Spring is obviously not the best time to shop for shorts, swimwear, and sandals. Retailers know that they can sell these items for much more than they could other times of the year. Other items can be found at great prices, according to Smart Money Magazine. These products aren’t for everyone, and some seem to be a little odd to be included in a list of best deals, but you take what you get.
1. All-Weather Clothing. Black suits and heavy jackets and coats hit low-selling points in May, so prices drop to compensate.
2. Boats. I’m probably hanging with the wrong crowd, but no one I know well owns a boat. No one I know well would even consider buying a boat. But there must be people in the world who buy boats, and for those who do, spring is apparently the best time to do so. “You’ll find sales on the unsold new models at shows, plus plenty of previously owned boats on the market.”
3. Children’s Formalwear. I don’t have children so this category doesn’t interest me at this point in my life. The article says: “If you have a wedding or other fancy event to attend with baby before November, now’s your best chance of picking up a suit or dress for a fraction of the regular retail price.”
4. Condiments. When it comes to ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, pickles, and other picnic foods, you should pick these up well before Memorial Day.
5. Designer “Resort” Clothing. Starting in January, designers put out “resort wear” for wealthy customers who migrate to a second, warmer location for a portion of the year. By spring, these items can be found at reduced sales prices. If you’re really looking for bargains, I don’t think “designer” clothing is the best bet, no matter what time of year it is.
6. Ham and Pork Products. The article suggests shopping for pork chops around Easter, when there is a huge volume of ham on the market. Stock up and freeze your hot dogs for Memorial Day.
7. Lost Property. “Both the airlines and the Post Office hold unclaimed or lost items for a minimum of 90 days, then sell them off. That means bags and packages lost around the holidays are just making their way back to the public in late March, early April — and for a fraction of the price.” Here’s how to get a piece of that action.
8. Pearls. Again, here’s an item that’s not the first choice for frugal shoppers. During the spring, retailers will push pearls as gifts for graduations, weddings, and Mother’s Day.
9. Real Estate. While prices are lower in the winter according to the business, in the spring, there is more selection and more competition in real estate on the market. As families with children like to move between school years, there is often extra motivation for sellers during the tail end of the spring.
10. Strollers. The article says that 2007 stroller models come out in April. I didn’t realize there were yearly models for strollers, like cars. There are only cosmetic differences from year to year, so you can find good prices on the discontinued models starting in the spring.
11. Vacuums. As households take on the challenge of “spring cleaning,” vacuum makers want to compete for your business.
Updated May 26, 2009 and originally published April 9, 2007.