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Smart Buying

Best and Worst Buys of September 2013

Here's what you'll find on sale over Labor Day Weekend and throughout the rest of the month.

Labor Day weekend is a good time to find sales on many consumer goods -- especially summer items that retailers are eager to get rid of to make room for fall and winter inventory. Sales on seasonal items will continue throughout the month. And here's what else you can expect to find on sale in September, as well as what you should wait a few more months to purchase to get the best price.

What's on sale in September ...

Apparel. Labor Day weekend is a good time to find rock-bottom prices on summer apparel and sales on high-end brands, according to dealnews.com, which analyzes deals from past years to predict what will be discounted this year. Discounts on summer clothes were as steep as 85% off last year, according to dealnews.com. Look for retailers such as Brooks Brothers and Anne Klein to mark down their apparel over the holiday weekend, both of which had good sales last year. You'll probably see sales on fall apparel, too, but dealnews.com recommends waiting until later in the season to find better prices.

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Bicycles. New models of bicycles arrive in the fall, so you can find discounts on last year’s models in September, says Luke Knowles, founder of FreeShipping.org. Usually bicycles don’t undergo a major redesign every year, according to Bicylcing magazine, so you’ll be getting a good deal by buying the previous year’s model if the new model hasn’t been changed much.

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Grills. In many parts of the country, the weather still is nice enough in the fall to grill outdoors. So take advantage of Labor Day sales -- and markdowns throughout the month -- to find grills up to 50% off, says Brett Billick, Deals2Buy.com senior director.

iPhones and iPads. Apple typically announces a new iPhone in September, so dealnews.com expects price cuts on previous generations. There's also speculation that a new budget iPhone will be released. Also, a new iPad mini and iPad are expected to be released, so look for price drops from Apple of up to 20% on current models (plus a possible extra 8% off from retailers).

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Mattresses. Look for discounts of up to 50% off from retailers such as Sears and US-Mattress.com during Labor Day sales, according to dealnews.com.

Patio furniture. You've probably seen patio furniture on sale for a couple of months now. But if you've held off on purchasing a set, you'll be rewarded this month with the lowest prices of the season at retailers such as Kmart, Sears and Target. Discounts can reach as high as a staggering 90% off in September and October, according to dealnews.com. Keep in mind, however, that the longer you wait, the smaller the selection.

Sunglasses. Labor Day weekend is a great time to find deals on sunglasses. The best storewide sales on sunglasses are at retailers such as Oakley Vault, Sunglass Hut, REI and 6pm.com, according to dealnews.com.

Wait a little longer to buy ...

Appliances. You'll find sales on major appliances in September and October, but you'll see double the number of deals in November from department stores and home-improvement stores, according to dealnews.com. Note: You won't find refrigerators on sale because they get marked down in May before new models come out in June.

Cars. You might have heard that September is a good time to buy a car because it's the start of a new car season. This once was true, but new models arrive on car lots through the year now, says Kiplinger's car expert Jessica Anderson. She recommends waiting until December to find the best deal on the previous year's models and have more negotiating room than normal on new-model prices because dealers will be anxious to make both monthly and annual sales goals.

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