Don't wait for Black Friday: 9 deals to look for right now
October is full of respectable sales thanks to Halloween and Columbus Day, but you may feel the need to hold off for Black Friday. With these nine items, you don't have to.
October can be a precarious month for shoppers. Although it's packed with respectable sales thanks to Columbus Day and Halloween, it's also the month when we first see Black Friday ads and leaks. As a result, some shoppers may feel the need to abstain from making any purchases this month.
But we're here to tell you that October is actually a great month for some purchases, as long as you're making the right ones. Below, we've created a list of 9 items you should buy this month, alongside a list of 9 items that will be cheaper in November. That way you know you're getting the most out of your buck.
Still uncertain about what to buy? Be sure to sign up for the DealNews Select Newsletter so you don't miss one of the best deals.
9 Deals You Should Buy in October
If you're putting off the following purchases because you think that you'll score a better deal next month, then think again! These items are at their hottest this month.
October is traditionally one of the best months to purchase a new car. By now, hundreds of 2016 models have entered the market and dealerships are more eager than ever to clear 2015's inventory. That means consumers have the upper hand when it comes time to negotiations. According to MarketWatch, the longer you wait to buy a car, the greater the bargain you'll find. However, don't wait too long; by November and December, selection can become an issue. So head to the dealership now that the time is ripe and remember that you have the upper hand.
Make no mistake, the best time to buy a Halloween costume is on the day after Halloween, when retailers discount all of their unsold costumes by as much as 75% with stackable coupons and free shipping. However, most people don't buy their costumes that far in advance, so the second-best time to purchase a Halloween costume is during the week before Halloween. That week you'll find sales that range from 20% to 70% off from retailers like Costume Express, Pottery Ban Kids, ThinkGeek, and BuyCostumes.
Gamers should also take note that for the past few years Steam has been holding its own Halloween sale, taking up to 90% off a selection of horror- and zombie-based video games like The Walking Dead and Plants vs. Zombies, with prices starting as low as 19 cents.
According to travel expert Rick Steves, October can be an excellent time to book a European vacation, since October is the start of Europe's off-season. That means travelers will "find more budget rooms, spend less time in lines, and meet more Europeans than tourists." Combined with astrong dollar, that means travelers can expect to have an overall better vacation experience while saving money on the side.
New patio furniture is probably the last thing on your shopping list this month, but the truth is October can be a great time for patio furniture deals. Retailers are desperately clearing out their inventory and furniture that didn't sell in September. Last year, for instance, Sears took 70% off its patio furniture in September, and added a stackable dollar-off coupon during the month of October. By comparison, patio furniture deals in November were significantly harder to come by and discounts generally topped off at 40%.
55" 1080p LCD HDTVs
We've said it before and we'll say it again, Black Friday is the best time of the year to purchase a new HDTV. However, last Black Friday we noticed that 55" sets didn't drop much in price and that's because this category size has hit a price plateau, meaning retailers have discounted them as much as they're willing to.
You can currently find deals on 55" HDTVs for about $400, which is the same price we're predicting for Black Friday. So if you're in the market for a TV in this size range, you might as well purchase it this month, as it won't drop significantly next month. Moreover, by making your purchase this month, you can shop at your leisure and avoid the stress of shopping during the holidays.
Back-to-school sales have come and gone, but certain back-to-school items — such as denim — are still on sale this month with deals that won't get any better next month. For instance, Lucky,Nautica, and Levi's have all slashed their jeans with discounts that range from 40% to 60% off. Come November, these discounts won't be as strong, or if they are, they'll have certain purchase or shipping requirements. So your best bet is to shop now and enjoy the same discounts without the purchase requirements.
October is National Pizza Month, which means you can expect to find numerous deals this month from the likes of Pizza Hut, Papa John's, California Pizza Kitchen, and Domino's, to name a few. Last year Pizza Hut offered its best BOGO offer of the year, whereas Papa John's offered its best percent off discount, taking 50% off a regular or large pizza.
Although you won't find sales on winter sports gear, October is still a great month for deals on end-of-season gear like water sports and hiking equipment. Check stores like REI and Sierra Trading Post for sales that knock from 40% to 60% off select merchandise. While it's likely you'll see similar sales in November, the sales are more frequent in October and come with no minimum purchase requirements.
According to Oprah.com, October is the best time of the year to purchase certain kinds of producebecause they're at their peak season and lowest price of the year. Some of the produce you should purchase this month includes pumpkins, cranberries, grapes, oranges, sweet potatoes, and yams.
Wait Until Black Friday to Buy...
While there are some great deals in October, there's no denying that November is a month full of stunningly low prices on a variety of electronics and other goods. Below we've focused on some of the bigger Black Friday deals that you should plan to buy in November.
Although appliance manufacturers tend to release their new models in September and October, it turns out that November is actually the better month for deals on large appliances. That's because many of these items will be deeply discounted during Black Friday as stores like Home Depot,Sears, and Lowe's kick off their sitewide sales. Our deal archives show that November will on average offer more than twice as many appliance deals as we see on any other month of the year. Also, roughly 35% of our November appliance deals were marked Editors' Choice last year. By comparison, only 15% are marked as such throughout the rest of the year.
Cold Weather Apparel
As a general rule of thumb, you should never buy apparel that's in-season because you'll wind up paying higher prices for it. However, Black Friday is the exception. Every clothing retailer fromMacy's to JCrew will discount its cold weather apparel and accessories, which means it's worth waiting until November to refresh your wardrobe. Expect apparel retailers to offer their best coupons of the year with discounts that can take up to 50% off or more from your purchase.
Most Apple Devices
Retailers crushed the Apple Store's Black Friday sale last November with discounts that undercut Apple's prices by as much as 13%. And although we're used to seeing that every year, last November was an exceptionally great month for Apple deals as we saw dozens of deals on Apple's MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone, iMac, and iPad mini. This year we expect to see a repeat, particularly on the 11" MacBook Air and iPad Air 2, which have been gradually dropping in price since the summer.
November is the best time of the year to buy a new laptop. If your budget is tight, we expect to see 11" budget notebooks as low as $99, a price we saw last November. If you require a more sophisticated machine with current-generation hardware, such as one of Intel's latest processors, then you'll want to look at 15" mainstream models, which could hit as low as $300. Expect to find these sales from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Staples.
HDTVs are the meat and potatoes of most Black Friday sales. For many screen sizes, you simply won't find better deals any other time of the year. And with prices that start as low as $70 (for a 32" set), it's no wonder most shoppers wait all year to buy their TVs in November. And if you think its only off-brand TVs that see discounts, think again. Last year we saw an increase in the number of name-brand 4K HDTV deals, and we can expect that to occur again this November.
November is the best month of the year for making general electronics purchases. That means you'll find price lows on tablets, cameras, home theater gear, and media players. Unfortunately, there's no way of guaranteeing that the specific device you want will go on sale next month, but the chances are in your favor that at least one retailer will discount it.
According to Hopper, which tracks airfare prices throughout the year, domestic flights will be up to 5% cheaper this fall and winter than they were last year. However, whereas Hopper predicts October prices will be in the $248 range, they predict December rates will be slightly cheaper, averaging just $244.
October promises to be a busy month for video games, with major releases like Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Halo 5: Guardians scheduled to drop on October 23 and October 27 respectively. For gamers looking to save money, that means October will be somewhat of a quiet month in terms of deals. Instead, leave your shopping for November, which is when we traditionally begin to see the first deals on those late-2015 releases.
The holidays are a great time not just for taking pictures, but also printing them. During the week of Black Friday we traditionally see sales from a variety of photo printing services. Last year, for instance, Vistaprint saved its biggest percent-off discount of the year for the week of Black Friday, taking 60% off sitewide. Other services like Shutterfly followed suit, as it announced its biggest sale of the year during the lead up to Black Friday.
Ready to put this information to use? Sign up for the DealNews Select Newsletter or download the DealNews app in order to keep abreast of any and all of these best buys in October. Want to jump ahead through the year? Check out all our monthly guides.
This article first appeared in DealNews.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.