Back-to-school sales rule in August, but you’ll also see summer clearance on clothing and outdoor gear.
Back to school
Clothing, supplies: When it comes to saving money, bundling is your best bet. Groupon, for example, has already begun to offer backpack deals and supply bundles. And some online retailers will run sales you can combine with an extra coupon code and free shipping. “We see this a lot with clothing, especially the brands the kids like,” said Brent Shelton, a spokesman with consumer site FatWallet.com. Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale offered their best discounts of the year last August.
Laptops and more: Retailers like Amazon, Microsoft and Sony will probably offer laptop bundles in August, when higher-end models might be paired with an Xbox, PlayStation or gift card, says Lindsay Sakraida, features editor at DealNews.com. “Amazon sometimes will even offer both a console and a gift card,” she said. “For some of the lower-end computers, you can still get something bundled with it, maybe a printer, which isn’t as exciting, but is very useful.”
Apple: Apple is offering a special for students through Sept. 21: 5 to 8 percent off depending on which Mac you choose, plus a $100 gift card. “Last year’s model of the Macbook Air is the best in terms of discount — still very new technology,” Sakraida says.
Dorm furniture: There’s one standout when it comes to pricing on college furniture. “Almost across the board, Wal-Mart the past two years has offered the lowest prices on things like futons [and] compact computer desks,” Sakraida says. “You really can outfit an entire first apartment for your college student for pretty cheap.”
Other best buys
Outdoor gear: The summer air lures folks outdoors for golf, cycling, camping and fishing, and retailers will begin running sales to shove related inventory out the door before the warm weather disappears, Shelton said.
Summer apparel: Look for clearance and coupons, especially from Old Navy, Nautica, French Connection, Dickies and Converse, which had their best sales last August. Also jump on any remaining swimwear you find, as most retailers will be aggressive about moving it. Running shoes might especially go on sale, Shelton said.
Also look for: Fitness equipment or accessories, gym memberships, Caribbean cruises, grills.
But wait on these
Patio furniture: Deeper discounts are coming this fall.
Kindle Fire: Rumors about the new model abound, which means you can either wait for the latest technology to come out or for the current version’s price ($199) to decrease. “We’re predicting that the original could drop to as low as $169,” Sakriada said.
iPhones, accessories: The iPhone 5 is expected to debut this fall, and many are anticipating a different dock connector. If you’re considering an upgrade, hold off on buying any more accessories — they might not fit the 5. If you’re looking for an older model, wait for the release of the iPhone 5 to drive down prices.
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter