Anyone who knows his way around a clearance rack knows the best time to buy shorts is in December. And that heavy sweaters can cost you a mere $9 in June. In fact, many of us prey on that seasonal rotation to purchase our wardrobes at rock-bottom prices.
But it goes beyond apparel, and beyond our traditional grasp of seasonality. Many retailers have their own timetable for moving merchandise, either to make room for more goods or for other reasons. Sometimes previous sales have even conditioned consumers to expect discounts at certain times of the year. And the introduction of group-buying sites into the market has made sale cycles even more unpredictable.
So what are some of the best –- and worst — things to buy right now? Let’s take a look:
TVs: It might be tempting to buy one this month — in June, 55-inch LED LCD HDTVs were as low as $1,048, reports DealNews.com –- but prices on electronics typically trend downward as newer technology emerges. You’ll still get the lowest price — so far– if you purchase something around that $1,050 mark. But if you’ve already waited until summer, you might as well hold out for Black Friday, when prices will bottom out across the board.
Home décor: Early to midsummer is actually best for many of these items, in part because of the wedding season. “There’s a lot of purchasing for summer brides in the month of July,” says Daniel Butler, VP of retail operations for the National Retail Federation. “Bridal is a fundamental building block of the home business.” But whether you’re shopping for a newlywed or not, you can take advantage of deep discounts on bedding, dinnerware and more this month.
Grills and patio furniture: “Two things a lot of people are considering buying now are grills and patio furniture,” says Lindsay Sakraida, features director at DealNews. “Our research shows that we don’t start seeing grill sales until August.” Patio furniture is a different story, she says, so don’t let the heat deter you –- find it today while it’s on sale. Check out more of the research from DealNews.
Luxury items: “You see more luxury items offered at this time of year than you have in the past,” says Butler. “On Groupon and other [discount] sites, you have seen the emergence of designers that are building their identities through these tools.” Designer clothes, home goods and accessories are less expensive this midsummer than ever before.
Also keep an eye on: Plant sales, clothes clearances, summer sports goods liquidations, resort gift shop sales, air travel via Lufthansa and JetBlue.
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter