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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Don't Wait Until Black Friday to Buy Things!

It’s that time of year when shoppers start thinking about their holiday shopping plans, and many of us are looking forward to the deep discounts of Black Friday. But October is a treasure trove of deals all its own. So what should you buy in October, and which deals will be better on Black Friday? Here’s the official list from Brad Wilson and his team of expert online shoppers.

Buy It In October

School Supplies – Retailers are clearing out the last of their back-to-school stock, so this is a fantastic time to stock up on notebooks, pens, folders, and all those little things that go in a pencil case or backpack. This Kids’ K-6 School Supplies Bundle, including pencils, markers, a binder, notebook and more, is $15.50 at Walmart, for example.
Winter Coats and Outerwear – We haven’t quite hit the cold weather season yet, and retailers are still trying to sell off their inventory from last Winter, making early October a great time to fit the family with new coats. 
Camping Gear and Other Outdoors Equipment – Retailers want to clear out their summer stock before the colder weather sets in. 
Air Filters – Chances are good that you’ll be thinking soon about firing up your furnace for the first time this season, so it’s a great time to change your air filters. You can buy a dozen Filtrete 3M Air Filters for $24 at Home Depot right now, which breaks out to less than $2 per filter.
Cruises & Fall Vacations – It’s the first month of the off season, when prices drop considerably on everything from airfare to hotels and, yes, cruises. Add in the fact that the cruise industry has taken a beating in the public eye recently, and that combination translates to rock bottom pricing for a relaxing family vacation sailing through warmer climes.

Pumpkins & Pumpkin Pie Filling – The pumpkin crop this year was hurt by a rainy, cooler-than-usual summer, and that could mean that pumpkin pie filling might be more scarce or more expensive in November. Canned goods will keep on the shelf for awhile, so play it safe and stock up now if your Thanksgiving dinner plans include pumpkin pie.

Wait Until Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Computer Memory – Wait to buy external hard drives and flash drives. They will be cheaper on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Jewelry & Fragrances – Retailers will wait until the holidays to roll out the deepest discounts on popular gifts like perfumes and jewelry.
New Apple Products – Apple has one true sale every year, and that’s Black Friday. Even then, it’s not that great of a sale, and your best bet will to buy Apple products from authorized resellers. 
Kitchen Appliances – Appliances are always marked down generously through Black Friday weekend, so hold off on buying that shiny brushed chrome refrigerator.Electronics – In general, you should wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to buy any electronics, including HDTVs, Blu-ray players, home theater systems, computers & laptops, and accessories and peripherals to all of these things.
Blu-rays, DVDs and Video Games – The deals we see on home entertainment like movies and video games in October pale in comparison to what you’ll see in November.
Smartphones – Black Friday is by far the best time to get a deal on a new smartphone. Last year, we saw the Samsung Galazy S3 drop from $199.99 to $49.99 with 2-year activation for Black Friday. In general phones are discounted, bundled with gift cards, or both. Look for the iPhone 5 to get this treatment. (Alas, we don’t think we’ll see it for the 5C or 5S just yet.)

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