January Is the Worst Month To Buy These 13 Things

Find out which purchases you should avoid at the beginning of the year.

in the mall with shopping bags
Updated May 28, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

The new year is right around the corner, and that means you might be gearing up to find good deals in January that can help you keep more money in your wallet when shopping.

January offers many great bargains, but there are some things you should not buy in the first month of the year if you want to pay the best price.

Here are 13 things you should avoid buying in January.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Cameras

Krakenimages.com/Adobe woman smiling confident using camera

Many people use the camera on their smartphone to snap photos. But if you’re serious about photography, you might want to invest in a dedicated camera.

Consumer Reports says February — not January — is one of the best months to buy a camera if you want a deal. So, if you want to save money shopping, wait one more month before making this purchase.

Vacuum and carpet cleaner

New Africa/Adobe man using vacuum cleaner

A good vacuum and carpet cleaner can keep your carpets clean and remove allergens from your home.

If you need to replace your vacuum or carpet cleaner, January might not be the ideal time. Prices start to drop in March when people schedule their spring cleaning.

Spring clothing

NDABCREATIVITY/Adobe woman buying new clothes

Yes, some stores start stocking spring clothes as early as January. However, you'll likely pay full price at this time, and you won’t see any discounts for a few months.

Usually, spring clothes start to go on sale in April or May, so it’s best to hold out until then.

Get a protection plan on all your appliances

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more.

Whether or not you’re a new homeowner, a home warranty from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where insurance falls short and protect you against surprise expenses. If a covered system in your home breaks, you can call their hotline 24/7 to get it repaired.

For a limited time, you can get your first month free with a Single Payment home warranty plan.

Get a free quote

Blenders

New Africa/Adobe man using blender to cook

Blenders are an essential device for any kitchen. They’re excellent for making smoothies, frozen cocktails, sauces, and even bread.

However, you may want to avoid buying a blender in January. You’ll probably see the best blender deals around July — when Amazon’s Prime Day inspires sales — and over the holidays.

Mattresses

Petro/Adobe bed with orthopedic pillow

Buying a quality mattress is important. And since this is a relatively expensive purchase, you want to find the best deals so you get more bang for your buck.

While stores often offer decent sales on mattresses around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, expect even better prices on Memorial Day, Presidents Day, and Independence Day.

Major appliances

corepics/Adobe couple choosing washing machine

Buying large appliances in January — such as stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators — might not be your best bet. There are often better deals around Presidents Day and Memorial Day.

With Presidents Day right around the corner in February, it might be worth putting off these purchases for a little while. However, in January, you may find some decent sales on small kitchen appliances — such as food processors or hand mixers.

Winter gear and tools

Nicolas St-Germain/Adobe man using snowblower

January and February usually mark the worst time for the snow and cold. Retailers know this is when many people seek out snowblowers, shovels, skis, and more, so they tend to price them a bit higher at the beginning of the year.

Try to wait until March to buy these items to hit the end-of-the-season sales. As demand for these products decreases, the prices tend to dip.

Luggage

didiksaputra/Adobe organized travel store

Many people travel in winter to visit family for the holidays or to escape cold weather. Once holiday sales are over, luggage tends to be more expensive in January.

Buying luggage during other periods — such as March, April, August, and September — might be a better bet. You can also find a lot of sales during holidays such as Memorial Day and around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Laptops

Korta/Adobe woman buying a laptop in store

If you're looking for a new laptop for school or work, wait until later in the year.

While January can offer some good deals on laptops, Black Friday and the back-to-school months are usually when you find the best prices.

Stop overpaying when you shop online

Shopping online has its perks. It's super convenient, but it can be time consuming to find the best deals. Instead of hunting for coupon codes (that don't always work!) and opening tons of browser tabs comparing prices, you can try Capital One Shopping.

Capital One Shopping makes saving money effortless. Just add the browser extension and when you check out, it'll scour the internet for coupon codes to help you save cash. And before you check out at 25+ major retailers, Capital One Shopping will notify you with a friendly pop-up if the item you're buying is available cheaper somewhere else.

Capital One Shopping is free to use and won't show you ads. Add it today and stop overpaying!2

Get Capital One Shopping now

Out-of-season produce

AIPERA/Adobe women shopping in the supermarket

Out-of-season produce is often more costly. Not only can it inflate your grocery bill, but off-season fruits and veggies may be less nutrient-dense than those harvested in-season.

During January, avoid summer produce, such as berries, zucchini, and watermelon. Instead, try to buy what's in season, such as citrus fruits, root vegetables, brussels sprouts, and apples.

Furniture

Nomad_Soul/Adobe couple choosing sofa for home

When the weather turns cold, people generally spend more time inside. Because of this, you may want to update some of your home decor and furniture.

However, furniture stores tend to hold their best sales during Presidents Day, so waiting one more month could save you quite a few bucks.

Video games

Miljan Živković/Adobe siblings playing video game console

If you or someone close to you is an avid gamer, you might want to know when to score the lowest prices.

Unfortunately, that time is not in January. If you’re looking for the best deals, you’ll likely find them during Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day.

Air purifier

220 Selfmade studio/Adobe air purifier in cozy white bedroom

An air purifier can help those with allergies or asthma or even folks worried about wildfire smoke. However, January might not be the optimal time to buy.

When spring rolls around and people throw open the windows, prices on air purifiers often drop. You also might find good deals in September.

Bottom line

Jelena/Adobe man at the shopping

There are some items you should avoid buying in January. Items such as electronics, mattresses, and winter gear might be cheaper later in the year.

Knowing the best time to shop for specific things can be an effective strategy to build up your savings so you can put away more cash or other goals.

Discover®️ Cashback Debit Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

Author Details

Carley Clark

Carley Clark is a personal finance writer from Michigan. She graduated from Spring Arbor University with a bachelor's degree in business. After graduation, she worked in finance as a revenue auditor at a casino. Carley strives to write informative content that will help readers meet their financial goals.