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The best time to buy things, month by month

Consumer Reports' research uncovers when products are cheapest

Published: August 2013

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

Swimwear

Toys

Treadmills and ellipticals

TVs

Winter clothing

 

Humidifiers

Indoor furniture

Treadmills and ellipticals

Digital cameras

Humidifiers

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

TVs

Winter sports gear

Laptop computers

Computers

Digital cameras

Lawn mowers

Spring clothing

 

Athletic apparel and shoes

Camping and outdoor gear

Carpeting

Cordless phones

Lawn mowers

Small consumer electronics

Camcorders

Carpeting

Computers

Indoor furniture

Small consumer electronics

Summer sports gear

Swimwear

 

Camcorders

Indoor furniture

Outdoor furniture

Swimwear

 

Air conditioners

Backpacks

Dehumidifiers

Outdoor furniture

Snow blowers

Bikes

Digital cameras

Gas grills

Lawn mowers

Shrubs, trees, and perennials

Small consumer electronics

Snow blowers

Bikes

Computers

Digital cameras

Gas grills

Lawn mowers

Winter coats

 

Baby products

Bikes

Camcorders

Gas grills

GPS navigators

Toys

TVs

 

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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