By Louis Ramirez, dealnews Senior Feature Writer Despite the fact that many of us have already spent several weeks seeking out gifts for loved ones, the shopping season doesn't come to an end once Christmas rolls around. In fact, December 26 is traditionally a very busy day for shoppers. Whether you're using a new gift card or secretly making a gift exchange, retailers tend to bombard shoppers with post-Christmas sales. Even here at dealnews we posted 50% more after-Christmas sales in 2011 than 2010. So what can you expect from retailers this year? We combed through 2011's best sales to offer some predictions for 2012. After Christmas Sales Will Start Early Before you even think about the sales, it's important to know that, like Black Friday (which edged its way into Thanksgiving), we expect to see after-Christmas sales starting earlier than usual. Last year, confirmed after-Christmas sales began going live as early as December 23. This year we expect more of the same, and since Christmas Eve falls on a Monday, we wouldn't be surprised to see a few branded sales begin as early as Friday, December 21. It's also worth noting that last year December 26 fell on a Sunday, when people had the leisure of shopping online or in-store. This year it falls on a Wednesday, when many people will be back at work, so retailers will have to fight even more to get your attention. You'll likely see big headlines and discounts, which may be great for getting your attention, but may not always offer the best deals. So naturally we recommend keeping a focus on the items you want to buy. More Sales, But Fewer Editors' Choice Deals In 2010, 35% of the deals posted on December 26 were Editors' Choice caliber. Last year that number fell to just 13%. This drop in percentage is partially due to the fact that the overall quantity of deals we posted after Christmas in 2011 was 50% higher than the previous year; however, the total number of Editors' Choice deals was still down slightly year over year. So for 2012, we predict that the number of after-Christmas sales will increase again, but Editors' Choice offers will remain roughly the same. For comparison, the number of Editors' Choice deals posted on Black Friday 2011 and Black Friday 2012 remained steadfast at roughly 38%. And while a lower percentage of Editors' Choice deals indicates that after-Christmas deals won't be as strong as the deals we saw on Black Friday, there are certain items that will see better discounts including brand-name HDTVS, Christmas decor, and more. The Best Things to Buy Right After Christmas So where exactly should you turn for the best after-Christmas sales? In addition to brick-and-mortar discounts from the likes of Toys "R" Us, Old Navy, and Victoria's Secret, last year we also saw discounts from many online retailers like Amazon, newegg, and 6pm. And while we saw sales across all product categories, it was apparel that rang in the most deals, with discounts ranging from 40% to 90% off with stacking coupons. For in-store shoppers, printable coupons took an extra 20% to 40% off single items. Or in extreme instances, printable coupons took 50% off non-sale items. Brand names to look for include Barneys New York, J.Crew, and L.L.Bean. Gadget fans should take note, too. If you didn't find the perfect tech deal over the holidays, not all hope is lost. Specific categories like brand-name HDTVs and a number of consumer electronics, traditionally see more aggressive discounts post-Christmas than they do in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Ready, Set, Shop! So how should you prepare for after-Christmas sales? First, you should sign on to dealnews early and see if there are any Editors' Choice in-store only sales or printable coupons. Then, scope out the online offers throughout the day; a task that's made easier if you set up an email alert for deals on the specific products or categories of interest to you. Happy shopping! Front page photo credit: She Finds Photo credits: Frugal Penny and Spend Less, Shop More Related dealnews Features: 6 Things to Buy After Christmas December Buying Guide A Buyer's Guide to Extended Holiday Returns for Christmas 2012 An avid gadget lover, Louis Ramirez has covered technology for Gizmodo, CNET, Laptop, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @LouisRamirez. Follow @dealnews for the latest roundups, price trend info, and stories. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.