Retailers looking to blow out merchandise will begin launching calculated sales on Dec. 25.
Department stores will be the best sources for those shopping from home on Christmas day. Macy's, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus stores hold off until Dec. 26) will get a jump on closeout sales.
The big discount chains including Target and Walmart are keeping their day-after-Christmas sales under wraps as of this writing, but once the sun sets on Dec. 24, look for big banner announcements on their Web sites and across social media.
Discounters are likely to start day-after-Christmas sales online Dec. 25 and in stores, in earnest, Dec. 26. Dealnews.com has a list of the best types of items to buy at this time.
Apparel is the biggest, as most merchandise has been stocked as holiday gifts and is also seasonal. Sweaters, coats, scarves and boots are being marked down for clearance, beginning now.
The discounts will only get better for those willing to wait, although retailers have gotten so good at managing inventory there's a real risk of missing out.
Some fitness gear, electronics and video games are good deals this time of year. And of course, now is the time to stock up on holiday decor for next year.
Home goods and furniture can offer great deals as national chains such as Crate and Barrel and Room & Board host annual clearance events. Discontinued merchandise is deeply discounted online and corresponding floor models sell at huge discounts in stores.
But act fast - it's not unheard of for people to line up at stores to score that settee they've been eyeing for the past year or two.
It's also a good idea to plan after Christmas shopping at retailers with lagging annual sales. This means Gap banners - especially Banana Republic - and The Limited, which could be the first retail bankruptcy of 2017. Online retailers are launching limited time deals - sometimes as limited as for just an hour - as Amazon's Lightning Deals spread across the Web.