Amazon’s first Prime Day sale of the year.
If you wait until toys hit 90% off in mid-January, the good ones are almost guaranteed to be gone. This is the time to stock up for future gift-giving.
Toy deals to shop now:
Related: Need some gift inspiration? Our Walmart Toy List roundup is 100% shoppable.
6. You might have to go in store to score the after-Christmas deals.
Walmart’s curbside service made its debut during the early days of the pandemic. But it’s still one of the best programs around.
Which is why it’s so strange that even during the last two years of the pandemic, after-Christmas sales were largely unavailable for pickup orders. You had to either shop in store or order items online — and risk paying for shipping.
That may change this year, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If it wasn’t happening in the early days of the pandemic, it’s unlikely that any changes will be implemented in our current atmosphere of relaxed public health measures.
7. Target’s discounts are almost always better than the Walmart after-Christmas sale.
The after-Christmas sales at Target tend to run earlier, which ultimately means they’re better than Walmart at almost any given point in time.
Based on years past, here’s what we’d expect to see on the calendar: