By: Kayleigh Yerdon, Cornell University Shopping can be hard. Simply put: we all like to save money. It’s a fact of life. Some of us scout out deals and save coupons for months, while others like to come across surprise sales while they’re out. No matter who you are, there’s something special to be said for hitting a good deal while shopping.
That being said, most of us also know that certain products either go on sale or hit full price during different times of the year. Consider the classic example: nobody is trying to buy a heavy coat in the middle of the summer. It’s just not useful to us at that time. So, by the common laws of supply and demand, then, we expect prices of heavy coats to be lower in the summer than they would be in the peak of the winter season. This means one very counterintuitive thing: for those of us trying to save money, the summer is exactly when we should buy our heavy coats.
Now, because purchases like these seem so counterintuitive, we often forget or overlook good purchases that we could make now in order to save ourselves money later. In this case, a little preparedness and foresight can really go a long way! So, to help you savvy shoppers save some cash this year, here is a list of what to buy – and what not to buy – before the end of this July:
- School Supplies: DO
Sorry. We know it hurts. But it is true. If you’re in school or have school aged kids: this is the time. Beat the lines and the skyrocketed prices by picking up some notebooks and pencils on your next run to Wal-Mart or Staples – or even on your Amazon account. You won’t be sorry come August when parents and students everywhere are fighting the back to school rush.
- Electronics: DON’T
While back to school supplies might be in style in July, electronics are not.
According to popular deal-tracking websites, like Deal News, you can find decreasing prices on electronics as the summer goes by. In fact, the most deals in 2015 were seen at the end of August. You might consider holding off on that new laptop or phone until the latest versions – or biggest sales – come out at the end of the summer.
- Exercise Equipment: DO
In light of warm summer weather, many people opt to workout outside. For those who choose not to deal with the heat, the prices of gym memberships tend to go up, too. So, for people who want a good workout without paying the average $55 per month on a gym membership or facing the July heat: now is the time to purchase your own indoor workout equipment. Retailers will be trying to clear their inventories before the next surge of the indoor workout season (the colder months) and you could find some pretty great deals!
- Sunglasses: DON’T
While you might see summer clothes and sunglasses discounted near the Fourth of July, the real clearance will happen around August. Because August is typically viewed as the end of the season for retail, you might be able to pick up some nice things for next year without breaking the bank.
- Swimwear: DO
However, while sunglasses and summer clothes might not be the best to buy in this season, you might actually be able to find some great deals on swimwear. Because many people buy their swimsuits before the summer starts (think May) swimwear actually hits peak sale season earlier than sunglasses or summer clothing. Retailers often start sales on this season’s swimwear in the middle of the summer, right about now!
- Outdoor Equipment: DON’T
This is a big one. During the summer months, it’s likely you’re spending much more time outside. In months since you last went camping, hiking, gardening, or fishing, then, you may have forgotten to replenish some of the equipment you need. Never fear: this equipment will be sold everywhere during the summer months! For full retail value. Try your best to avoid buying outdoor gear during the peak of summer months – you could save a lot of money!
- Cold Weather Clothing: DO
In case you forgot – this is a great time to buy your next winter coat. However, it may not be the best time to start buying your new styles for the fall. Because fall styles are just being put on shelves now, they’ll be at full price for the next few months. Opt to buy your winter clothing now and wait until you can hit some deals on fall styles for next year!
- Air Conditioners: DON’T
Nobody likes to be scorching hot in the middle of the summer. For that reason, if you need a new air conditioner, you’re going to be hitting peak prices. However, if you’re thinking of merely replacing your old air conditioner, you might want to wait until they go on sale in the fall.
- Furniture: DO
As the summer passes, you might start finding some really good deals on new furniture. This is because retailers like to get their summer stock off the shelves and restock with the winter styles. While this one could be hit or miss, it can’t hurt to start browsing furniture websites for the items you need now, instead of waiting until the fall.
- Luggage: DON’T
Summer is travelling season and with travelling comes luggage. People take the warm months to venture to new countries or beaches, taking all of their luggage with them – new luggage included. In fact, the second week of July is typically the most travel-heavy week of the year. So, it might not be in your best interest to buy new luggage until the peak of travel season dies down. You could end up finding some really good discounts come August or September!
Making purchases is all about timing. You never know how much you could end up saving yourself if you buy the things you need at the right times. So, use this list to your advantage and see what you can find. A little planning could get you a lot of savings!