Smart Buying

Best and Worst Buys of October 2014

You'll find a few seasonal items on sale this month, but wait until November for some of the best bargains of the year.

October isn't a great month for deal hunters. Holiday-related markdowns won't start appearing until November. And back-to-school and summer clearance sales have come and gone, for the most part. However, some retailers still are trying to unload warm-weather and seasonal items. So you can find deals on a few products this month.

 

What's on sale now ...

Camping Gear. Because it's the end of camping season, you'll find clearance sales on a variety of outdoor items, says Offers.com Vice President Howard Schaffer. Look for tents, summer hiking gear and fishing gear to be marked down as much as 60% to 70%.

Costumes. Although Halloween costumes are in high demand in October, there are affordable options. Schaffer recommends shopping last year’s inventory to get the lowest prices. Most retailers have a clearly marked clearance section both in stores and online. You can also save 30% to 40% off this year’s costumes if you wait to shop a day or two before Halloween. The selection will be limited, but the deals will be there. If you shop online, search for coupon codes to save even more on sale items.

Grills. After Labor Day, retailers typically slash the price of grills by 50% or more. The selection is small by October, but the discounts are not. The longer you hold off, the more prices will drop, says online shopping expert Brent Shelton of FatWallet.com. In November, if you shop online through sites that offer you cash back on your purchases -- such as FatWallet.com, Ebates.com or BeFrugal.com -- you can double your cash-back savings for as much as a 3% to 6% rebate during early holiday promotions, Shelton says.

Jeans. Denim that didn't sell during back-to-school sales is marked down in October, says Trae Bodge, senior editor for RetailMeNot.com. Look for discounts from brands that specialize in denim, such as Levi's, Lucky, True Religion and 7 for All Mankind.

Wait a little longer to buy ...

Cold weather apparel. You won't see deep discounts on fall clothing until November, Schaffer says. And you'll need to wait until January for bargains on winter wear, according to DealNews.com.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- the Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving -- are definitely the days to get low prices on HDTVs, Schaffer says. If you don’t get a chance to take advantage of Black Friday sales, you’ll have another chance to get a great discount -- especially on brand-name big-screen HDTVs -- in January during Super Bowl Sales.

Laptop computers. You'll find some of the lowest prices of the year on laptops during Black Friday sales, according to DealNews.com. Prices on 15-inch mainstream laptops will drop to $325 and budget models should be as low as $195, according to DealNews.com.

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