What to buy in July

The Fourth of July is a great opportunity for shoppers to get deals on seasonal items they can use right now and through the end of summer. And the discounts will be deep, with some reaching 50 percent off or more, says Lindsay Sakraida, features director of consumer website Dealnews.

“Patio furniture has been aggressively discounted this year,” she says, noting that seasonal items in some parts of the country may not have sold as quickly this year and retailers don’t want to end up with excess inventory.

Also look for deals on seasonal clothing, she says. “Summer clothing will have pretty good discounts, and there will be Fourth of July sales, but do a search for coupons as well,” Sakraida advises. Retailers have already started advertising Independence Day sales. Expect to see more coupons this week that will give you an even better discount.

You may see some deals on grills with discounts of $30-$100, but these will get better as the summer continues, Sakraida says.

Anyone looking for cheap summer travel should consider booking this month. Many of the most affordable flights and hotels are available at the end of August. People tend to frontload their summer with trips, Sakraida says. At summer’s end, people are more likely to travel around Labor Day. Low demand for the previous week can mean better deals on some destinations.

July is also a big technology month. In June, Apple debuted a less expensive iMac. The desktop machine is $200 cheaper than it has been in the past, but it is a lesser configuration with less storage and a lower processor, Sakraida says. “We recommend that you buy the refurbished version of the previous iMac. It is a better deal for your money,” she says.

Amazon also released details of its Android smartphone, Amazon Fire. The phone is designed to enhance the user experience for Amazon devotees, Sakraida says. For example, you get a free membership to Amazon Prime with a phone purchase (a $99 value). The phone is an AT&T exclusive that will cost $200 for the 32GB version and $300 for the 64GB model with a standard two-year contract. “There are great Android phones … and they drop in price within a few months. We expect Amazon to offer some sort of deal in the near future,” Sakraida says, such as a bundle or a price cut. So, don’t pre-order or buy at full price just yet.

July is the second best season to buy laptop computers primarily because it marks the start of back to school season. But shop smart, Sakraida says. Even though the prices are good in July, they tend to get a little stronger in August when students are actually returning to school.

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