TODAY   |  December 18, 2013

The best day to buy a car is coming up

TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky has some tips for last-minute Christmas shoppers and consumers looking for post-holiday deals, and reveals why the last day of the year is actually the best day to buy a car.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we're down to the wire. christmas just a week away and 32 million americans haven't started shopping yet.

>> boy.

>> if you want to get your gifts shipped on time and want to know where the last minute deals are, we have the answers thanks to our today financial editor. good to see you.

>> nice to see you guys.

>> we're here to help people out.

>> today is free shipping day.

>> free shipping day which means 900 stores are shipping for free with no minimums. go to free shipping and you can see the entire list but we pulled some of the top deals. e e eddie bauer . the body shop 50% off everything. pet smart , up to 30% off depending on how much you spend. go to the website though to get the code.

>> what is the date for free shipping with no minimum purchase?

>> that's a little trickier because some stores will continue to do it. we pulled together a list and it's stores you like to shop at like saks and j. crew which is tomorrow. the last possible one is zappos which says it will get your stuff there if you shop december 23rd .

>> wow.

>> that's pushing it.

>> yeah. pushing it and with no cost, right.

>> when we talk about our budget, for folks that haven't finished shopping, they might start panicking and now they may overspend if they haven't already.

>> a couple of tips here, people have about an average $300 in gift cards lying around their house. go find them and use those to buy your gifts. you won't bust your budget. if you're sitting on a ton of frequent flyer miles , you can use them to buy stuff. it's not the most economical use of the miles. you'll get the best bang for your buck by buying an airline ticket. you can get gift certificates to saks and the gap. you can use your delta points to buy bracelets. so there's a lot out there.

>> for those that can hold out until maybe after christmas , there's a lot of after christmas sales, right?

>> if you wait until the day after the holiday, that's when you want to buy aparallel and everything will go on major sell. the last day of the year is actually the best day of the year to buy a car because car dealers have to meet quotas. if you can wait until january you'll get better deals on fitness equipment and furniture because the new stuff starts to come in and if you need to buy a mattress, just wait until may.

>> and then the electronics always good around february.

>> around february because of the super bowl . so everybody wants their big screen tvs. that's when you get the best price of the year.

>> we had bad weather the last couple of weekends. is that putting pressure on retailers to cut prices even more.

>> no question. no question. we are seeing entire stores, like eddie bauer and the body shop mark things down 30, 40, 50%.

>> they want to get rid of that inventory.