What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in April
As the Easter Bunny hops away for another year, April brings with it its usual supply of good deals and money minefields. Here is your buying guide for April, so you know what to buy (and what to steer clear of) as we all move into the warmer months. (See also: Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything)
First, What to Buy…
If you have a tax refund burning a hole in your pocket, steer yourself in the direction of these great deals...
1. Cell Phones
The market is about to be inundated with new releases, now that the 2013 Mobile World Congress is out of the way. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is available for pre-order in mid-April, which means the Galaxy S3 and S2 models are already being offered for as little as $99. Nokia, LG, Sony, ZTE, and Huawei all have new models coming out too, so expect discounts on older versions. You will likely snag some models for free after mail-in rebate. T-Mobile, however, has stopped discounting its phones in favor of a new pricing structure, so you won’t see the same deals with them.
2. Easter Goodies
The last day of March is Easter Sunday. And you know what that means. All those candies that the “Easter Bunny” throws around in your backyard are going to go on sale. Big time. Expect to see discounts of 90% on eggs, Peeps, and other favorites by the middle of the month. You’ll also snag baskets, teddy bears, cards, and other themed items for massive discounts.
3. Televisions and Electronics
The Japanese fiscal year ends on March 31st, and that means old stock is being replaced by new goodies in April. You should be able to bag yourself some nice bargains, with the big screen HDTVs coming in as cheap as ever. That $1500 42” LCD TV you bought a few years ago will be under $500 now.
4. Cruise Vacations
April is not typically a month for vacations, and with the recent horror stories surrounding cruises (sewerage at sea anyone?) you can expect to find some quite amazing bargains on family cruises. Of course, you sign your life away before getting out of the dock, so make sure you’re prepared for any eventuality.
Last year, laptop computers hit record lows in April. Early indications show that they will be hitting rock bottom again this year, so if your iPad or tablet just isn’t doing it for you, now is the time to grab a laptop for less.
6. Snowblowers and Winter Equipment
There may still be snow in the forecast for some of us, but winter is almost done. And that means stores are clearing out their inventory to make way for spring and summer stock. Get bargains on snow shovels, ice melt, snowblowers, snowball makers, sleds, and anything else related to jack frost.
7. Car Parts and Accessories
It’s a little too cold for most of us to get under the hood and do some improvements. Summer is a time for car care, and that’s why you’ll see incentives to start moving some of those car parts now.
8. DIY Gear
Walking through Target last night, I saw an associate marking down almost every product in the home improvement aisle. When I asked why, I was told “we’re making way for the new stuff for spring.” So, it looks like now might be a good time to grab a drill, wrench set, or toolbox.
Tax refunds are here, and Mother’s Day is just around the corner. The jewelers will be trying to part you from your hard earned cash with deals on sparkling necklaces, earrings, and brooches. If you wait too long, you’ll be paying top dollar for the same items in May.
And What to Avoid…
With the spring weather taunting you, you'll be tempted to spend big on the following items. Don't fall for the marketing. There are much better deals coming in a few months...
We’re only just moving into nice weather over most of the country. But it’s not the peak season yet, and stores are still stocking shelves with all the latest grills, from gas and charcoal to the combos. Hold off on buying these. You’ll see prices drop in a few months, and you’ll still have time to get a few months of good use from them.
2. Patio Furniture
Just like the grills, you’ll see store displays featuring patio furniture, deck boxes, hose reels, and other outdoor gear. Again, wait a few months if you can. If you want to start enjoying the spring weather right now, you’ll find good deals on Craigslist from people who are buying the new stuff right now and need to dump the old.
3. Vacuum Cleaners
April means that it's time for spring cleaning, and that means the tools needed to do those jobs are at full price, or very close to it. Wait a while, or pick up a decent used vacuum on Craigslist. June is officially the month for new models to come out, and so you’ll start to see older model vacuums and rug shampooers going on sale at that time.
4. Office Furniture
Once taxes have been filed and refunds have been issued, home businesses start to stock up on new furniture and equipment. And with the demand so high, prices don’t drop. You may find a good deal here and there, but generally you should hold of on redecorating your home office until May or June.
The mattress companies like to put their wares on sale during big holidays. And the next one on the calendar is Memorial Day. So, if your bed springs are digging into your ribs, throw a few blankets and towels on the bed until Memorial Day comes around. Your wallet will thank you, even if your ribs are a little unhappy.