If you're in the market for outerwear, there's a short window in January when coats and jackets are at their cheapest, said Madhok. Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer are among the brands whose discounts have already reached as much as 60 percent off. Don't wait too long—by February, selection is minimal, if stores haven't already shipped the few pieces left out to outlets, she said.
In March 2013, a Supreme Court ruling upheld consumers' right to resell products they have purchased. At the heart of the case: a student who bought less-expensive international editions of textbooks, which he later resold on eBay. Shoppers are likely to see more of these inexpensive texts on the market in 2014, both from international sellers hawking new versions and students reselling used copies. Savings can be impressive. On Amazon.com, a new U.S. copy of the 12th edition of "Principles of Risk Management and Insurance" runs $212; a like-new global edition is as little as $126.
But international textbooks aren't always a good buy. "They're usually printed on very flimsy paper that's incredibly thin," said Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president for Edvisors Network. The book might fall apart midsemester. Page numbering may also differ from U.S. edition. "So if the professor says read pages 33 to 53 for tomorrow, you have to figure out what that really means," he said. Renting a textbook or buying a used U.S. edition might be a better value.
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Missed the $200 Black Friday TV doorbusters? Don't worry—in January, "we're probably going to see even better deals than on Black Friday," said Brent Shelton, a spokesman for deal site FatWallet.com. Manufacturers often introduce new models during the International Consumer Electronics Show in early January, prompting price drops on the soon-to-be old models. Then pre-Super Bowl sales kick in. The resulting discounts are often as deep as those on Black Friday, but encompass a wider range of brands and models, Shelton said.
Last-minute cruise deals for January have already dropped below $60 per night in some cases, which represents discounts of more than 50 percent. Expect Caribbean cruises to stay cheap in 2014, as lines launch new routes and bring new ships, such as Carnival Splendor and Norwegian Getaway. "They have a lot more berths to fill," said Stephanie Serino, a luxury cruise consultant with Tzell Travel Group in New York.
Airfare is likely to get cheaper, too. JetBlue recently announced it would expand service to the Caribbean, adding five new routes to two new destinations, Port-au-Prince in Haiti and Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. "They come into the market and they take over the market," said Serino. That forces legacy carriers to compete with better-priced fares.
—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant. Follow her on Twitter @kelligrant.