Here it is. My list of the 10 deals I would not buy this week to help you avoid buyer's remorse.
Under no circumstances would I buy an HDTV right now. Deals are terrible and the stock from this year becomes heavily discounted in October and the days leading up to Black Friday. Sometimes we even see major discounts the last week of September. My fiancee's TV is about to die and I'm encouraging her to go out and spend $100 on a 12-inch portable TV that she'll probably only use for a few weeks because the amount she'll save on an HDTV by waiting a month is so significant by comparison. The top deals leading up to Black Friday are generally 42-inch LCD TVs from higher-end brands (I'm talking Sharp, Samsung, Toshiba... not Westinghouse), 1080p with fast processors between $390 and $420, with free shipping. If you don't see specs or a price like that, hold off! If you're shopping for 55 inches or higher, prices should be well under $1400.
The prices were at their prime a few weeks ago with retailers rolling out back-to-school incentives. I've seen prices shoot back up as most of the folks buying right now are buying because they really need to, and stores know they'll get that sale regardless of whether the price is $200 higher (same when it comes to most 'essential' purchases). If you can, wait. We'll see much better deals in October and superb ones in the days leading up to Black Friday in November.
3) iPhones and iPods
It's been 370 days today since Apple released its last iPhone, and most recent iPod. The average days between the release of prior products has been around 310 days (thank you MacRumors for counting for me). As difficult as it is to predict Apple releases -- thanks to the company's secrecy -- speaking purely from mathematical averages, we are due for a release. Yes, I know all about the rumors of a new iPhone for the first week of October and have seen different rumors circulating for iPod photos, but if you don't work for Apple, you don't know. In fact, many folks that work for Apple don't know about new releases either). Historically, Apple often revitalizes and updates its product line for pre-holiday shopping. Either way, if you want an iPhone 4, it will be cheaper with the release of upcoming release of as will current generation iPods. If you want to own a new iPhone or iPod, there's nothing more disappointing than shelling out all that cash now only to learn of a better (and often cheaper) product in a few weeks.
4) The New BlackBerry Bold Touch (a.k.a. BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930)
The spectacular device (and yes, I'm very jealous of the fact Ways 2 Save team member Vince Fratiani has one) is highly attractive right now, but it's going to drop in price significantly. Even upgrade fees from companies like T-Mobile (which generally has outstanding prices) are a complete ripoff. Wait 5-6 weeks for the allure toward this device to become less pronounced. Plus, as wireless providers will work to make this anti-iPhone alternative more attractive toward the holiday season, prices will drop.
5) GPS units
The roads are clear, families are still driving everywhere and these road trip companions are in demand. Prices are terrible and as the winter draws closer, price points will drop significantly. I expect some of the best deals on Garmin Nuvi units to be at Office Depot. TomToms most likely will drop significantly from Amazon and various daily deal shops. Wait until October.
6) A really nice pair of headphones
Wait two days. I've been tipped off by one of the largest distributors in the country that a massive price drop on one of the best-rated, best-reviewed $70+ headphones will drop to under $25, brand new, with free shipping. I'd most certainly wait the 48 hours to see what's in store. I've heard from many students and audiophiles ready to splurge on a great pair of headphones for an MP3 player or tablet. Your two-day patience will be rewarded.
7) Sheets, towels, bedding
It may be hard to hold off on these household essentials, but if you can just buy a towel or two to tide you over now, the most significant discounts are in November and store-wide at every major department store. We're talking discounts that pass the 70% reduction mark and are most certainly worth waiting for. The deals will come alive like you won't believe if you can wait the 60+ days.
8) Thanksgiving flights and airfare
Thanksgiving flights are the next major purchase many of us will make, but right now sales are scarce. While I would not wait until the last possible second, or even past the first week of October, several major sales are expected over the next two and half weeks, and if you can hold off this short while, I would wait before purchasing a flight.
9) Winter clothing
It was a scary sight when I walked into the Abercrombie store (research for a piece I'm doing on cotton prices) at one of our local malls. The winter coats are already hanging on shelves. Stores like Abercrombie, Hollister, Banana Republic and even Old Navy move very quickly on setting up those seasonal displays. The stock is at least two months ahead, so when you actually need that winter coat toward the very end of October or early November, prices will be up to 50% lower than they are right now. Meanwhile, as the weather is still warm, polo shirts and lighter jackets are flying off the shelves at up to 60% off.
Actually, I probably should make this advisory less general. If you're looking for an e-reader that is not a Nook or a Kindle, prices are great, but if you're holding off on either of the two best (in my opinion) and popular e-readers, I'd wait. Typically about five weeks before Christmas, the promotional incentives, bundles and price drops often occur. I expect Barnes and Noble to offer some killer discounts on recertified color (and possibly black and white Nooks) and the in-need-of-a-refresh Kindle is expected to get more attractive price-wise as the holiday season approaches.
If there's a purchase you're considering and you have a question, please let me know. It would be an honor to help you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can watch for new savings tips each morning at 5:50 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. on Channel 3 News Today, and always at WKYC.com.
We receive absolutely no financial compensation for mentioning any company, product, or deal. The purpose of this segment is to find great deals -- that's it.