March brings a plethora of older electronics dropping in price, thanks to new-model previews at last month’s annual International Consumer Electronics Show. With spring approaching, you’ll also see a few seasonal deals in March:
Automotive: Look for offers on tires, maintenance parts and wax-and-wash supplies. Although Atlanta vehicles don’t regularly suffer the damage from the salt-sand mix northern cities need for traction in the snow, Southerners could still benefit from national deals aimed at consumers planning to spruce up their cars after gritty winters. Consumer site FatWallet.com spokesman Brent Shelton says there’s usually a spike in discounts for tire deals (like buy three, get one free), alignments and tune-ups in March.
TVs: It’s no Black Friday, but March offers some nice deals on TVs. “The new ones will be coming out over the next several months, so you might be able to get deals on last year’s models as the newer ones come out,” says Jim Barry, spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association. “Some of that doesn’t happen until later in the year. … The inventory has been such that there has never been a better time to buy a TV set.” Barry says you can save even more by purchasing an older TV without Internet access and then purchasing a streaming Blu-ray player or Roku box separately.
Shelton suggests a secondary impetus for the spike in HDTV deals: a peaking interest in the NCAA’s March Madness, which also explains the increase in discounts on collegiate sportswear.
Tablets: Rumors of the iPad 3 launching soon still hang thick in the air, with many anticipating a price drop on the iPad 2 — possibly up to $100 off, Barry says. Other competitors might also be forced to drop prices with a less-expensive iPad 2 in the market. “For instance, the BlackBerry Playbook tablet — which has had a real tough go of it — they just dropped the price on that to $199,” Barry says of the device, made by Research in Motion and originally more than twice as expensive. “They’ve had a very difficult year and it hasn’t sold as well as they had hoped. But that’s a big drop.”
Laptops: After igniting excitement at the Las Vegas electronics show, Intel-based ultrabooks — which start around $800 — might drive down the prices of older, heavier Intel laptops, Barry says. Look for sales, especially in the 15- to 16-inch range.
Seasonal apparel: Grab clearance prices on outerwear, boots, ski or snowboard gear, as well as a few early discounts on spring and summer wear. According to Shelton, FatWallet traditionally sees a heavy rotation of deals and coupons in this area during March.
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter