What Not to Buy in September

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When it comes to saving money, September is a good month to buy a lot of things, especially compared with June, July and August. But there are a number of things you shouldn’t buy in September, even if a lot of other people are buying them then.

2013 cars: The vast majority of the 2013 models are on car lots by now, and they’ll never be more expensive than they are now. Want a good deal on a ’13 model? Good luck. This is the time to seriously consider buying a 2012 model, which dealers badly want to get off their lots.

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TVs: Depending on whom you ask, January, February, March, April, November and December are good months to buy a TV. You’ll never hear anyone say September. Retailers try to sell them for as much as they can until November and particularlyBlack Friday, the best day of the year to buy one. If you don’t want to battle the hoards of shoppers on the day after Thanksgiving, there are good sales throughout most of December and sometimes into January.

Cell phones: Buy one when you see good sales in May, June and December. Sales are rare in September. One exception: Some stores will put phones on sale during the last few days of any month in which sales have been bad.

Fall fashion: When do people buy fall clothes? This is not a trick question. In the fall, of course. Retailers know this and aren’t going to lower prices when demand is high. And demand is highest in September. Prices on fall fashion dip by November, when clothes shoppers are thinking more about overcoats, wool sweaters and gloves.

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Backpacks: Backpacks often go on sale when you would least expect them to: in August, when the vast majority of parents are buying school supplies. It’s one of those purchases that fly in the face of logic. By September, the selection of backpacks is typically poor, and the sales are a distant memory.

Diamonds: Diamonds tend to be the least expensive in July and August, when sales are slow and jewelers are very eager to do business with you. Fast-forward to October, when many jewelers receive large shipments of diamonds they hope to sell a lot of that month as well as in November, December and January. Crammed in between August and October is September, when the selection of diamonds is poor and the summer sales are over.

Longtime journalist Di Vincenzo wrote the New York Times best seller Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go ThereThis month, he released an app based on that book called WHEN. An all-new second edition on the best time to buy things, called Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00: More of the Best Times to Buy This, Do That and Go There, was released on Sept. 11.   

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