These days it seems like everything is on sale, all the time. While promotions, discounts and rebates have all become part of our shopping landscape; it can be tough to sort out the real seasonal deals from the ongoing marketing hype. Below are our picks of the best seasonal deals and offers that are truly worth marking on your calendar.
Each year from mid-June to mid-September, Apple offers back-to-school deals on purchases of iMacs and MacBooks for students, educators, and parents. For 2011, the offer includes $100 to spend at the App Store, iTunes Store, and the iBookstore, in addition to their already-discounted educational prices on select hardware.
While this deal is still pretty good, critics are disappointed by this year’s deal. Previous year’s deals enticed shoppers with iPod and iPod Touch giveaways with the purchase of a Mac. Buyers can still get a free printer along with their $100 gift card though, which isn’t a bad deal for a company that rarely discounts current-model products.
If you prefer PCs to Macs, many major manufacturers like Dell and HP offer back-to-school offers as well. This year, Dell is luring students to buy with a free Xbox 360 when a select PC over $699 is purchased.
If you are in the market for a new car, shopping after Labor Day can be a great way to get a discount. Since most automotive manufacturers roll out their new models four months before the end of the calendar year, the fall is when dealers discount the “old” models to make room for next year’s.
Similar to cars, new appliance models are introduced each year. This means you can save on previous year’s models in the fall and early winter. Starting in September each year, retailers are pressured to make space on the showroom floor for the latest and greatest washing machines, refrigerators, and stoves, so there are often great deals on these appliances.
To find other products that are good to buy seasonally, look for items that have annual release dates and plan your shopping based on when these are released. Also look for press releases that announce new products and these will quickly push any older versions off the shelves.
The Internet has also become a great source for seasonal deals on previous model year products like televisions and cell phones. Check out sites like Cowboom.com, the clearance site for Bestbuy.com, for online deals on outdated (as in three to six months) technology and home appliance items.