Autumn Shopping: 5 Things to Buy in Fall

by Kentin Waits on 1 November 2012 2 comments
Photo: JophielSmiles

When the leaves start to fall, prices on a few key items do too. If you have some cash to spare, autumn is the perfect time to strategize and save on specific merchandise. Here are five categories that offer some serious savings right now. (See also: Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything)

Lawn Furniture

As cold months approach, summer items move slowly and retailers are anxious to clear out last year’s inventory to make room for the new stuff. Lawn furniture is an especially good buy now because it generally takes up a lot of floor space in stores and that real estate will become more and more of premium as the holidays approach. Anticipate what your outdoor spring and summer needs may be, and you can score great deals now.

Summer Clothes

There are few things more cyclical than clothing. Changing seasons and changing styles mean items turnover quickly. Clothing is a top-seller during the holidays, so act now to find the closeout deals on off-season merchandise. Stick with classic tailoring and the best quality you can afford to avoid being on the wrong side of ever-changing style trends or ending up with clothes that don’t last.

Property

Everything slows down a bit in during the winter months, especially if you live in a cold climate. People tend to nest and not make large purchases that require big life transitions. Though properties still sell in the winter, competition isn’t quite as fierce. If you’re in the market for a new home, now might be the perfect time to swoop in a make a deal.

Automobiles

I hate to test drive cars in the winter. Weather is unpredictable, car lots are cold, and snow and slush turn pristine new cars into mud-mobiles. The same logic inhibits many would-be car buyers from making the rounds to dealerships or buying from private sellers. But the best time to spend your money is when everybody else isn’t spending theirs — so seize the moment and explore what bargains you can find on used cars or on 2012 inventory that will soon be considered “last year’s models.”

Travel

Pre-Thanksgiving is great time to enjoy lower rates on hotel rooms and some travel packages. Remember, it’s still off-season at most places. If you don’t mind a bit of chill in the air, travel now for budget-friendly getaways.

Remember that the bargains you see at this time of year are driven by two primary forces: 

  1. A business’ need to move merchandise before the holiday rush
  2. Lower consumer activity and reduced demand from other buyers

If you’ve got cash in-hand and are ready to roll, you’re in a bargaining position. Flex your negotiating muscles, and see how low prices can go. But hurry, holidays change the game significantly and when the Christmas shoppers hit the streets, all bets are off.

What amazing deals have you scored so far this fall? Are there specific categories of items that you wait to buy until October and November? What advice do you have for other readers who are looking to find a few bargains before the holiday rush?

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Michael

A lot of this stuff is actually more late summer in terms of when it is the best priced and where you'll have options to choose from. Most patio furniture and summer clothing is long gone, and while you might find tremendous deals on what might still be there, you probably would have had better luck finding a good selection and still great deals 30-60 days ago.

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Guest

Michael is very correct about the timing. Patio furniture goes on sale before back-to-school gets put on the floor (to make room). It's about the same for summer clothes as well.