With our mild winter and two holidays in February, it’s an excellent month to buy a variety of goods and services.
Outerwear: Lindsay Sakraida, features director at DealNews.com, says many retailers are stuck with an overstock of heavy coats because this winter has been so warm. “It hasn’t really inspired people to go out and buy,” Sakraida says. “February is always a pretty good month to be getting a great deal on a coat, but especially this year. It sounds like retailers are really trying to push them out the door.” She suggests stacking a coupon on top of a Presidents Day sale.
iPad 2: When the iPad 2 was unveiled, the DealNews team saw deep discounts on refurbished original iPads. Now, “There’s a lot of rumors that iPad 3 will be released at the end of February, which means it will probably be a great time to start looking for deals on the iPad 2,” Sakraida says. If the buzz turns out to be real, sales might spill into March as well.
Ski trips: “We’ve been seeing a huge influx in travel deals for locations like ski resort towns, and that’s probably because of how mild the winter has been,” Sakraida says. Destinations such as Salt Lake City and Keystone, Colo., have “had a hard time getting people to come because they haven’t actually much to ski on.” Also look for deals on lift tickets.
Jewelry: “That’s one place where you can find some special sales and can see 25 [percent] to 50 percent off on some jewelry items,” says Dan Butler, vice president of retail operations at the National Retail Federation. Valentine’s Day is approaching, but the best discounts usually aren’t on engagement rings. “It is a diamond promotion, but it’s diamond earrings and diamond tennis bracelets more so than diamond rings,” Butler says. But you could still hit a storewide promotion.
Bathing suits: “Believe it or not, swimwear is usually at 20 [percent] to 40 percent off,” Butler says. “For some people it’s aspirational — they buy a swimsuit as part of their target goal of what they want to get into.” He also says consumers typically shop early for the best selection, which can drive sales as early as February.
Also look for: Audio equipment, fully equipped laptops, spray tanning deals, winter and spring apparel, Valentine’s Day candy (starting a day or two before), tools from Home Depot and department stores, bedding at Macy’s and Kohl’s, furniture and older 12- to 13-inch laptops.
Wait on: Digital cameras.
Movie tickets: Deal-buying sites like Groupon and Living Social sell ticket packages throughout the year, but February sees an abrupt hiatus of these offers. “I don’t know if it’s because they think the upcoming Academy Awards is enough of an impetus to get consumers to come to the cinema,” Sakraida says. “It’s just a complete drop-off in February.”
Also: Last-minute rose bouquets, 15- to 16-inch laptops.
Are you waiting for a sale this month?
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter