For those willing to wait, there’s a best time of year to buy all kinds of things, from TVs to bathing suits.
“Retail is very seasonal,” said Benjamin K. Glaser, features editor at DealNews.com, a leading comparison shopping website. “If you are on the fence, making a new purchase, these seasonal cycles could really make a difference.”
Traci Gregorski, senior vice president of Market Track, which monitors prices online and in stores, studied more than 150,000 promotions from February 2014 through January to find the lowest prices on various categories.
Here, a month-by-month guide, based on feedback from experts:
JANUARY: Take advantage of the post-Christmas sales and stock up on wrapping paper, holiday cards and decorations. Also, it’s an ideal time to buy winter clothing like coats. Stores also offer deep discounts on sheets, towels and blankets for their annual “White Sale.”
For those looking for good discounts on top-notch TVs, it’s best to shop during Super Bowl season. Glaser spotted all-time low prices on 4K TVs in the two weeks before the Super Bowl this year including 55- or 65-inch TVs, with prices around $550 and $999, respectively.
FEBRUARY to MARCH: Partake in the post Valentine’s Day sales to get fat discounts on pricy candies. Godiva.com, for example, is discounting up to 40 percent on select chocolates. It’s also the best time to buy sofas and other furniture as retailer start slashing prices on older inventory to make room for new models. Glaser estimates discounts of 30 percent to 50 percent, but select items can be discounted as much as 90 percent.
APRIL: As weather starts to warm up, stores use this month to discount athletic footwear. Gregorski says discounts on older shoe models are reduced as much as 30 percent to 40 percent. Newer sneakers are discounted by about 15 to 20 percent. It’s also the best time to get bikes and other outdoor playthings like noodles for the pool.
MAY: Take advantage of Memorial Day sales to buy spring clothes. Stores discount them heavily to make room for summer apparel. Glaser also says stores discount mattresses as much as 50 percent. It’s also an ideal time to buy tablets and desktop computers as stores want to attract shoppers before back-to-school shopping kicks into high gear. Gregorksi estimates discounts can be up to 25 percent.
JUNE: Looking for some hedge trimmers? Experts say lawn care equipment like rakes, shovels, and bush trimmers all have the lowest prices during this month.
JULY: You might be a little sweaty in your house in June but wait until July to buy an air conditioner. Discounts range from 20 percent to 35 percent, Gregorski estimates. It’s also a good time to go swimsuit shopping.
AUGUST: Shoppers will see the biggest discounts on school supplies like backpacks and notebooks as the back-to-school shopping season winds down, Glaser says. Price of outdoor grills also drop.
SEPTEMBER: If you didn’t upgrade your mattress over Memorial Day, then enjoy the big sales that match the discounts in May. And if you want a new laptop, buy one early in the month to take advantage of lingering back-to-school sales. Laptop prices typically drop an extra 8 percent to 25 percent in early September, says DealNews.com. Also, this is a good time to buy back-to-school clothing.
OCTOBER: Looking for a car? Auto dealers tend to drop prices from October through the end of the year as they clear their inventory to make room for the new models, Glaser said. While the back-to-school sales are pretty much over, jeans sales linger, and Glaser says this is the best time to buy them.
NOVEMBER: It’s all about the Black Friday sales, which now extend a two-day period: Thanksgiving and the day after. But the best deals of the year are on major home appliances including washer or dryers, as well as TVS. Shoppers can enjoy discounts of 30 to 40 percent on washers and dryers. And if you’re not picky about a deluxe TV, you can take advantage of discounts: Retailers like Wal-Mart and Target usually work with manufacturers to create exclusive versions specifically for Black Friday
DECEMBER: You can get generous discounts on basic toys, not the hottest playthings of the season. Surprisingly, that’s also when prices on lawnmowers drop.
BY ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer