NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Now that the pre-Christmas shopping crush has ended and the crowds have thinned a bit, consumer experts said the start of the year is a great time to cash in on bargains.

January marks one of the slowest months for retail sales, which means good news for shoppers.

In fact, it is the second-best month for bargains trailing only November, according to Lindsay Sakraida, features director at

“Winter apparel is really great in January, but particularly at the end of the month,” Sakraida told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

Expensive, cutting-edge TVs are also at the top of the list for bargain hunters. Sakraida said late January is the best time to cash in on the biggest markdowns because the 2013 models debut next week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“The same happens with cameras and there are furniture shows in February so we see that bulky inventory get cleared out,” Sakraida told Smith.

Also look for deals on smartphones in 2013, especially if you are in a contract with your provider.

“Android phones can become $1 or less after just a few months of being released, so even really buzz-worthy models,” said Sakraida.

The new iPhone is the exception to the rule, however. Although the iPhone 5 has been discounted at Wal-Mart as part of an exclusive deal the retailer made with Apple, the stock clears fast, Sakraida said.

“Wal-Mart actually I think is still discounting it to $127 but a lot of people haven’t been able to find it because it keeps selling out,” Sakraida added.

Other more obvious items practically being given away this month include anything related to the winter holidays. If you are willing to spend now, you can save at least 70 percent on the same things you’ll see restocked at the end of the year, according to Sakraida.

“Artificial trees, new lights, inflatable decorations for up to 80 percent off,” she said.

The rules are the same for gift card holders, according to the experts. They say if you want to get the most bang for your gift card bucks, hold on to them until the last two weeks of January to take advantage of slashed prices. You’ll likely walk out of the store with a lot more than if you went shopping now, Smith reported.

The discounts go into February too, but by then you should expect to see less variety in colors and sizes, according to the experts.

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