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Best time of the year to buy

Created date

January 22nd, 2013

Have you ever noticed that produce is cheapest when it s in season? Just like peaches are less expensive during the summer, there is a season to buy all kinds of consumer products from laptops to golf clubs. With a little planning and some insider advice from the pros, you can save big by buying at the right time.

Smartphones

Don t be lured by the marketing buzz of new product launches. Money expert Mary Caraccioli, who hosts the Live Well Network seriesWe Owe What?, says the best time to buy a smartphone is right after a new model is released. After the iPhone 5 was released, the iPhone 4S could be found for $99, she says. Techies, sit tight. Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance (moneycrashers.com), says the iPhone 6 is slated for release in March, after which you ll score big discounts on older models.

Laptops

You may not be headed back to school, but if you re in the market for a new laptop, Caraccioli says you ll save hundreds by buying in August when retailers are catering to coeds looking for deals before the fall semester begins. Better yet, buy on a Monday, when she says manufacturers apply rebates.

Golf clubs

Caraccioli says clubs get marked down as much as 50% in June or July, after the golf season is under way. Schrage says you can also find deals in November and December, when weather is cold and retailers are trying to boost holiday sales.

Boats

February s boat shows are a great time to look, but not to buy, according to Caraccioli. Soon after the shows wrap up, the dealers are looking to clear out last year s models to make way for the new vessels. That is when you can sail off with quite a bargain for last year s model.

Recreational vehicles

Summer may be the time when you want to hit the open road in an RV, but Schrage says to plan ahead by purchasing one during the fall. That s when retailers are trying to clear out old inventory to make room for new models, he says.

Toys

You can spoil your grandchildren all year long if you stock up on toys when they re on sale. Financial advisor Harrine Freeman, who is the author ofHow to Get Out of Debt: Get an A Credit Rating for Free, says you ll find huge markdowns on the day after Christmas. Early holiday shoppers will also save by buying toys in August or September, when stores are making room for Christmas inventory.

Exercise equipment

Did you vow to shed some pounds in 2013? So did everyone else and retailers know it. That s why you ll find sales on treadmills and other at-home fitness equipment in January, Freeman says.

Cruises

If you re retired, you have the flexibility to travel during non-peak times. Caraccioli says April is an ideal time to catch a deal on a cruise. It is not a big vacation month, so there are often last-minute deals, saving you 35% to 40% off your trip. meghan.streit@erickson.com

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