Savvy shoppers understand that certain items are discounted during specific seasons and/or holidays. Timing is everything, especially when it comes to shopping and finding the best deals available. Some sales are tied to phasing out old models and bringing in the new, while others are long-standing traditions. Below, find a monthly shopping guide from Chelsea Hudson, Shopping Expert at TopCashback.com:
• Fitness equipment
• Cruises. The cruise industry rolls out promotions in January through March to entice travelers to purchase. Think of January as the Black Friday for the industry. Also, the industry typically sees a drop in bookings in March and April, so you’ll find extra promotions to incentivize bookings. Experts recommend purchasing their cruise package at least six months in advance. Book smart and look for the lowest price guarantee policies to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
• Candy and chocolate. Post-Valentine’s Day sales can leave Americans finding heavy discounts on candy and chocolate. Remember, it is a first come, first served basis so if you’re looking to stock up on candy, do it sooner rather than later! Since Valentine’s Day items are typically heart-shaped, you can repurpose clearance items for Mother’s Day or an anniversary!
• Consider switching out your old mattress since big-box stores have mattress sales throughout Presidents Day weekend. Macy’s and JCPenney typically offer 65-75% off name-brand mattresses.
• You’ll start to notice in February/March rock-bottom prices on seasonal clothes such as winter outerwear as stores clear the racks for spring inventory. This also applies to winter sports gear such as skis, snowboards, and equipment.
• Headed on a winter getaway to avoid those seasonal blues? With multiple holidays like Spring Break around the corner, stores drop their prices on luggage in March. Don’t forget to stack coupons, deals, and steals, and shop via a cashback site to get the best bang for your buck on luggage!
• Clearance Easter candy and gifts, early Mother’s Day deals and Tax Day freebies are all categories you can save on in April. Pay attention to store circulars, e-mail newsletters, etc. so you don’t miss out on any deals or sales!
• The most popular items to purchase in May include seasonal spring apparel on clearance, furniture sales and home appliances around Memorial Day weekend.
• As most Americans head outdoors for the start of summer, you’ll find deals worth snagging on indoor activities such as gym memberships and movie tickets.
• Thanks to Amazon Prime Day (July 11) noteworthy discounts are available on Amazon products such as Kindles and Echo devices. Pro tip: Don’t be tempted by sales on kitchen appliances since Amazon will release similar or better deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consumers can expect Prime Day will bring deals on many, if not all, of Amazon’s branded products. Fire TV devices, Fire tablets, Echo speaker and Kindle e-readers, Prime Day is the day to get these popular items for cheap. To compete for sales, you’ll find large discounts at big online retailers such as Target and Walmart as well.
• Every year, some states offer sales tax holidays or tax-free weekends. This is great timing for those who are planning back-to-school purchases. Shoppers can buy things like clothing and computers without paying sales tax.
• Summer items. It’s easy to get swept up in the new summer fashion trends and BBQ essentials, but make sure you wait! A general rule of thumb when purchasing seasonal items is to wait until they are on sale or clearance. For example, you always find great deals on winter items once the nice weather approaches. August is the best time to purchase summer apparel, shoes, patio furniture, and air conditioners since stores are looking to clear their inventory to make room for fall and items. Americans can also take advantage of sales on big-ticket items such as furniture, mattresses, appliances, and grills Labor Day weekend.
• Laptops and computers. You can thank back-to-school sales for deals and steals on computers and laptops. Not only will you find discounted electronics, but freebie deals are also available. For example, Apple tends to include discounts on almost all computers, warranties and free items such as headphones.
• Historically, Apple announces new iPhone models in September, so you’ll start to see discounts on older models. Those who don’t mind missing out on the newest update can save hundreds of dollars on previous years’ models.
• If you didn’t take advantage of summer sales in September, you’ll find those items on the ultimate clearance rack in October. That includes outdoor furniture and clothes. Post-Halloween sales include decorations and costumes you can tuck away for next year!
• Electronics. Due to every store and online retailer fighting for your sale, there is no doubt you’ll find unbeatable deals on electronics around Black Friday. From doorbuster deals on TVs to cameras and so on, every category of gadgets is discounted.
• Holiday decorations. All seasonal items go on sale as soon as the peak-buying period is over. Consumers stock up on anything they can get their hands on for next Christmas such as wrapping paper, tags, ornaments, decorations, lights etc. Anyone who is in the market for seasonal items and looking to score a deal should purchase these items sooner rather than later. The more you procrastinate, the slimmer pickings you’ll have in the clearance section. This rule doesn’t just apply to just Christmas. After about a week of any holiday, you can find any remaining seasonal decoration marked down to 90 percent off. The selection will be more limited, but you can find amazing goods for pennies.