If you've been keeping up with us as we've been covering the holidays, you may have seen our recent post on the best deals for year-end purchases. This left us wondering — are there any gifts our readers shouldn't buy this season? The answer, it turns out, is yes.While many of these popular holiday gifts seem like no-brainers, in actuality they're an unnecessary drain on your wallet and can even be a burden on your loved ones. To see what you should resist buying this holiday season, see our list below!
Technology is a big seller for the holiday season, but often, the winter months aren't the best time of year to purchase tech items. Because many new laptops, computer models, and tablets are released in October and November, their prices are introductory, and rarely slashed. In fact, on Black Friday, technology retailers often give what appear to be great deals on forlorn items they want gone.
During the holiday season, the products that are the most heavily discounted are usually the ones that have undesirable features or lack longevity. If you're flexible with how up-to-date your technology is, you may get the best discount and value during the back-to-school season, in which older models are sold at a more affordable rate in the late summer and early autumn.
There are some gifts that are often big sellers during the holiday season, but may be worthy of reconsidering. For example, the new iPad Air is all the rage, but depending on your loved one's preferences, may not be the best gift. Upon looking at the newly unveiled device, Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, said that the iPad didn't hit his needs, as he was looking for more storage. Another popular gift is to name a star for someone, but according to the International Astronomical Union, "such names have no formal or official validity whatever."
Enrolling a loved one in a food or wine of the month club can cost you around 50 bucks a month, meaning that even if you choose a quarter of a year, you'll be shelling out some serious dough. On top of that, a good portion of your payment goes toward packaging, and presentation, not to mention shipping expenses. Instead, why not order a one-time gift basket, or even assemble one yourself?
Gifts that require them to pay money
The "partial gift" is a much hated present, forcing the receiver to shell out money if they want to complete their gift. For example, a satellite radio can be a nice gift, but if the receiver has to pay the monthly subscription fee they don't want to, you've just given your friend a useless present. Another example may be a gift card to a swanky store — though this may feel like a luxurious gift, if the receiver can't pay for any items in the store using the gift card alone, then you've dropped the ball again.
No one wants to get a membership they didn't explicitly ask for, and getting a back-handed insult through the gift makes the offense far worse. Save the suggestion for a time when you're not gathered over rich foods, desserts, and with family they may not want around to witness your pointed "gift" of self-improvement.
Prepackaged generic gifts
Though these gifts come already packaged and beautified, gifts that scream generic will probably find a permanent home stored at the back of a bathroom cabinet. Soaps and candles can make nice gifts for the right people, but if your loved one has other interests, try and find something that will speak to them more personally.
While you may be daydreaming of the look on their face when they realized you've given them a brand new camera, the biggest electronic trade shows happen in January and February, which means that those newly introduced models will be taking the place of older stock. By the end of February, older models will be selling at discounts of 30 percent or more!
If you have a few DIY-loving guys in your life, try resisting the gift of tools 'til June, because around Father's Day, prices fall by 25 percent.
So readers, when it comes to luxe gift giving, a present should have both form and function, because without that, you're just looking at an expensive price tag. To avoid paying top dollar for overhyped expensive holiday gifts, avoid these items, at least for this season. For the best deals you will get around this time of the year, see our suggestions.
The gift of a stable retirement
Millions of Americans have waited on the sidelines since the market meltdown in 2008 and 2009, too scared to invest and put their money at further risk. Yet those who've stayed out of the market have missed out on huge gains and put their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you why investing is so important and what you need to do to get started. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.
This article originally appeared on MyBankTracker.