What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in September
We're in the home stretch now. Not only are Halloween supplies everywhere, I've even started spotting Christmas decorations in some stores. I know it's good to be prepared, but wow. Anyway, as we all try to squeeze the last few drops of sunshine from summer, the retailers are dumping stock to make room for fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. And as always, that means bargains for savvy shoppers. (See also: Shopping Calendar: The Right Time to Buy Anything)
First, What to Buy…
Aaarr. September's most infamous celebration is Labor Day, but there are also some other little-known holidays, like the 19th, when people everywhere take part in International Talk Like a Pirate Day. No matter what you're celebrating, the savings come thick and fast this month in the following categories.
1. Lawn and Garden Madness
A quick stroll through any major retailer will soon show you how serious they are about dumping lawn and garden products. They are slashing prices across the board, from tools, lawn mowers, and hoses to plants, shrubs, and trees. The last few months before your first frost are also a good time to plant certain landscaping bushes and plants, so take advantage of those deals now.
2. Patio Is Hot
If you can find the goods (many places have already cleared out their patio furniture and accessories), you will find some smoking deals. Expect to see 70% or more off on tables, chairs, outdoor rugs, umbrellas, storage boxes, lighting, and more. With everyone preparing for winter, it's a great time to slide in and get deals that will pay off for years.
3. Get Your Coffee Fix
As fun as talking like a pirate is, September is also home to National Coffee Day. On the 29th, you will see a wave of free coffee promotions, as well as heavily discounted products. Look beyond the usual places (Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Caribou) and check out 7-Eleven, McDonald's, and even supermarkets.
4. Summer Clothes
They're way out of fashion now. Meaning, most people are wearing them, but not really planning to buy any more. Why bother? Well, summer will be here again next year, and unless you absolutely have to have the latest high-street fashions, this is a good time to stock up. Get them now, seal them in vacuum bags, and they'll be ready for 2014. Also look for swimsuits, summer hats, shorts, flip flops, sandals, and even sunscreen deals.
5. Get a New Car
We still have four months left in 2013, but the 2014 models will be out soon. The car dealerships want to make room on the lots for the new models, so if you want a new motor, now is the time to start shopping. Expect to see some great 0% financing deals, as well as incentives and extra cash back offers.
6. Small Appliances
Steer clear of the big ones, but you should see deals on small appliances like microwaves, toasters, mixers, handheld vacuums, and more.
7. Smaller HDTVs
The bigger TVs will go berserk on Black Friday, but September is a primo time to buy a smaller HDTV for the bedroom or office. In fact, last year the Black Friday prices didn't get any better than prices earlier in the year. So, start shopping if that's on your list.
8. IT Deals
Everything from desktop computers to laptops and tablets will be on sale in September. Desktops in particular are becoming dinosaurs, sales paling in comparison to the much more versatile, and popular, tablets and laptops. So if you are good with a PC that doesn't have to be portable, you will get a bargain.
9. Baby Stuff
Strollers. Cribs. High chairs. Walkers. Bouncers. You name it, you'll see discounts on them in September. And with Christmas quickly approaching, it could be a good time to grab some bargains as gifts for those people you know with a little one in the house.
There are lulls in the jewelry buying market. There are no major holidays in September, and that means people aren't going crazy for the shiny stuff. You could get a bargain now, and keep it ready for the holidays.
And What to Avoid…
September can still snag you with poor offers disguised as great deals. Keep your wits about you, and avoid buying any of these this month.
1. Large Appliances
The big fridges, dishwashers, ranges, and even vacuums are going to be on sale soon. But they won't be the bargains you think they are. Unless you really have to have it, wait until that wonderful day in November — Black Friday. That's when the biggest discounts of the year will happen.
2. Fall Clothing and Footwear
Does this one really need an explanation? The season is almost upon us, so the racks are filled with new fall fashions. And new means full price. So, unless you are desperate for fall colors, you should wait a few months.
3. Office Supplies
The last of the back-to-school sales will soon be over. And once that happens, you start paying full retail price on your school and office supplies. If you see a back-to-school sale, take advantage of it now.
4. 2014 Car Models
They're brand new. They're shiny. They've got the latest, greatest everything. And with all that comes a big fat price tag. Leave them alone and go for last year's model. It's almost the same and comes with a ton of discounts.
What are you planning to buy this month? Any deals you've been looking forward to?