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By Maureen Mackey
It’s hard to believe the holidays are just a few short months away – but there’s no need for panic, from a shopping standpoint anyway.
Many consumer deals are already here due to earlier-than-ever sales, and if you shop wisely now that heavy holiday lift later won’t be as bad as you think.
Here are seven key purchases to make this month while the discounting’s still good:
1. Cars. Many auto manufacturers already released their new models last month, so dealerships have been cutting the prices of older models to clear away excess inventory. Some deals began in late summer and continue through October, note the experts at Car Buying Tips.
Shop on a Sunday, by the way: That’s the best day for deals, since consumer demand is lower then and dealerships aim to finish their week with strong sales, advises TrueCar, the automotive data company. (So you’ve got three Sundays left in October.)
2. Bicycles. With the end of biking season approaching in many parts of the country, October is a great month for deals on new bicycles. Give advance thought to whether you want a conventional road bike, a comfort bike, a mountain bike – or a bike trailer, suggests Consumer Reports.
3. iPads and Computers. Apple is due to launch its iPad and iPad mini updates at the end of the month, and tablet discounts from resellers usually come right before and right after the announcement, says DealNews. “The iPad 4, for instance, hit its all-time lows of $400 and $399 just before the iPad Air’s announcement and two days after the iPad Air’s keynote respectively. Shoppers can get 20 percent off list price.”
October is also a great month for buying computers because new models are showing up in stores – so negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, says Consumer Reports. “If a computer you like isn’t on sale, ask for a better price.”
4. Jeans. “Denim-specific brands” offer good discounting in October, and they’ll be plenty more of those on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, says DealNews. “Both Lucky and 7 for All Mankind posted their best extra discounts of the year, slashing an extra 50 percent and 30 percent off, respectively. Also look for a similar price cut from Levi's early in November.”
5. Digital Cameras. Now is a smart time to buy either basic digital cameras or the advanced, feature-laden models. Check out the digital camera buying guide here and remember to research in advance the wide array of models, features and brands.
6. Camping Gear. Tents, sleeping bags, camp kitchen equipment and other essentials for camping trips are highly discounted at the end of the season. L.L.Bean, for example, cuts prices by about 40 percent or more with coupons, as does REI on outdoor gear apparel and tools.
7. Gas Grills. While it’s hard to put your own grill away right now, the end of the outdoor grilling season is upon us and stores are steeply discounting their stock. Know the size of your cooking area before you walk into the store, by the way. And check out the buying guide packed with sound advice from Consumer Reports. ...more