|

4 products on deep discount in July

Shopping tips for sales on camcorders, indoor and outdoor furniture, and swimwear

Last updated: June 30, 2015 04:30 PM
Photo: Sony

Find Ratings blob logo

Consumer Reports analysts track prices year-round, so we can tell you when products are on sale, month by month. Planning a vacation at the beach this summer? You can find deep discounts on bathing suits in July. People planning a stay-cation shouldn't dispair; outdoor furniture will be on sale, too, so you can spruce up your outdoor living spaces.

Want to replace an old sofa, table, chair, or bedroom set? Look for great deals on indoor furniture this month, too. And just in time to record your family's summer fun or a special wedding, camcorders will be marked down. 

If you're in the market for these items on deep discount in July, we've got the shopping tips, buying guides, and ratings that can help you find the best deals. If camcorders are on your list, there's a video below that pits Sony's Action Cam against GoPro's Hero 3 in a tough series of tests.

Want to know what's on sale the rest of the year? Check our calendar of deals.

––Mandy Walker (@MandyWalker on Twitter)

Indoor furniture

Furniture is on sale this month because stores need to make way for new lines that will arrive later this summer that were shown at the spring High Point Furniture Market.

Shopping tips

Where you shop makes a difference. Catalog retailers, for example, have been around for several years, sometimes as an adjunct to a chain of stores. Mass-market retailers, including Ikea, Value City, and Walmart, tend to stress price. Expect a fairly limited fabric selection on upholstered furniture.

Size up upholstered furniture like an expert. Follow these steps with floor samples and again when the furniture is delivered, to be sure that the piece from the warehouse matches what you saw in the store.

Find the best furniture stores, and check this interactive guide, which includes details on upholstered furniture, styles, and furniture-care tips. 

Outdoor furniture

Photo: Stacy Bass

Many items are discounted toward the end of a season. With fall on the horizon, you're likely to find great deals on outdoor furniture. Patios, porches, and decks are being turned into “outdoor rooms” with places to cook, dine or just enjoy the garden. Buying the right furniture can help you transform your outdoor space into a place you’ll want to hang out until winter's chill forces you indoors. Some well-made sets are reasonably priced, but you do have to know what to look for in outdoor furniture.

Shopping tips

Consider the material. For example, choose untreated natural wicker only if it will be protected from the elements. Otherwise go with outdoor plastic wicker. Resin plastic is a good choice for poolside or in salt air, but strong winds can knock lightweight pieces around, so choose sturdy chairs, and ones that are wider, allowing guests to get comfortable.

Try it out. Before you buy sit in the chairs and pull them up to the table. Check that the seat height is fine, and your knees don’t touch the table. You’ll want chairs that are roomy with comfortable armrests. Cushions should be well padded, water resistant, and fit well. And be sure the legs of the table don’t get in the way.

Swimwear

As temperatures soar, you'll find good deals on swimsuits. Because it's the end of the swimsuit season for retailers, however, selection may suffer.

Shopping tips

Time it right. You'll get the deepest discount on spring gear by timing it right, say the editors at Shop Smart magazine. It has found Kohl's fans could head to the "Gold Star Clearance" racks, where prices are slashed up to 80 percent on weekend nights. Every Wednesday, shoppers who are 60 years old and older received an extra 15 percent off. At Target, women's clothing was generally marked down on Tuesdays, men's on Wednesday, and kids' on Mondays. Markdowns at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx usually happened on Wednesday. Each store can be different and the policies can change at any time, so have a chat with store salespeople to find out what the deal is in the stores you frequent.

Look for deals from other seasons. If you can find winter clothing on the racks in stores, the prices should be slashed. And luxury consignment shops are good places to find first rate deals on second-hand designer goods any time of year. You might find the deepest discounts, however, on swimsuits at outlets; read our guide to outlet shopping.

Camcorders

Photo: GoPro

Want some great video of your summer holiday celebration? Although many of us take videos with our phones, in most cases you'll get better quality (due to better lenses) if you spring for a camcorder.

Shopping tips

Check the type, size, weight, controls and features. Decide on the type of HD camcorder you want to buy. If you want better quality and more options, consider a full-size model. If you need a smaller, more portable model or if you're an athlete or adventurer who loves to capture footage of yourself, then consider an action cam.

Drill down to the right model. Check out our camcorder buying guide. If you're a subscriber you can access our Ratings of camcorders to see which ones were tops in our lab tests, including each model's picture quality, audio quality, and battery life.

Head to head: Sony's Action Cam vs. GoPro Hero 3

   

Find Ratings blob logo

Outlet malls Ratings

View and compare all Outlet malls ratings.

Camcorders Ratings

View and compare all Camcorders ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Money News

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more