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Retail Sales: The Best Time to Buy

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By finding the right retail sales, you can save hundreds of dollars if not more on a variety of items throughout the year. Many of these sales are timed around the release of new models or versions of the same product, forcing the retailer to sell the older version at a much lower price. It’s also good to be aware of when clearance sales are going to hit, such as after the December holidays. Here are some of the best annual retail sales where you can score deep discounts on all your purchases.

  1. Big appliances: All the new models hit the stores in the fall, usually in September and October, making this a great time to snag last year’s version of the same product. If you can’t wait until then, try to purchase them on a holiday weekend, when good retail sales are typically offered. This includes smaller holidays like President’s Day and Columbus Day as well.
  2. Furniture: Furniture actually has two major buying seasons: January and July. This is because new furniture tends to arrive in February and August. For the best prices, shop the clearance sales that typically run at these times of the year. Again, if it can’t wait, then try to find a good sale around a holiday weekend.
  3. Bicycles and other outdoor enthusiast gear: Stores start replacing last year’s models in February and March, just before the spring season, which makes for great clearance sales. Keep a lookout in January, as this is when many retailers will begin offering discounts. Boats are also good to buy at this time of year, although in this case, the best retail sale will be found at the winter boat shows.
  4. Food: These sales vary throughout the year based on the particular holiday or season. For instance, November and December are excellent months to buy turkeys, baking supplies, spices, and nuts. But lunch meat, peanut butter, and prepackaged snacks foods are likely to be a bargain in August in September as kids go back to school. Look to stock up on soda, bottled water, condiments, hot dogs, and hamburger meat around the summer holiday weekends like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, when barbeque is the meal of choice.
  5. Seasonal items: The best time to buy season-specific items is toward the end of that particular season, when retailers try to move the products through clearance sales. Therefore, fall is a great time to buy an air conditioner or gas grill, whereas spring is prime time for items like shovels, sleds, and snow blowers. A good tip is to take inventory at the end of each season to see what you might need for next year and make the purchase then.
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