With Christmas 2008 shaping up to be the worst holiday shopping season for retailers in years, possibly ever (since records were first kept in the 1960s), shoppers will have another prime opportunity to save some cash. "Day after Christmas" sales are springing up all over, and many in the industry this year are calling it the "new Black Friday".

As the U.S. sinks deeper into recession and unemployment continues to increase, consumer confidence is waning. In short, people are hanging on to the money they have and spending much less. Unless a retailer is offering a fantastic bargain, they risk losing sales to another retailer that is.

Haggling is also becoming much more common. With consumers able to go online and make purchase, or shop around for the best deal (even from their cell phone), most stores are offering price-matching, or are willing to negotiate a lower price. The price you see on the sticker isn't necessarily the price you have to pay. Discounts of up to 70 percent won't be uncommon at many retailers the day after Christmas.

Among the major retailers slashing prices and offering deep discounts are Sears (70 percent off electronics), Kmart (40 percent off clearance items), Crate & Barrel (70 percent discounts) and J.C. Penney (70 percent off jewelry).

There are some great bargains to be had on the online shopping sites, too. I finally caved in and purchased a new computer to replace the six-year-old HP model I have which is moving at a crawl and unable to handle some of the software I use. I ordered a refurbished model at CompUSA with a 19-inch HD monitor. It would have cost me more than $1,200 new at the store. My price? $600. If this model lasts me another six years, that's a great bargain. I may even be able to deduct the purchase price on my income taxes because I use my home computer for business purposes.

This year, the store's loss is the consumer's gain.

Savvy Frugality Recommended Reading: Haggle for Lower Prices


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