When to Buy What: MAY Shopping Trends 2013

There is no absolute “best” time to buy tech. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Back to School aside, electronics deals can always be found for certain products, models, and brands, especially in FatWallet’s Hot Deals forum where it feels like Christmas everyday. But if your mom’s like mine, she doesn’t care…she wants something techie for Mother’s Day to keep her more connected with all her friends and family. Tech has been the trendy gift the last couple of years leading up to Mother’s Day with growing opportunities to save on laptops, tablets and smartphones and those accessories.

Tech-no? No worries. May was made for moms and perfect for those of us who upgrade items for our homes each spring. Why? We’re cleaning, rearranging, redecorating and purging robots. This coincides with a horde of retail inventory clearance sales and seasonal gift-giving events like Mother’s Day, graduations, weddings and early Father’s Day bargain hunting to help us save money as we give and garnish.

Add in the frenzy to book summer family vacations, kick-off warm weather parties and feasts, stalk Memorial Day sales and the grab for new gear to make those outdoor activities more meaningful–May equates to a solid month of prime discounts.

(early May)

Mother’s Day Deals

Mother’s Day sales bring out big discounts and increased cash back savings from dozens of top stores on purchases for traditional gifts, items moms want for the home and exclusive deals on wireless and mobile devices most moms want for on-the-go.

  • Flowers & Gifts: (flowers, candy, books, crafts & supplies, jewelry)

  • Home & Garden: (cookware/kitchenware, pots, plants, tools, feeders, outdoor decor)
  • Gift Cards: (restaurants, retail, craft/fabric stores, electronics)
  • Tech: (laptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras, streaming media, wireless devices)

Tip: Not sure what tablet or smartphone to get her? …survey says moms love gift certificates.

Sports and Outdoors Deals

Every sportsperson’s shopping list will include tools, gear and equipment for their favorite summer hobbies and outdoor activities, and discounts from stores like Cabela’s, REI, Sports Authority and others will be havens for savings early and later leading up to Father’s Day.

  • Sports: (golf, cycling, baseball, athletic apparel/shoes)

  • Outdoors: (fishing, cycling, running, camping, swimming, hiking)
  • Tools/Garden: (saws, drills, tools, boxes/benches/storage, grills/accessories, tires)

Tip: If you don’t need the latest and greatest gear, there will be heavy discounts on last year’s models and increased cash back in FatWallet’s Guys Week promo from May 13-19.

Summer Travel Deals

Finding the best summer vacation deals are specific to your destination and when you want to go.

  • Early Summer: June trips to the big attraction National Parks (like Yellowstone and the other 57) will be cheaper for visits before the deep summer crowd runs the price of hotels up high in July and August.

  • Late Summer: Those willing to travel out of the US and don’t mind hot weather, many Caribbean destinations will see airfare and hotel rates take a nice dip for a fun, affordable family trip.
  • Hotels: Many of the online hotel retailers (Hotels.com, the coastal chains and Vegas hotels) will have great specials on longer stays. Take advantage of free additional nights offers, and deep discounts on select regional destinations.

Tip: Start monitoring travel deals earlier in MAY so you’re ready to jump on good offers as prices go back up fast this time of year.

(late May)

Memorial Day Deals

Similar to President’s day and Labor Day, this is a seasonal sales event with a captive audience (3-day weekend-tax returns) with almost every store serving up some type of store-wide discount.

  • Furnishings: (mattresses, furniture, patio sets)

  • Appliances: (refrigerators, washers, & dryers, stoves/ranges)
  • Clothing: (kick-off of Spring Fashion Clearance)

Tip: Store-wide and category discounts can be tricky, compare prices the week before you shop Memorial Day sales to assure you’re actually getting a great deal.

Father’s Day Deals

Shopping earlier for gift-giving events can have it’s rewards. Father’s Day is a perfect fit for this strategy as May’s typical sports and outdoor deals and home and garden sales make good gifts for dad (as well as grads and weddings).

  • Sports and Outdoors: (golf, camping, fishing, grilling, gym memberships)

  • Tools: (automotive, home improvement, garden and yard)
  • Electronics: (laptops, tablets, smartphones, gadgets)

Tip: Often you can purchase larger, heavier items online for significantly reduced costs and take advantage of free in-store pick-up (vs. shipping charges).

Cash Back Resources

Additional Shopping Trends Articles

  • Best Buy Coupons
  • Cabela’s Coupons
  • REI Coupons
  • Orbitz Coupons
  • When to Buy What: April Shopping Trends 2013

  • When to Buy What: March Shopping Trends 2013
  • When to Buy What: February Shopping Trends 2013
  • When to Buy What: January Shopping Trends 2013
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