What to buy (and skip) in November
November brings forth a cornucopia of sales: Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But that’s just the beginning of what this deal-driven month will produce. Here are the categories from which shoppers should be buying — and a couple they should skip — over the next few weeks to get the most for their money.
Of all the products that will be on sale in November, electronics take center stage. Stores stuff the pages of their Black Friday ads with markdowns on tablets, gaming systems, smartwatches, smartphones and more.
Accordingly, shoppers should be patient and wait until Black Friday (Nov. 25) to make an electronics purchase. Some major retailers will kick off their Black Friday deals a day early, on Thanksgiving. If you don’t want to brave the crowds to get a deal, many stores will also give shoppers an opportunity to do their discount shopping online.
Skip: Bedding and linens
It’s a little too early to put a fresh set of sheets on the bed. January is your best bet for a deal on bedding and linens. In January 2016, bedding basics were slashed by 60% to 70% at stores like Wayfair and Macy’s.
Aside from spring cleaning season, November is a solid opportunity to add a new vacuum cleaner to your closet. Last year, Wal-Mart had a Dyson DC33 bagless upright vacuum on sale for $197 (regularly $269) as part of its Black Friday sale. Dyson, too, had a Thanksgiving weekend sale on its website, with select models marked down by hundreds of dollars. Expect these sweeping sales to land at the end of the month.
Skip: Winter products
The first day of winter is fast approaching. Dec. 21 will mark a change in seasons, but retailers are already gearing up for the cold months by releasing winter apparel and sporting equipment early — usually at full price. Similarly, Christmas decorations now adorning store displays are more expensive when they first hit shelves than when they’re on their way out the door. Consider reserving your seasonal purchases until closer to Christmas.
Buy: Wedding dresses
Dress shops have been known to clear out racks of existing merchandise in the fall as they make way for brides to shop new styles. In fact, we spotted discounts on wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses happening right now at David’s Bridal.
Shop: Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales
November is perhaps best known, at least in a shopping sense, for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year. This year, Black Friday is on Nov. 25, and Cyber Monday is on Nov. 28.
If you’re planning a major purchase such as a refrigerator or computer, hold off until the end of the month. Major retailers like Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart usually release Black Friday advertisements in the days or weeks before Black Friday to announce their upcoming deals and doorbusters.
Bonus: Veterans Day
Veterans Day traditionally delivers military-specific discounts at retailers and restaurants to salute members of the armed forces, but savings extend to everyday shoppers as well. This year, Veterans Day is on Friday, Nov. 11, but sales will likely last throughout the weekend.
Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website.
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