What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in July

by Paul Michael on 1 July 2013 4 comments

It's hard to believe we're already halfway through the year. Pretty soon we'll all be stocking up for Halloween — and you'll actually start seeing those fright night goodies on the shelves by the end of July. However, it's still summer, and there are deals to be had everywhere. There are also many things to avoid. (See also: Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything)

First, What to Buy in July…

Independence Day is this month. And any time you get a big holiday, you also get big savings. Here's where you can expect to save money this July.

1. Patio Furniture

A stroll through some of the major stores like Target and Walmart will show you just what they think of patio furniture right now. They want it gone. Target and Sears have already begun slashing the prices of things like umbrellas, tables, chairs, and hammocks by 50%. If you've been holding out for a deck box or a new patio set, now is the time to start looking. The discounts will be even bigger in the coming months, but you have to weigh that against selection. Right now, you have your pick of the crop.

2. Grills

Grills are starting to go on sale, just like patio furniture. The deals aren't amazing yet, but you will see 15-30% reductions on big name brands like Char-Broil, Weber, Coleman, Kenmore, and Brinkmann. It's also a good time to start looking at new grill accessories, like a new set of tools, grill covers, cleaning products, and cooking grates.

3. Back to School Items

Clothing. Supplies. Shoes. Backpacks. If they need it for school, you'll find deals everywhere. Right now, Sears is taking up to 50% off on back to school clothing. Of course, once the kids are actually back in school, you'll see in bigger reductions on things like backpacks and pencil cases. But the deals are out there.

4. Tablets

As the market becomes flooded with more new models, you can take advantage of the competitive pricing. Of course, your best bet is always going to be an Android tablet, as they vastly outnumber both Apple and Windows tablets. Apple rarely discounts its tablets, and even when it does, you don't save a lot of money. If you want even greater tablet discounts, look for refurbished and open box deals. They usually come with a great warranty (Best Buy also lets you buy an extended warranty) and are often tested and guaranteed to work.

5. Big Screen TVs

The weather is getting better all the time, for most of us. That means we're all spending more time outdoors, camping, and playing sports, and spending less time in front of the box. You'll be tempted by some great 40% off (or more) offers this month, in the hope that you'll take the plunge and splurge on a new 55" entertainment monster (they're coming in at just over $700).

6. Laptops

As we predicted last month, laptops will be on sale this month. The introduction of new technologies and upgraded processors means 2012 and early 2013 models will technically be out of date. Of course, they're still very powerful computers and well worth buying. Expect to find solid laptops for as little as $300, with lightning-fast systems still coming in under $800.

7. Apple Products (Sort Of)

I hesitate to say it's a great time to buy Apple, because Apple never really offers stellar deals on their products. However, Best Buy is planning to knock around $100 off MacBooks and iMacs. Not a huge saving, but a saving nonetheless.

8. Tools and DIY Products

Father's Day has come and gone, and now retailers want to shift a lot of tools, paint, and other DIY supplies. The good weather means people can do a lot of projects around the home, but are often tempted to sit by the pool and grill up BBQ instead. Great deals on DIY products may have you thinking a little different.

9. Jewelry and Watches

You'll find a lot of stores offering some nice fat discounts on jewelry and watches. Valentine's Day is over, Mother's Day is long gone, and Christmas is way off. They need to lure you into the jewelry section with great deals.

And, What to Avoid Buying…

July can also trip you up on so called "deals" that will plummet even further in the coming months. Here's a list of things to avoid buying in July.

1. Bedding

The sales for bedding are hottest in September, so don't give in to temptation and splash out on new duvets, sheets, pillowcases, or bed skirts. Hold your horses until Labor Day, and the deals will favor you.

2. Swimwear

People are only just starting to take the plunge in community pools, vacation spots, and water parks. The deals are not yet heating up for these items. But next month, you should see a sharp drop in prices as retailers make way for fall clothing. And you'll still have a few months of good weather to enjoy them.

3. Sunglasses

Again, it's a case of high demand equals high price. Everyone's out and about in the sunshine, and they need eye protection. Wait a month or two and you'll find some great deals on cool shades.

4. Desktop PCs

Unlike laptops, it's best to wait until the back to school clearance sales really kick in for a great deal. It's also worth keeping in mind that laptops are only a good deal if you really plan on being mobile with them. Too many people spend a bunch on a laptop, which is more expensive than the same spec desktop PC, only to have it sit on their desks at home. If you're keeping it in one spot, opt for a desktop PC later this year.

Do you have any purchase plans this month?

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Guest's picture

Great article. I find it very interesting that now is a great time to buy laptops, but a bad time to buy desktops.

Guest's picture

Perfect! I have been planning on buying patio furniture for some time but really haven't had the time to go out and look. I always appreciate this list. It makes me feel more confident in purchasing choices and I am somebody who can't just drop a bunch of money on a whim.

Guest's picture

Really useful article! I've always kept in mind that buying something when it's NOT seasonal can save a lot of money. Thinking this way in general is useful because it helps you plan your budget and save in the long run!

Guest's picture

My wife's been trying to get me to agree to buying a whole patio furniture love seat kinda thing. I've resolved to try to make one myself out of extra lumber we have after building a kids playset. I figure I can save about $500-$600 and have a nice conversation piece if I can find the spare time to design and build it!