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Deep discount season descends

Shopping is like an addiction for some. I’m not normally one of them, I’m afraid.

Shopping is like an addiction for some. I’m not normally one of them, I’m afraid.

If the truth be told, I’d rather be doing something else most of the time. Shopping for the household and family has always seemed to me to be a chore.

But I have to admit, sales featuring deep discounts still give me a sense of anticipation, a sense of the hunt and kill. Many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Consider seasonal sales. They follow a very predictable schedule. As surely as fall follows the summer, retailers need to clear their inventory to make room for the next season’s clothing and goods.

For example, every year, around this time, summer things go on sale, sometimes with fantastic discounts. Bathing suits, beach towels, outdoor furniture and accessories, picnic dishes, shorts, summer pants, tops, shirts and dresses fill the bargain racks.

Also look for sales on sporting equipment used in the summer (kayaks, canoes, tents and camping gear), barbecues, fans, lawnmowers, and linens, and blankets — which tend to be lighter in weight and colour during the summer months.

Also coming up are summer sales on plants, both perennial and annual, plus gardening paraphenalia, such as planters, hoses, watering cans and so on. So if you’re in the market for any of these types of items, now is the time that these sales start, and they’ll go on into September in one form or another.

To find the best sales, keep an eye out for flyers and newspaper advertisements, and check your favourite stores’ websites for online end-of-summer specials. Word of mouth, especially from your shopping-happy friends, is also a great resource.

Even if you don’t need them for this year, think next year.

I say this with some hesitation, though, because I have personal experience with people who cannot resist a bargain, no matter how pointless the purchase. If you recognize yourself here, commit to at least thinking honestly about potential uses of the item before you plunk down your money. Furthermore, don’t burden relatives or friends with stuff they won’t like or don’t need. Only do it if you know preferences, needs and size requirements.

That being said, some things are obvious. If you are in the market for a set of outdoor dining furniture, for instance, or you will be soon, end-of-summer sales this year could net you substantial savings. This option is far superior to buying in the spring, when you will pay top dollar.

If you’re like me, there’s nothing that makes me gnash my teeth more than seeing that cute patio furniture set that I couldn’t resist buying first thing in the spring on sale for half price mid-way through August.

Besides the summer sales that are currently upon us, other predictable months for sales are January when Christmas stock is being downloaded at reduced prices, and March when winter coats and boots and sporting gear is being cleared out. Snowblowers and heaters also go for reduced prices at this time, while air conditioners go on sale in the fall.

– Sylvia Putz is a journalist with an interest in decor and design. She’s written for the TV show Arresting Design; sputz@arrestingdesign.com.

 
 
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