What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in November
Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the holidays are way too close together, aren't they? You barely have time to recover from one before the next festive occasion is on top of you. And that means it's more important than ever to maximize your budget, and your savings, when you go shopping. Once again, we've been looking around to let you in on the deals of the month, and the pitfalls.
First, What to Buy…
The big, big shopping day of November is Black Friday. So called because it was traditionally a day when stores went from being in the red (or in debt) to being in the black (or profitable), it's now synonymous with large crowds, crazy shopping sprees, early morning doorbusters, and those inevitable fights after standing inline for four hours. But you don't have to wait until Black Friday for great deals. Look out for these starting November 1st.
The day after Halloween (and sometimes the evening of Halloween) the stores will start clearing out their stock of spooky merchandise. That's great news for anyone who is celebrating Halloween on Saturday or Sunday night this year, as you can bag a last-minute costume for at least 50% off. Stores like Target and Walmart will start slashing prices after a few weeks, with $50 and $60 costumes going on sale for less than $10. If you have plans for a costume for 2015, see if you can grab a bargain now. You can always store the really cheap ones, and sell them for a profit before next Halloween.
Hot on the heels of the costumes and accessories, Halloween candy gets slashed early this month. Remember, this is all perfectly safe to eat, with expiration dates months (or even years) off. Of course, the pumpkins and ghouls make it seasonal, and it has to go. So, if you don't mind some out-of-date wrappers (and who does?) grab yourself some sweet treats.
Laptops and Notebooks
The smaller the better, as far as pricing goes. This month, you will see stellar savings on laptops and notebooks. If the sales are anything like last year, you can expect to pick up a decent 13" laptop for around $200 including taxes. Just a few years ago, these laptops would have been double that price. Apple typically sells their stock a little cheaper this month, but don't expect amazing deals. Even with the company floundering compared to its Steve Jobs days, it still doesn't like putting bargain prices out there.
Sneakers and Summer Footwear
If you're a sneaker and sandals fan, November is your month. The winter shoes are coming out, and the summer stock is being cleared fast. But, people are still going on vacations to sunnier places, and it won't be long before the warmer weather is back here again. Do a little online shopping and expect to see the price of great sneakers drop by at least 50%.
Wedding Dresses and Paraphernalia
When it's cold and grey outside, those wedding day photos can look pretty grim. Very few people like getting married in the winter months, and so they're not going shopping for the wedding dress and other accessories. Even if your wedding is in July or August, pick up a dress now. The bridal stores get large stocks of wedding dresses in at this time of year, ready for the rush after the Christmas and New Year engagements. Take advantage of that, and browse the empty stores with a bargain in mind.
Thanksgiving month is turkey month. So you'd think, with turkeys being in high demand, that the prices are high, too. Well, far from it. The turkey breeders have been preparing all year for this month, and it's when a glut of turkeys hits the market. It's cheaper to buy turkey at this time of year than any other, and if you plan wisely, you can even pick up a decent one for free. Yes, some stores will be offering free turkeys to people spending a certain amount of money. It varies by store, so check your local papers and online ads.
Toys Are a Strong Bet
As we noted last year, you no longer have to wait for until Black Friday, or early December, for the toy bargains. As Black Friday is now more focused on electronics, computers, appliances, and loss leaders like DVDs and Blu-rays, toys are getting overlooked. So the retailers are dropping the prices earlier. Also, Saturday, November 8th is Neighborhood Toy Store Day. You'll see a lot of promotions around that.
As the season of cooking and eating comes into full effect, you'll notice bargains in the kitchen and appliance aisles of your local retailers. Last year saw a record number of deals in these departments, particularly pots and pans and baking dishes, so now is the perfect time to stock up on essentials, before the holiday rush.
At this point, there won't be a month that goes by without HDTVs being hot items. Yet again, prices are dropping, this time fueled by the Black Friday madness. And it's not madness to tell you that on Black Friday itself, you will be able to pick up 60-inch 1080p sets for just over $400. Actually, I take it back… that's just nuts. You'll also be able to pick up a 42-inch 1080p set for under $200, which is just as crazy. Remember though, these deals come with long lines, and the inevitable pushing and shoving. Don't get caught up in the insanity.
And, What to Avoid
November is actually one of the best months for shopping. There are not a lot of landmines, or shopping traps, to avoid. But based on the last few years, there are a few so-called "deals" that you should stay away from. Here's what to avoid.
The travel season is just starting to heat up, and so the deals are not yet worth looking at. You'll see modest price reductions on a select number of vacation packages, but as demand for booking vacations is so high, the prices stay high as well. Wait a while. However, you should see some nice deals on hotel rooms around this time, especially if you fancy booking a fancy suite in Vegas on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. Hey, some people do it, and they save a bundle.
Winter Clothing and Gear
It's a no-brainer. Avoid the brand new selections of outerwear, including coats and jackets, skiing equipment, boots, winter shoes, gloves, scarves, and the usual rosy-cheeked accessories. This is not the time to go shopping for the upcoming winter season. Wait until January, and the prices will plummet.
The iPad Mini 3
It's slightly new and improved. But not really. For the extra money you'll pay for it, you won't see much of a difference. Save your money, you can bag some huge bargains on Black Friday, and the iPad Mini 2 is just as good. Is Apple going to do anything innovative anytime soon? It doesn't look like it.
Do you have any purchasing plans this month?