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The Benefits to Being Behind the Trends: Follow the Rhythm of Retail to Save Big Bucks

Save big on seasonal sales

You may have already noticed that certain items see a price slash around the same time each year: Labor Day mattress sales, furniture “blow outs,” a proliferation of car ads or computer deals.

Sometimes the reason is obvious. Fall’s new school year or major holidays mean that consumer interests dictate some sale trends. However, other times the reason for a sale aligns with an industry’s internal requirements. The cost of summer clothes decline to make room for fashion’s fall inventory, for example, and last year’s car and computer deals appear just as the newest models hit the floor.

When you learn the manufacturing and distribution rhythm for retail items—from champagne to SUVs—you hold the key to save big bucks. Below is a month-by-month list to give you a sense of how the sale cycle works. For up-to-the minute sale announcements, keep dealnews.com on your favorites list and check out Lifehacker’s The Best Time to Buy Anything During the Year.

Best Deals in JANUARY, FEBRUARY and MARCH

Clothing:

Big sales are common after the holiday rush. January’s the best time to spend those gift cards wisely.

Gift Cards:

Speaking of gift cards, plenty of folks on sites like Cardpool are looking to trade in their gift cards for cash early in the year. In a 2015 article, Consumer Reports listed some of the going discounts for unwanted gift cards. You can find a more recent article with top-rated gift-card exchange sites here.

Carpeting & Flooring:

Think about it: who wants to tear up their house in the winter months? What’s more, most folks purchase carpet in preparation for the holidays. So if you’re willing to put up with a little inconvenience, this is the time to get on a flooring company’s schedule.

Motorcycles:

Speaking of inconvenience, snow makes for terrible cycling weather—but it makes for fantastic cycling sales! If you can handle the anticipation, buy your motorcycle in the winter and enjoy some quality time with it in the garage until the spring thaw.

Boats:

You get the idea.

Furniture:

While not a hard-and-fast rule, lots of furniture companies release new models in February (the other release month is August). That means they want the old stuff off of the floor. Start searching sales in March and July.

Televisions & Home Theaters:

Think Super Bowl. Think winter-weather pastimes. Then remember the newer models come out later in the spring. If you’re looking for a new entertainment system, keep your eyes on the prize early in the year.

Post-Valentine’s Chocolate:

Didn’t get your fill on the 14th? Gift yourself some cheap treats in late-February and March.

Luggage:

Between beach getaways and summer adventures luggage sits and waits. Stores want it off the shelves, so now’s your time to complete your matching set.

Winter Coats & Clothing:

It can be hard to invest in Gortex™ and woolens just as the days are getting longer. But with a little foresight you can land a much better deal from retailers anxious to get the bulky wears off their racks to make room for lighter items.

Best Deals in APRIL, MAY and JUNE 

Televisions & Other Electronics:

Turns out Japanese manufacturers’ fiscal year ends in March, so they’re eager to get rid of old stock. Lifehacker says these deals could be better even than during the Great American holiday known as the Super Bowl.

Digital Cameras:

With the big Consumer Electronics Show in January, older models start going on sale in the second quarter (post-March) of each year. If you can handle resisting the newest-of-the-new, now’s the time to start shopping.

Vacuum Cleaners:

New vacuums come out in June, so get a jump on the retail rush and start looking for an older model before the new models start rolling out. Remember, retailers are spring cleaning too!

Refrigerators:

Unlike most big appliance makers that release new models in September and October, new refrigerators come out in May. Start looking for deals on last year’s models in April.

Mattresses:

While you’d think the end of September would see the best deals, what with the Labor Day sales, mattress prices also plummet in the spring. April and May are the best months for these.

Gym Memberships & Equipment:

By May, the New Year’s resolvers and winter warriors bought their memberships months ago. If you think you’ll use the equipment come summer, spring is the time to make a deal.

Best Deals in JULY, AUGUST and SEPTEMBER

Furniture:

In addition to February, lots of furniture manufacturers roll out their new models in August. Claim your favorite couch now!

School & Office Supplies:

While backpacks, pens, notebooks and staplers start to go on sale mid-August, the real school supply deals come in September when stores of unloading their leftover goods. Look for clothing deals in September. While September will see some back-to-school laptop deals, tablets and laptop sales over the holidays.

Swimsuits & Summer Gear:

It’s a little sad when swimsuits go on sale, same with those colorful sarongs and straw hats. Tell yourself you’re stocking up for your January beach vacation and buy them now. Same goes with lawnmowers and bikes that take up too much of a retailer’s backroom storage—buy ’em now!

Home appliances:

With the exception of refrigerators, which see their sales before May, most big appliances are released in September and October. Unload the older models from their store floors in the fall. November is the best time of all.

iPhones:

As Apple typically comes out with new versions in September, Deal News suggests buying the older model now, but waiting a few months if the last model is what you’re going for.

Best deals in OCTOBER, NOVEMBER and DECEMBER

Cars:

New models come out in the end of the fiscal year. That means you can really start haggling for last year’s model from September on.

Outdoor Furniture, Gas Grills & Air Conditioners:

Unlike summer clothes and sports equipment, items like patio furniture, grills and air conditioners take a little more time to go on sale. Start looking for deals in September but be ready to pounce come October.

Post-Halloween Candy:

Just call it “pre-holiday” candy.

Televisions & Other Electronics:

Black Friday and Cyber Monday make for exceptional electronics deal hunting. If you can stand the rush, that is.

Wine & Champagne:

With the wine harvest in November and a greater demand for Champagne come the holiday season, companies will compete for your business in the last months of the year. Unlike other retail items, you don’t have to wait until after the season for these great deals.