Hot or Not?
What to Buy in September
Lots of stores are looking to make space for their big fall inventory push, and everything left over from summer is going cheap. Time to look into cars, appliances, holiday airfare, and other good buys in September.
Big appliances: Stoves, washing machines, and other gear that's way too big to fit into your car starts appearing in showrooms right about now, according to Bankrate.com. But you're not buying that stuff—you're wisely watching the stuff that's still new, but just slightly older, get real markdowns to make room for the new stuff.
Cars: Now is the sweet spot between last year's inventory needing to move quicker off the lot and all that inventory being gone. Go in on a weekday morning if you can to get the sales staff's full attention, and try to keep track of cars you like, then watch how long they sit on the lot. If you've got a favorite that isn't moving, that's the time to sweep in for the much better deal.
Wines: Somewhat obvious, sure, but you can also lock down some hard-to-find, small-run wines in the early fall harvest season, according to SmartMoney.com.
Holiday airfare: As we've suggested, the cheapest time to buy a ticket is eight weeks before a flight. Guess what's just about eight weeks from now? Start buying your airfare for Thanksgiving, then wait a bit and grab any tickets you need for the longer December holidays.
Laptops: Just because you don't happen to re-enrolling in undergraduate studies, or (thank your lucky stars) heading back to high school, doesn't mean you can't pick up a sweet back to school laptop deal. If you are in school, hey, we admire your ability to manage free blog reading time and your studies.
Grills and Lawn Mowers: As you might imagine, the people are looking one way (toward fall and winter indoor things), while retailers are looking back at the grills and lawn maintenance stuff they didn't sell. Meet an outdoor store halfway and pick up a deal, as AOL Shopping suggests.
Shrubs, Bushes, and Other Landscaping Plants: If you've got a warm area to keep plants, or you live in an area where growing happens all year, now's the time to jump in, Kiplinger says, and help your local greenhouses clear out the stuff that people didn't get ambitious enough to plant this summer.
We're going to peek back at this and other installments in our "Best Things to Buy" series later this year, so we can update and improve our buying guide for 2011. So if you've got something we missed this month, tell us why it's cheap in the comments, and we'll check it out.