The Very Best Things to Buy in April — and Purchases to Put Off

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This is a good month to get in on midseason clothing sales, Tax Day freebies and travel packages to Cuba, but hold off on mattresses and laptops, and follow these tips to get the best deals on smartphones.

This post comes from Ben Glaser at partner site DealNews.

April shopping time is here, and we’ve scoped out all the best deals online and in-store. To help guide you toward savvy purchases, we dug through the DealNews archives from years past to see what goods are, well, good to buy in April, and what you should hold off on purchasing. From early spring apparel sales to Tax Day freebies, here’s what’s in store this month for the smart shopper.

Midseason clothing sales coming to a retailer near you

The general rule for dressing yourself in deals is to wait about two months after a new season of apparel hits stores before cashing in on sizable discounts. Many retailers began debuting their spring merchandise in February, which means April is the two-month mark. Expect moderate discounts that take 15 percent to 30 percent off; any spring clothing sale that slashes 40 percent to 50 percent off current season items will be exceptional, because otherwise, 50 percent-off discounts won’t materialize until May or later.

And speaking of clothing, you’re running out of time to shop for clearance-level discounts on winter items. The winter season was relatively mild this year, leaving retailers saddled with all kinds of cold-weather clothing and accessories. With spring temperatures here in full force (barring any late-season snowfall), they’ll be even more eager to clear out this inventory.

Get your fill of Tax Day freebies

There are few people in this world who don’t appreciate getting something for free, and one of the most popular days for restaurants to offer something gratis takes place in April: Tax Day. Fast food and nationwide chains in particular offer free food on April 15. (Though April 15 traditionally is Tax Day, this year taxes are due on April 18.) If the Tax Day freebies are anything like last year’s crop, then you should be on the lookout for opportunities to get a free cup of coffee, free breakfast foods, or free side orders or desserts with the purchase of an entree. Note that sit-down restaurants are likely to require a purchase, whereas fast food locations might not require one.

For the best Apple Watch deals, do not buy from Apple

No one was surprised when Apple introduced new watch bands at its recent event, but the company did catch many off-guard by slashing the starting price of the Apple Watch by $50 to $299. However, we’ve seen the smartwatch available pretty regularly for $249 from resellers like Target and Best Buy, with refurbs priced as low as $200. As usual, we recommend you not buy directly from Apple and look for discounts at certified resellers. Target has consistently offered $100 off the Apple Watch, so keep an eye out for it to drop to $199 there.

Wait two months for deals on the new iPad Pro

Apple also introduced a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro with prices starting at $599, and we’ve actually already seen our first discount on the tablet. But this deal takes a meager $31 off one of the higher end models, bundled with AppleCare+, bringing it to $938. We expect the deals to get much better by summer.

Normally, iPads are introduced in October, right before Black Friday; if we exclude the usual holiday discounts that Apple tablets tend to see, then the first iPad deals usually come two months after the release — and are modest. Thus, we anticipate seeing the entry-level 9.7-inch iPad Pro for as low as $527 by the end of May. But if you wait an additional two months, you can expect to see the tablet starting from $467.

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