Avatar_023/ShutterstockTrue bargain-hunters know that the absolute best time to score great deals is at the end of a season. Now, as summer wanes and stores try to lure shoppers with heavily advertised Labor Day sales, you can save big on warm-weather favorites including bathing suits and sunscreen—as well as some bigger-ticket items you might not have though to buy now.
We got the scoop from the shopping experts at BestBlackFriday.com, which tracks sales and deals all year long. Here, according to their analysis of the end-of-summer sales, are five things to buy now and five things to wait for.
Buy Now—Snap These Items Up This Summer
- Grills. Some diehards cook outside all year long, but for many of us, Labor Day is the last time we fire up the barbecue. So look for big markdowns—from 25 percent to as much as 75 percent—on any leftover inventory at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears, and local outdoors and appliance stores. Last year saw Webber grills for $100 off.
- Lawn mowers. Sorry, but you’re going to need to keep cutting that grass for a while longer! Fortunately, you can find sales of 25 percent or even more.
- Summer clothes. The best places to outfit kids for back to school are the summer clearance racks. You’ll find staples like t-shirts and shorts for half price or even less. At the end of last summer Banana Republic, Carter’s, and Old Navy all had better-than-average clearance sales. With some smart shopping, you can build a new kids’ wardrobe for under $50. And here are some more smart ways to save on back-to-school items—and they apply year round.
- Paint. We tend to put off home repairs in the summer when we’re busy outdoors. Now that we’re inside more, it’s hard not to notice that chipped molding or dingy paint. Watch for sales and rebates at paint stores and home improvement centers.
- Mattresses. It’s hard to compare prices on mattresses because retailers don’t carry the same exact models. But you will find markdowns of 50 percent or even more, sometimes with coupons or rebates. Mattresses start at just $89.99 at 1800mattress.com. If your mattress is more than eight or 10 years old, we’re talking to you!
Buy Later—Wait for Fall
- Camping gear. If you can wait until October, when fall is in full swing, you can save as much as 75 percent on tents, hiking gear, and other camping essentials.
- Smart phones. Rumor has it the iPhone 8 may be released on September 22. That means markdowns are on deck for previous generation phones, including the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which might be discounted by $100 or more. You might have to wait until October or November, though. Also, watch for fall sales on other Apple tech too, but at other retailers, not the Apple Store, which doesn’t generally have sales.
- Jeans. You’ll see lots of denim in stores now, as retailers push back-to-school, but October is the best month to buy, when inventory is still high but prices are lower. Follow our advice for choosing the best jeans for your body type.
- TVs. Summer sales are so-so, but November is the best time of year to buy a new TV, especially once Black Friday sales start up.
- Cars. If you’re in the market for a new ride, start shopping now, as 2018 models are showing up and dealers are looking to move older inventory. But if you can, wait to buy until October, when discounts are generally deeper on any remaining stock.