As the summer season starts to wind down, you'll find plenty of discounts from retailers that are trying to clear their shelves. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to score a great deal on everything you see.
There is a best time to buy and a worst time to buy certain items – and August is no exception. From football memorabilia to a new smartphone, read on to learn what not to buy in August.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Not surprisingly, August is a big month for back-to-school shopping. And that goes double for next week’s Florida Sales Tax holiday, Aug. 5-7, when school supplies worth $15 or less and clothes priced $60 or less will be exempt from sales tax.
Shelves will be stocked with inexpensive “loss leaders,” like pencils and paper to get you in the door. But retailers count on you to also purchase full-priced items with high profit margins – like binders, graph paper and computer memory sticks, according to Time.com.
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It’s easy to get tempted into buying all the new things. Consider keeping a stock of basic and inexpensive school supplies, like paper, pens, pencils and binders to get you through the first few weeks of school. Wait to buy the rest of your school supplies in September, which is typically the best month to score rock-bottom prices on this stuff.
THEME PARK TICKETS:
Typically, theme parks are the most crowded when kids are out of school, through late August, during the week of Thanksgiving, over the winter holidays and during spring break season. Because the demand is so high, these businesses charge the most they can for entrance to the park, according to Nasdaq.com. And with bigger crowds, you’ll end up spending more time in lines.
Dave Shute, co-author of “The Easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit” recommends waiting until mid-to-late October, any week in November other than Thanksgiving, and during December up to a week before Christmas.
PATIO FURNITURE: The last full month of summer might seem like a good time to buy new patio furniture, but retailers usually wait until September to really drop prices on these goods, according to DealNews.
Keep in mind that popular stores like Sears and Home Depot might sell out of discounted outdoor furniture more quickly than a small retailer, so keep your eye out for deals starting at the end of August, according to personal finance advice website SmartAsset. But if you buy before Labor Day, you'll likely pay more than you would later, according to CBS News.
TELEVISIONS: Deals on televisions are usually scarce during the summer months, and prices are still high on HDTVs in August. Prices do start to drop in the fall, as the holiday season starts to ramp up.
If you need to purchase a new TV before the prime season, DealNews recommends looking for a name-brand 55-inch TV or larger for around $500, although you might be able to save around $100 by going for an off-brand. Also, college students who want to upgrade the TVs or LCDs in their rooms should wait until school has been in session for at least a few weeks to score better prices.
IPHONES AND IPADS: August is a terrible time to upgrade your Apple devices because the company usually unveils their upcoming models in September or October, reports DealNews. This means the price on an Apple device purchased in August will immediately begin to lose value in the coming weeks and months.
Once those new models are introduced, prices usually drop on the older models. If you don’t need the latest and greatest, that’s your chance to score a deal.
Just like car dealerships, bike shops need to make room for the new inventory toward the end of the year. So the best time to look for a rock-bottom deal is during the winter months, according to Bicycling.com. (Hint: Start looking in late August, after kids go back to school.)
The site also recommends avoiding models that are more than a few years old, even if they are deeply discounted. Advances in cycling technology change so quickly that a “great deal” might actually just be an average one if you can get a far superior model for just a little bit more money.