The Best and Worst Things to Buy in February

February can be expensive -- considering upcoming Valentine's Day and Super Bowl festivities -- but there are some great deals heading your way too.

Wait on these purchases:

Craftsman tools

Sears recently sold the Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker. Complicating matters, the deal allows Sears to continue to source Craftsman tools for several more years from their existing suppliers, while Black & Decker has announced they plan to soon manufacture more Craftsman tools in the U.S. (likely improving quality). That means there will be multiple lines of varying quality floating around in stores. Also, Black & Decker has said they will open more retail avenues for Craftsman, meaning competition could drive prices down.

Plus, both Sears and Black & Decker have said they will continue to honor Craftsman’s lifetime guarantee, but they won’t necessarily replace older tools with comparable or better replacements. With all these unknowns, it’s worth it to hold off on Craftsman purchases until later.

Sears store closing sales

Speaking of Sears’ troubles, they recently announced another huge round of closings for both Sears and Kmart locations, along with clearance sales. But unlike American Apparel and The Limited, many Sears and Kmart stores will remain open. Thus, any unsold inventory can likely be moved to a different location, which doesn’t incentivize the store to offer rock-bottom prices to move stock. Shoppers may find middling discounts as a result.

iPads

The Apple rumor mill has it that Tim Cook and Co. will be introducing three new iPad Pros this spring: updates to the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models, with a new 10.5-inch as well. When new iPads are announced, then prices on older models will drop.

Nintendo Switch

You might be tempted to preorder this much buzzed-about, brand new console while you still can. And for good reason: The Nintendo Wii U was hard to find in stock for years, and didn’t see discounts for even longer. But this one is for serious Nintendo gamers only at this point. The Switch has a unique new controller form, which means there will be almost no games available for it upon launch in early March. You’re better off spending your money on a reliably user-friendly Xbox or PlayStation.

That said, if you absolutely must have the Switch, order it wherever you can find it since it’s likely to be popular.

Top 5 stores for February

Ashford: While your sweetheart might be expecting a necklace or bracelet, surprise her with something practical and luxurious when this watch store cuts up to 75 percent off Movado, Seiko and more this month.

Staples: Driven by some of the best prices we’ve ever seen on flash drives, this office supply store was one of the most popular retailers for deals in February last year.

Ralph Lauren: End-of-season sales and Presidents Day combine to make this the perfect month to stock up on high-end men’s basics at Ralph Lauren. The designer cut an extra 30 percent off sale items last February, including everything from boots to T-shirts.

ShermansTravel: With domestic one-way fares starting at $35, plus ski resorts offering deals to entice travel at the end of their season, you can book a last-minute getaway for cheap.

Adorama: Best known as a tech retailer, this store enticed our readers with big discounts on Fender guitars and guitar accessories last year. Maybe winter had people ready to sing the blues?

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