It’s officially Fall 2015 and we can already tell just by the temperature (49 degrees here this morning!). When the temperature falls, that means savings are in the air as well. So here’s an opportunity to hunt for real bargains that may be on your shopping list. There’s actually double opportunities in October to get great prices…last of the summer merchandise sales as well as the start of fall and winter goods.
Let’s begin with the big deals for fall savings:
Roll into the savings mode throughout October by buying a new bike. The season really ends in September and retailers are looking to clear out this year’s inventory…which can save you 30-50% off regular prices. The trick is to get in before the selection is depleted. Oh, and if you are anywhere near a bike rental shop, look for even better deals on a used rental bicycle, often sold at 50-75% off the listed prices.
As usual, autos are being cleared away now to make room for the new 2016 cars in all the major new car dealer showrooms. The sales, which began in September, are now in full blast with the average discounts across the country at 9% off the list prices versus the average 4% found during the regular year (from introduction to clearance time). Yes, it’s just 5% difference, but think of the dollars here…5% of $20,000 list is an extra $1,000 savings! While your choices will certainly dwindle as time goes on, if you can wait until December to buy (and you don’t mind rally yellow…I bought one myself back in 2005), the discounts can rise to as much as 12% off list price, plus incentives may still apply. And don’t forget you can still negotiate your prices for even better deals!
Patio Furniture, Grills, and Outdoor Accessories
The clearance began right after Labor Day, but it’s desperation mode in October for retailers, so discounts can be easily up to 90% off original prices. Let me explain. Seasonal things like patio sets, seat cushions, grills, and barbecue accessories take up valuable floor space that stores convert to their Christmas and holiday displays. Those trees and trimmings are rolling in right now (much to the cringing of some shoppers). So where will that be merchandised? You guessed it, it replaces much of those summer shops you see around many retail stores. Thus, if you’re in the market for a new grill or patio furniture for next year, you win, so strike while the iron is hot before the weather turns cold.
Lawn Care and Mowers
For the same reason as above the stores want out of this business right now. Check a store like Sears for the biggest selection and best prices (50% or more off) before they run out if you’re looking to upgrade for 2016.
Now is the best time of year to book a cruise for 2016. The prices for early bookings in October can save you 25 to 50% off the published prices with just your deposit due when you sign up. The best part of doing it now, besides saving hundreds of dollars, is you’re getting the pick of all the dates and accommodations ahead of the curve so your trip can be planned as you like it. Even airfares associated with the cruises are discounted in October for next year.
Computers and Electronics
I am adding computers and electronics to this list for the simple reason that retail sales this past spring and summer were poor in this category across the board and retailers are now trying to move inventory big time. Look for some real bargains on 2015 technology before the Christmas ads start. This is an opportunity that usually doesn’t show up as early as it is right now on laptops, phones, and other electronics.
I mentioned in the beginning that there is a double bonus here in October. That’s the part that gives you your first sales on Fall and Winter goods, especially in clothing and accessories. Columbus Day is fast approaching and that will trigger the first winter coat sales of the season. Consider the layaway plans from major retailers which are usually free to get the sales prices now and use the coats when the weather turns cold in your neck of the woods.
Just about everything fall and winter will have a price break in October that will only be topped by Black Friday sales beginning on Thanksgiving (or earlier as this trend continues). But don’t be fearful of overpaying. The good news is that if you check out the stores’ adjustment policies for purchasing items which are reduced within a certain period (like 14-30) days), you can still buy during October sales and get that adjusted price if it goes lower later on (as long as it’s not a final sale item and you save your receipt). In fact, you can use a site like Paribus to automatically get money back when the price drops, without even asking!
Don’t forget what I have told you in many previous posts about coupons, loyalty cards, reward points, and double/triple savings. And always try to negotiate the big ticket items, too! The worst that can happen is that you get a “no”, but sometimes, it’s a “yes”!
So there you have some real opportunities to save and get what you really may need to buy anyway in 2016. Of course it’s only a good idea if it’s something you need, or a “want” you can afford that aligns with your values.
Did I miss any great fall bargains? What’s on your list to buy that is just waiting for a bargain to appear?