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Spend Smarter: When Are The Best Times to Buy?

Here's your month-by-month guide to smarter spending on everything from backpacks and gym equipment to electronics and a brand-new car.

Spend Smarter: When Are the Best Times to Buy?

Timing is everything – especially when it comes to making purchases. That's because retailers often tie discounts on goods and services to a particular month of the year. Before you hit the stores, consult this month-by-month calendar to see when you might be able to land a deal on a variety of products.

january

gym-membership

Gym memberships

Gyms often roll out discounts in January to attract the many people who resolve to stay fit or lose weight in the new year.

80%of new gym members drop out within six weeks of joining. If you buy gym equipment to use at home – it's also discounted in January – you'll have one less reason to put off exercising.1

ALSO SCORE DEALS ON

Winter clothes
Furniture
Gift cards 2

february

Theater tickets

Theaters often offer discounts on tickets for shows in February, when attendance is typically at its lowest point. 3

The average Broadway ticket in February is

10%

cheaper than in December. 4

ALSO SCORE DEALS ON

Sneakers
Vacuum cleaners
Carpet

march

Luggage

During the lull between holidays, shops will slash prices to clear shelf space.5 With spring break on the horizon and new lines arriving in anticipation of summer, March is the best time to buy last year's models.

Global luggage market to reach $43.4B By 2020 6

april

Desktop and laptop computers

Most manufacturers announce their latest models in April. To make room for new inventory, stores will often offer deep discounts on older models.

Types of Apps to help you find a bargain:

CamelCamelCamel

is a browser extension that shows price changes on Amazon.

InvisibleHand

notifies you if what you're shopping for is available for a lower price elsewhere.

SlickDeals

tracks prices, discounts, and coupons across a range of retail sites.

may

Refrigerators

Although it's not the case for many appliances, the best time to buy a refrigerator is in May, when manufacturers launch their latest models. Retailers around this time are eager to ship last year's fridges. 7

june

Tools

Stores often lower prices on selected tools the week before Father's Day to lure shoppers. 8

You could save as much as
50%
on small tools and about

30%

on higher-priced tools 9

July

SWIMSUITS

New swimsuits start showing up in department stores in February and March. By July, the vast majority of people have bought their swimsuits, so department [and online] stores start marking down their inventory. 10

4Number of bathing suits owned by the average American woman 11

august

BACK-TO-SCHOOL Essentials

In addition to the usual seasonal sales, some states offer sales tax holidays on: school supplies, kids' clothing, and laptops

In 2015,
back-to-school shoppers in the US spent more than
$75B12

Backpacks

The demand for backpacks is greatest in August, so they should cost more then. But stores discount backpacks during back-to-school sales, hoping you'll pay full price for other things. 13

september

Cars

With quarter-end targets looming, salespeople will be looking to bump up their sales figures.

18.2Mcars sold last year (a 10-year high).14

BIKEs

The latest models arrive on the sales floor as the riding season winds down, so old stock will be discounted.

october

8.4%of home closings occur in the month of October

Real Estate

The time between the end of the summer selling season and the start of the winter holidays is when some homeowners may worry they won't sell their home and could be willing to settle for less. Average home prices tend to drop 2.6%.15

Types of Apps to Help You House Hunt:

Zillow

sorts properties according to a wide range of criteria and provides you with estimates of a home's market value.

Dwellr

uses data from the Census Bureau and American Community Survey to produce neighborhood guides.

RealtyTrac

has detailed information on thousands of properties – including some that aren't listed.

november

November is synonymous with holiday sales. Here are some of the most heavily discounted products you can expect to see in stores and online.

24 - Thanksgiving Day

Average discounts

Cameras 67%

TVs 60%

Kitchen items 62%

25 - Black Friday

Average discounts

Video games 72%

Headphones 48%

Garden items 42%

28 - Cyber Monday

Average discounts

Beauty products 53%

Toys 43%

Clothing 31% 16

December

Champagne

Preparing for a round of holiday parties? Consider stocking up on bubbly in December, when retailers typically discount bottles.

COOKWARE

This month is also when pots and pans often go on sale, which can be useful if you're hosting a holiday dinner at home.

ALSO SCORE DEALS ON

Toys

Prices for the season's hottest toys soar in December, but look for discounts on all other toys in the two or three weeks before Christmas. 17

* Remember to always check the app terms and privacy policy before downloading these or any other apps and make sure you understand and are comfortable with the types of information collected and how it is used.

  1. 1. Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon, citing IHRSA 2016 data
  2. 2. Consumer Reports data, 2016
  3. 3. According to Lifehacker data, 2016
  4. 4. Broadway World grosses data, October 2016
  5. 5. According to Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon, by Mark Di Vincenzo
  6. 6. Persistence Market Research, 2015
  7. 7. According to Mint data, 2014
  8. 8, 9, 10. Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon
  9. 11. Statistic Brain, using NPD data, September 2016
  10. 12. 2016 Back to School Trends report, Google
  11. 13. Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon

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