Weather puns are the last thing Atlantans want to hear, but that’s the first thing I got when I talked to Brent Shelton, spokesman for FatWallet.com, about shopping deals this month.
“Consumers are sitting on the perfect storm. We’ve got winter clearance and a slew of products getting ready to be marked down, but we also have this extended reoccurring cold weather and tax refunds,” he says.
The cold weather has reduced traffic in retail stores that now need to unload winter items. That could translate into deeper discounts for shoppers, while tax refunds give many of us the means to finally go shopping.
Look for some of the biggest discounts on winter clothing and winter sports equipment, Shelton says. Discounts of 50-80 percent off will be the rule, as well as the option to stack discounts at stores like Kohl’s, REI, the North Face and more. March is also the month that FatWallet has its annual March Mania Cash Back sale when more than 100 retailers like these may offer double or triple cash back on purchases.
The discounts this year are on top brands and high-quality gear, Shelton says. With the polar vortex still spinning, this could be the one time that winter clothing purchased on clearance can be worn instead of stored for next winter.
While there may be some early sales on spring clothing, don’t expect to see it at clearance prices. It is, however, a great time to buy running shoes. You may not see huge reductions on new 2014 styles, but look at brands such as Reebok and Nike to offer price cuts on older styles.
In addition to discounts on winter sports gear, you will see older models of spring sporting equipment on sale, Shelton says. Look for bicycles and accessories and golf equipment at retailers such as Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Anyone thinking about cutting the cable cord can find good deals this month on items such as streaming devices and other wireless technology, Shelton says. Discounts of about 30 percent on last year’s tablet models, Bluetooth products and TV accessories such as Roku 3 and 2 HD, sound bars and smart TVs will be advertised. Last year, FatWallet tracked Amazon, Newegg and Best Buy as the three most clicked-on retailers for deals such as $300-$500 laptops and smaller electronic gadgets.
With so many people planning warm weather getaways, travel is another place to save in March. All major travel sites will push last-minute spring break and Easter vacation deals, Shelton says. Look for package and hotel discounts and car rental specials. You may even consider booking summer travel now to take advantage of March travel deals. Just be sure the dates extend through summer. It is also a good time to pick up the phone and call airlines or hotels directly for the best deals rather than just buying online, Shelton says.
If you haven’t yet filed your taxes and you plan to DIY, you may want to wait for the last three weeks of tax season when discounts on tax software and services will heat up again, Shelton says. Of course, then you won’t have that refund to spend on all the great deals in March.
Discuss online: ajc.com/go/bargains. Our Deal Spotter section in Thursday’s AJC is full of great local deals and exclusive offers.