This post comes from Lindsay Sakraida at partner site DealNews.com.
April is here, and if you’re stuck indoors waiting out the seasonal showers, you’ll have an excuse to spend more time shopping for the best deals online. To help guide you toward savvy purchases, we dug through the DealNews archives 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 is what’s in store this month for the smart shopper.
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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 15-30 percent off; any spring clothing sale that slashes 40-50 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 long and brutal again this year, which means coats and warm apparel and accessories were likely still in demand deep into the season. Now that spring is definitely around the corner, there’s no reason to hold on to any remaining stock. Shoppers should look for discounts of up to 80 percent off.
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. If the tax day freebies are anything like last year, 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 entrée. Note that sit-down restaurants are likely to require a purchase, whereas fast food locations might not require one.
And if you like free stuff — and who doesn’t? — be sure to check out our latest freebie deals and our complete list of resources for getting freebies year-round.
Don’t expect deals on the Apple Watch
Apple finally released details on its smartwatch, and it’ll soon be sold at various stores nationwide. But despite the recent trend for Apple products to go on sale shortly after release, we don’t expect to see any deals on the watch for several months, because it’s a brand new product category. According to deal data for the original iPad, the earliest we might see earnest discounts will be November, if not later. For more information on Apple Watch deals, check out our complete price guide.
Android smartphones continue to shine
Several flagship Android phones were announced last month, and as they start to make it to the market, previous generation models will see clearance pricing. The Samsung Galaxy S5, for example, has dropped to just $1 with a two-year contract, because the S6 is set for release soon. Look for other notable Android and Windows phones to drop significantly in price, or even be free with a contract renewal. These deals can pop up any time from a variety of sellers, so keep an eye on our weekly roundup of the best phone deals to find the model of your dreams.
The Google effect won’t change your phone bills… yet
Google announced last month that it will offer wireless cellphone service by the end of 2015, by piggybacking off the network of some bigger providers. While Google claims it merely wants to demonstrate technical innovations that existing carriers should adopt, it’s likely that the company’s very presence in the industry will shake things up. When Google offered cheap Internet service in select cities a few years ago, it forced competing ISPs to offer deals so that customers didn’t switch their service. We expect to see more competitive offers from Verizon, AT&T and others once Google starts rolling out its service.
Now is the time for a European vacation
The U.S. dollar has been growing stronger recently, which means that it’s getting closer to a 1:1 conversion rate with the Euro. As a result, Travelzoo reports that hotel stays in several European countries are effectively up to 45 percent cheaper now. The steepest discounts are found in Russia and Ukraine, but more tranquil options like Sweden and Norway are up to 19 percent cheaper. Click here for the full list of the top 10 countries for the cheapest hotel stays.
Wait until Memorial Day for mattresses, tools and appliances
Departments stores almost always roll out special sales for holiday weekends, and Memorial Day usually provides excellent discounts on select home items. If you wait until next month, you’ll find tools that are up to 50 percent off, large appliances for about 30 percent off, and mattresses that get an extra discount of 10-40 percent off. In fact, for the past few years, we’ve seen much deeper discounts on mattresses in May than in April. Therefore, any discounts you see this month will very likely get even steeper if you wait.