The Best and Worst Things to Buy in October

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Cars, costumes and pizza are all fantastic things to buy this month — but hold up on TVs, laptops and appliances.

This post comes from Lindsay Sakraida at partner site DealNews.

October is a tricky month because we’re so close to November (and the best Black Friday deals) that we can almost taste it. So, for many product categories, you’re better off waiting until next month to buy.

But don’t overlook October entirely. There are a handful of items that are actually better buys this month. Our October buying guide focuses on the things that you should buy now, while offering some notes about the categories that are better left to Black Friday.

In partnership with DealNews, Money Talks News money expert Stacy Johnson produced this video about the best things to buy in October. Check it out, then read on for more details.

If you’re putting off these purchases because you think you’ll score a better deal next month, think again. These items are at their hottest this month.


Since many manufacturers release new car models in September, experts in the industry claim that dealerships will start slashing prices on older models. These discounts started in late summer, but, according to, they continue into October as dealerships attempt to clear out remaining inventory.


Sure, the best time to buy a Halloween costume is on or about Nov. 1, as all seasonal items fall in price once their corresponding holiday has passed. However, who really wants to buy a costume after Halloween? The week before Oct. 31, numerous stores like Target, Meijer, Carter’s and BuyCostumes will offer discounts ranging from the modest (30 to 50 percent off) and the downright affordable (up to 85 percent-off sales that mostly include accessories).

And be on the lookout for stores that will offer particularly good pre-Halloween discounts on “timely” costumes that might not be as appealing to people who are looking to stock up for next year.


October is commonly known as the “shoulder season” in the travel industry, and, according to Rick Steves, it “combines the advantages of both peak-season and off-season travel … you’ll enjoy decent weather, long enough daylight, fewer crowds, and a local tourist industry still ready to please and entertain.”

Oh, and deals. Booking a trip to a locale that’s experiencing a dip in business, like a summer-heavy destination, will yield excellent discounts because there isn’t an influx of travelers pushing the prices up.


While we find super-low prices on cruises throughout the year, October is the only month in which prices are consistently extremely cheap. Last September saw an uptick in Editors’ Choice cruise deals, and we expect that to continue, with prices to the Caribbean as low as $215 for two people.

Travelers can also get a discount by opting for a “repositioning cruise,” which Newsday explains is a one-way trip that a cruise line runs to sail a ship back to its base location. Couple that with a super-cheap one-way flight, and you’ve got a budget-friendly vacation at sea.


Apple is expected to launch updates to the iPad and iPad mini around Oct. 29, and our research shows that these tablets tend to see their best discounts from resellers just before and after the announcement. The iPad 4, for instance, hit its all-time lows of $400 and $399 just before the iPad Air’s announcement and two days after the iPad Air’s keynote, respectively. That means shoppers can get 20 percent off list price.

Thanksgiving airfare

A study from Hopper shows that prices on Thanksgiving airfare will remain fairly consistent until 10 days before the holiday, but our own deals suggest that prices for fall travel in general are going up — and if you have particular dates that you need to work around, then it’s best not to wait to book.


While it’s true that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will feature a slew of amazing clothing deals with sitewide coupons that apply to a store’s jeans, October is a good month for discounts from denim-specific brands. Both Lucky and 7 for All Mankind posted their best extra discounts of the year, slashing an extra 50 and 30 percent off, respectively. Also look for a similar price cut from Levi’s early in November.


We’re not quite sure why, but last year October was an exceptional month for anyone with a love for pizza. We saw Editors’ Choice deals from Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, California Pizza Kitchen and Domino’s. Pizza Hut in particular offered its best coupon of the year, slashing 50 percent off any menu-priced pizza.

Camping gear

You won’t find steep discounts on equipment specifically made to endure extreme cold, but many outdoors retailers will be offering end-of-season clearance sales for items like tents and accessories for water sports. Check stores like REI and L.L. Bean for sales that knock about 40 percent off or more, with a stacking coupon.

Wait until Black Friday to buy …

While there are some great deals in October, there’s no denying that November is a month full of stunningly low prices on a variety of electronics and other goods. Below we’ve focused on some of the bigger Black Friday deals that you should plan to buy in November.


Conventional wisdom says to buy large appliances in September and October because this is when manufacturers like LG, Maytag and Whirlpool debut their new models. However, our archives show that you’ll see at least double the number of Editors’ Choice deals on these items in November because such items will be included in Black Friday sales.

There will be more than twice as many deals in November on the whole that discount washers, dryers, vacuums and the like from department and home improvement stores.

Cold weather apparel

It’s too early in the fall season to see significant deals on winter wear, and the sharpest discounts on cold weather apparel and accessories won’t come until January. That said, if you can, wait at least until the end of November. During Black Friday clothes sales, a wealth of apparel retailers will offer their best coupon of the year, which may take a full 50 percent off or more.

General electronics

There’s no guarantee that the electronics of your dreams will see those famous rock-bottom prices, but across many categories we see the best prices of the year on electronics in November and especially around Black Friday weekend.

Most people are aware that this is a trend for TVs and budget laptops, but digital cameras, media players and home theater components could also see their best prices of the year in just a few short weeks, before they’re replaced by newer models next year. And while Apple Black Friday discounts aren’t exactly fire sale caliber, you will find above-average discounts on current and previous generation Apple products from resellers.

The best TV deals are weeks away

TV prices are expected to fall this month, particularly on big-screen sets, making October a tempting time to buy a new HDTV. However, we strongly recommend shoppers wait one more month because October’s best sales will pale in comparison with November’s deals, which are traditionally the best TV deals of the year.

Currently, 55-inch 1080p LCDs and 60-inch 1080p plasmas are at the cheapest they’ve been all year, with the best deals coming in at $380 and $549, respectively. For 55-inch TVs, that’s already a 5 percent drop from last year’s best Black Friday price, and for 60-inch plasmas, that’s a 15 percent drop from last November’s best price. These numbers may scream “buy now,” but Black Friday could see prices that are an extra 10 percent cheaper.

If you find yourself in a pinch and need to buy this month, look for deals on 46-inch 1080p LCD HDTVs. Since April, these sets have gradually fallen in price. Currently at $299, they’re about $20 under their 2014 average and a solid purchase for consumers who can’t wait for November sales. For all other screen sizes and TV types, we strongly recommend waiting until November.

Wait a month for laptop deals that will be up to 18 percent cheaper

Laptops reach incredibly low prices during Black Friday, and this year we predict 15-inch mainstream laptops with Intel’s latest processor will hit $325, which is $25 cheaper than September’s best price. While that might seem minor, keep in mind that next month’s sales could include better hardware such as a faster processor, more RAM, or a larger hard drive.

For even bigger savings, we predict budget systems, 15-inch laptops with a dual-core processor, will hit a low of $195 in November. To put things into perspective, that’s 18 percent cheaper than the best back-to-school price we’ve seen this summer. This is just further proof that November will offer consumers unheard-of laptop prices.

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