Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Winter is thawing out, and spring is upon us. So what’s a good buy in April, and what should you hold off on buying?Cruises
Typically, April is a good month for cruises. But we discovered last month that cruise prices in general have been dropping when compared to last year, likely due to the industry’s tumultuous string of recent public disasters.
In fact, when compared to similar cruise deals from this time last year, 2012’s offers are as much as 11 per cent less. And we have continued to see an increase in the sheer number of cruise deals as well, making it still a good time (price-wise) to look into a vacation on the seas.
Spring Apparel… Almost
The general rule of thumb is to wait about two months after a new line of apparel hits stores to start
seeing some of the better discounts. Many retailers began to debut their spring merchandise in late
January and February, so that places April at about the two-month mark for some. Look closely at the
discounts though: a spring sale that takes 30 to 40 per cent off is still a mid-season promotion; you’ll
want a sale that takes at least 50 per cent off or more, and if you can hold steady for a stacking coupon
code, all the better. If you truly want the lowest prices — which of course comes with reduced selection
— you’ll likely want to wait until May.
As most of the world expected, Apple announced the new iPad last month. What many didn’t expect,
however, was for Apple to then continue to manufacture and sell the iPad 2 at a lower price. This new
price point from Apple — although just $100 lower — puts pressure on Apple competitors, especially
since we’ve already seen deals that discount the iPad 2 to as low as $349. As we predicted, non-Apple
slate manufacturers will feel compelled to respond aggressively, and as such we’ve already seen a new all-time low on the Amazon Kindle Fire. Could this be a sign of things to come from other tablets as well?
Get a Jump on Jewelry Deals for Mother’s Day
If you’re thinking about buying some baubles for mum this year, then start looking now. We will still find
and list deals, coupons, and sales for jewelry in May, but often times we see slightly higher final prices
on styles right before the holiday, as opposed to prices in April (or last month even, but it’s too late for
that, isn’t it?). This is especially true of online jewelry retailers.
Home Improvement Items go National
For the past three years, Home Depot has offered its “Black Friday” spring sale, but this year, because
of the mild winter weather, the store has not only started it early but — according to CNBC — the
promotion has been rolled out nationwide, instead of in a staggered region-by-region schedule. The sale
began this year on March 29, whereas we listed it last year almost a week and a half later. While we
Some sources praise April as the best month for top office furniture deals, but according to our archives,
we’ve consistently seen either more or better-quality deals in both May and June. The latter in particular
racks up more Editors’ Choice calibre offers, which often meant that the styles were at the lowest price
point we’d seen. Look to OfficeMax, Office Depot, Staples, and Walmart for these offers down the line.
It’s easy to start dreaming big once the weather gets warmer, and although the promise of an upcoming
season of grilling is enticing, don’t jump the gun by purchasing a new grill just yet. Our deals suggest
that June will see better-quality deals, while other sources promote post-Independence day sales as an
excellent opportunity to get discounts on the outdoor staple.
Although April isn’t a big month for TV deals, we don’t expect it to be a bad month either. Deals on
brand-name 55″ TVs haven’t changed since the holidays coming in at exactly $800 since December. Off-
brand models on the other hand have actually dropped in price since the holidays, and so far this year
they’re averaging $590 (which is 14 per cent lower than the best price we saw in 2011). We expect this
trend to continue in April, so if you’re shopping for a 55″ TV, look for deals under $590 (for off-brand)
and under $800 (for brand-name). Likewise, name-brand 46″ LCD HDTVs were cheaper in February and
March of 2012 than they were on Black Friday, with prices averaging $550. (The best deal in November
As far as 3D TVs are concerned, February’s all-time low of $699 didn’t repeat itself in March, but we do
expect the deal to make a return before the summer, so keep a look out for deals on off-brand 55″ 3D
February’s stellar deal on a fully-equipped desktop replacement didn’t make a re-appearance in March.
However, prices in 2012 are still at Black Friday levels. So if you’re in need of a laptop, look for deals on
fully loaded desktop replacements (17″ or larger, with a minimum of 8GB RAM, a Core i7 CPU, and a
500GB hard drive) at or below $800.
Last month we noticed an influx of deals on ultrabooks and we expect the same for April. In particular,
look for deals on the ASUS Zenbook or the Acer Aspire S3 as those are the most discounted ultrabooks
we’ve seen. Price-wise, the former has hit an all-time low of $849 whereas the Aspire S3 has reached a
low of $749.