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The best time to buy things, month by month

Consumer Reports' research uncovers when products are cheapest

Last updated: July 2014

Every day you probably get e-mail, texts, tweets, and circulars announcing great sales. The days of watching the calendar and buying products at the time of year when prices are lowest would appear to be over.

Or are they? Consumer Reports' product-research experts, who monitor prices, have found that deep discounts for some things still go by the calendar. Some sales are tied to the introduction of new models, while others are long-standing traditions, like January white sales.  

Use the month-by-month information below to see when you can typically find the best prices on a variety of products. But keep your eye on your apps, e-mail, and Sunday circulars, too, because there will always be exceptions. And bear in mind that the best time to save money isn't always when you'll find the best selection. Sales on some items occur when a season is coming to an end and inventories are thin.

The best deals, month by month

Bedding

Linens

Toys

Treadmills and ellipticals

TVs

Winter clothing

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 6 products on deep discount in January.)

 

Humidifiers

Indoor furniture

Treadmills and ellipticals

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 4 products on deep discount in February.)

Digital cameras

Humidifiers

Small consumer electronics (MP3 players, DVD and Blu-ray players, etc.)

TVs

Winter sports gear

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 5 products on deep discount in March.)

Laptop computers

Desktop computers

Digital cameras

Lawn mowers

Spring clothing

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 5 products on deep discount in April.)

 

Athletic apparel and shoes

Camping and outdoor gear

Carpeting

Cordless phones

Lawn mowers

Mattresses

Small consumer electronics

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 7 products on deep discount in May.)

Camcorders

Carpeting

Computers

Indoor furniture

Pots, pans, and dishware

Small consumer electronics

Summer sports gear

Swimwear

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 8 products on deep discount in June)

Camcorders

Indoor furniture

Outdoor furniture

Swimwear

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see Products on deep discount in July)

Air conditioners

Backpacks

Dehumidifiers

Outdoor furniture

Snow blowers

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 5 products on deep discount in August.)

Bikes

Digital cameras

Gas grills

Lawn mowers

Shrubs, trees, and perennials

Small consumer electronics

Snow blowers

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 7 products on sale in September.)

Bikes

Computers

Digital cameras

Gas grills

Lawn mowers

Winter coats

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 6 products on sale in October.)

 

Baby products

Bikes

Camcorders

Gas grills

GPS navigators

Toys

TVs

 

(For more on these items, and shopping tips, see 7 products on deep discount in November.)

 

 

Bikes

Camcorders

Gas grills

GPS navigators

Home appliances, large and small

Small consumer electronics

Toys

TVs

Want an even better deal? Haggle, haggle, haggle.

In a Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of 2,000 American adults about their haggling habits, 89 percent of people who said they haggled received a better price at least once.

To increase the odds you can negotiate a better deal, remember that nothing is off limits. You should always be polite. And make sure you know what constitutes a fair price before you start. For more tips on becoming an expert haggler, read our tips on effective bargaining.  

   

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