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8 Things to Buy at End-of-Summer Sales

Summers are short and can feel like they’ve ended before they’ve hardly begun. If you’re sorry to see the summer go, one way to keep your chin up can be buying next year’s summer stuff on sale this year. Yep, it might feel a bit illogical to buy cool summer stuff when the weather turns cool, but the retailers are looking to unload. That’s when you swoop in and triumph. Buy now, keep your money later. Once the weather heats up again, you’ll be good to go.

Think of it this way: Retailers want to get it out the door, and you want to save your hard-earned money. It could be a win-win situation for everyone. Retailers typically like to stay one step ahead in both fashion and season, so if you can work it like the models on the runway, you might be able to buy next summer’s wardrobe in September when the end-of-season deals beckon.

Finding End-of Summer Online Sales

An economic rule of thumb is when demand is low, prices are low. Most shoppers only shop for what they need when they need it. They may not be focused on the future as much as you could be when looking for amazing end-of-season sales.

Of course, digital shopping has completely changed the game, and you can seek to score bargains any time of the year. Check out these shopping sites for their reputation of marking down overstocked items:

•  Overstock

•  SmartBargains

•  Pricegrabber

•  Google Shopping

•  Dealcatcher

•  RetailMeNot

•  Rakuten (formerly Ebates)

Some sites offer coupons, discount codes, or flash sales in order to get you on board. You may be able to find a bargain with just a closer look at what’s offered—and when. Some sites, like Amazon , even let you comparison shop for the lowest prices.

Thinking Before Spending

Remember that end-of-summer sales are helpful only if you are buying the things that you actually need (or will need). Buying items just because they’re a great deal does not necessarily jibe with sticking to your budget; in fact, it goes against the very idea of saving money. Buying items you don’t need could put you behind, not ahead.

Also, keep in mind that a marked-down item doesn’t always mean it’s a great deal. You may have to do some additional research to learn if you may be paying more while under the guise of saving money on a great sale. Usually, the best way to do this is through online comparison shopping.

One more thing: are you putting these purchases on a credit card? If so, that ’s not really saving money. You’ll more than pay with the interest you’ll owe if you don’t pay off the complete balance by the due date each month.

It’s all about knowing when it’s the right time to buy. It might be a good idea to evaluate your current financial situation and the big expenses you anticipate coming up in the next month or two. Any hits to your savings could wipe out the very reason you’re shopping early, even if it appears that you’re saving money on the item. In personal finance, timing is everything.

If all systems are go financially, here are just a few summer-season purchase ideas to get you shopping—and saving—in advance:

Swimwear (especially women’s swimwear). This is the time of year that stores start lining their sale and discount racks with low-priced swimsuits. As retailers turn their heads to back-to-school sales, look for sale tags on suits you can wear next year.

Summer clothes. Retailers want the old stuff off the floor—and fast. Online retailers want warehouse space for new inventory. Now may be the time to buy your basic summer wardrobe for next year. You also may be able to take advantage of this additional break: Many states offer tax-free holidays on clothing during the back-to-school sale periods that could amount to generous discounts for you and your family.

Air conditioning. Even if your current window unit is working just fine, you may not be able to pass up a great deal on the air conditioners retailers try to unload at the end of the season. If you have the space to store a backup air conditioner, this could be a smart purchase.

Patio furniture. Patio furniture doesn’t have to be just for summer use—it can have extended life in the fall and spring. If you entertain into the fall months or know you’ll want new furniture for next summer, you might consider replacing patio furniture if yours is looking shabby. Typically, outdoor furniture goes on sale from August through October. This may give you plenty of time to comparison shop.

Playground equipment and swing sets. Have kids? They won’t need another reason to look forward to next summer, but a discounted play unit stored in the garage until then could add to the anticipation. Buying now could save you later. Set it up for the shorties on the first warm day!

Pool supplies. Putting your pool to bed for a long winter’s nap doesn’t mean it’s not going to drain you of money sooner or later. Fight back by buying your pool supplies (cleaners, covers, liners, parts, etc.) at the end of the season, when the prices may be at their best.

Lawnmowers and other garden helpers. Come early spring, your grass will grow like weeds before you know it. That’s when the retailers are waiting for you with baited breath and weed-high prices. Beat them at their own game by purchasing your lawn care products at the end of the season when prices are slashed.

Laptops. According to the calendar, it’s basically back-to-school-sale time, and laptops are often offered as part of that tax-free holiday in some states. Students may need them for school; you may need one for general, everyday use. Now may be the perfect time if you can work a sale discount and pay less tax. Consider buying a refurbished laptop and save even more money .

SoFi Checking and Savings® is a checking and savings account that allows you to save and spend in one product, which could be convenient for end-of-season sale shopping.

Become a SoFi Checking and Savings member and get exclusive access to fun group events, financial planning, career coaching, and member discounts on other SoFi products.

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