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What to Buy (and Skip) in September 2021

Thanks to seasonal retail cycles, products tend to go on sale at the same time each year. September is known for blowout deals on mattresses, appliances and outdoor furniture.

But in 2021, despite some seasonal trends, September shopping won’t be like it is every other year.

Increased labor costs, inflation, supply chain pressure and the pandemic are having an impact, according to Robert Hooker, associate professor of supply chain management at the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business.

He says consumers should expect to hunt more for deals and availability of some products. So as you set out on your September shopping excursions, brace your budget for fewer deals than usual.

Here’s what you need to know about shopping this month — especially if you’re looking to save money.

Buy: Mattresses

Labor Day is on Sept. 6, and retailers typically observe the federal holiday with weekend sales. Traditionally, these events include discounts on items for the home, such as mattresses and appliances.

In past years, these deals have happened at brands such as Purple, Serta, Casper and more. Check these sellers again this year if you’re in the market for a new bed.

But some retailers have been facing foam shortages, which could affect prices and availability of mattresses. When in doubt about a price, do a Google search to see how much a specific mattress was previously selling for.

Skip: Electronics

If Labor Day is known for home deals, Black Friday is known for electronics deals. Black Friday, arguably the biggest shopping day of the year, always falls on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, that’s Nov. 26.

Hold off on buying any electronics this year in anticipation of what’s coming in the months ahead. Last year, Best Buy offered savings of $220 on a 70-inch Samsung TV and $90 off JBL headphones for Black Friday. Plus, laptops started at $119.99.

Buy: Outdoor furniture

By Labor Day, retailers will be ready to clear out summer inventory.

Labor Day sales will deliver deals on outdoor furniture and decor as well as grills and pool equipment, according to Jane Boyd Thomas, professor of marketing at Winthrop University in South Carolina.

“If you live in climates where fall brings significantly cooler temperatures — the kind that require a sweater or light jacket — you can expect the discounts on outdoor items to be deep during the early part of September,” Thomas said in an email.

Skip: Decorations

Another category to skip? Fall and holiday decorations. “Expect retailers to do as they did last year and begin offering Black Friday discounts on these items in October as a way to encourage purchases,” Thomas said.

Decorations get cheaper when the holiday gets closer. So as long as you don’t mind last-minute decorating, wait until mid-October for Halloween decorations and mid-December for Christmas decorations.

Buy: iPhones

It’s possible that Apple will launch a new iPhone this month. If so, you’ll likely want to hold off on buying a phone until this new technology is revealed. Even if you don’t want the new phone, once it’s out, retailers will discount last year’s models.

Bonus: Coffee

National Coffee Day happens each year on Sept. 29. Check for coffee deals on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.



Courtney Jespersen writes for NerdWallet. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @CourtneyNerd.

The article What to Buy (and Skip) in September 2021 originally appeared on NerdWallet.