The Best and Worst Things to Buy in February, According to Retail Experts
Timing your purchases right is key to saving money.
Savvy shoppers know that when it comes to saving money, timing is everything. "For instance, during winter there are discounts on swimwear, while summer may offer better deals on heating appliances," explains Michael Podolsky, CEO and co-founder of PissedConsumer. "The core idea is not just about finding a sale, but knowing when a product is likely to be at its lowest price." So, we interviewed him and other retail experts to find out the best and worst things to buy in February. Here's what you should be adding to your shopping cart now.
In the market for a new mattress? February is the perfect time to make the investment, says Katie Roberts, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com. But wait until Presidents' Day for the best deals, she says, as you can expect to get up to $1,000 off mattresses during these annual sales.
"When you're spending hundreds or more on a mattress, that cash back adds up fast and can help pay off your purchase," she shares. "For instance, you can earn over 4 percent cash back at Mattress Firm, 5 percent back at Macy's, 2.25 percent back at Arhaus, and a whopping 15 percent cash back at SimpliHome."
Worst: Spring clothing
If you can, Roberts advises waiting a couple of months to buy those sundresses and sandals.
"Spring clothing tends to be just hitting shelves in February, and we typically see discounts on seasonal apparel well into a season or at the end of it, not just before it starts," she tells Best Life. "Expect to see better spring clothing discounts from April through June."
For the best deals, Woroch suggests waiting until the end of May for those Memorial Day sales, when spring clothing may be marked down by 30 percent or more.
You're much better off shopping for coats, boots, hats, gloves, and sweaters during February, says Scott Lieberman, founder of Touchdown Money. While the season may be coming to an end soon, you'll still be able to get a ton of use out of these items next winter.
Best: Flat screen TV
Whether or not you plan on watching the big game come February, it's a stellar time to snag a new TV, as many companies offer discounts leading up to the Super Bowl, says David Bakke, a retail expert at DollarSanity.
In fact, Woroch says early to mid-February is the second-best time to buy a new TV—after Black Friday, of course.
"The first week of February is one of the best times of the year to score a good deal on top-brand, higher-quality 4K TVs," explains Vipin Porwal, founder and consumer expert at Smarty. "Retailers know football fans want to show off the best view for their big-game parties, so shoppers can expect to save as much as 25 percent on new OLED models in the 55-75 inch screen size range."
Worst: Outdoor furniture
"With cold weather still in full swing, demand for outdoor items like grills and patio furniture is low in February—leading to higher prices," says Samantha Landau, a consumer expert at TopCashback. "Prices are likely to drop as the weather warms up, making spring and summer better to make these purchases."
According to Roberts, you can expect to find outdoor furniture at up to 80 percent off during August and September, when the warmer weather is winding down. More specifically, Landau recommends looking out for big sales during Labor Day weekend.
Until then, if you're eager to add a new weatherproof sectional or outdoor dining set, Woroch says your best bet is to shop resale sites like OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace.
All that said, Andy Cooper, the money-saving expert at CouponBirds, claims it's a great time to invest in indoor furniture for your home.
"According to the research from CouponBirds, the best time of the year to buy furniture happens to be in February, with an average discount of up to 20 percent," he says. "That's because new furniture usually enters showrooms at the end of the winter, so in February, manufacturers and retailers will start to clean up old models to free up space."
A humidifier can definitely come in handy in the winter and even the earlier part of spring when the air is drier. And as it turns out, Cooper says you can usually capitalize on some fantastic deals on these devices during the month of February.
That's because companies expect more people to buy humidifiers in November or December, and will typically try to move any remaining inventory off the shelves as soon as winter starts coming to an end.
But humidifiers aren't the only household appliances to consider purchasing in February. Roberts notes that some major retailers like Home Depot, Lowe's, and Best Buy offer a variety of discounts on laundry and kitchen machines in February, with up to 50 percent off or more around Presidents' Day weekend.
Worst: Fitness equipment
If you're thinking about adding a new treadmill, stationary bike, or barbell set to your home gym, consider holding out until Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Black Friday.
Companies usually offer sales on these items around New Year's when many people are committing to their fitness-related resolutions. So, come February, the prices are back up, according to Lieberman.
The one exception here, says Porwal, is any kind of athletic gear specifically for winter sports, like ski goggles, snowboards, ice skates, or snow shoes. With winter more than halfway over, many stores are trying to get rid of their inventory to make way for spring and summer sporting goods.
Got a sweet tooth? Waiting until February 15th to buy a box of chocolates could save you some money, says Lieberman. That's when stores are trying to get rid of all that Valentine's Day candy that didn't sell. (The same is true for the day after Halloween.)
Worst: Smartphones and tablets
February is not the best time to invest in the latest smartphone, laptop, or tablet models, according to Cooper. Even just waiting a month or two to buy these big-ticket items could pay off in a big way.
"New products are usually released in spring, which is when the old models will start to be discounted," he explains. "According to research from CouponBirds, Black Friday, Independence Day, and Christmas are better times to buy them with an average discount of 35 percent, 32 percent, and 25 percent respectively."
For more retail advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.