What not to buy in February: Play the waiting game if you need a new suitcase or laptop


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With Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day weekend quickly approaching, it’ll be hard to ignore all the discounts popping up at your favorite retail stores.

But not every discount you come across is worth considering. Many items on sale in February will cost less in the coming weeks. And other deals that catch your eye may not be as great as they initially seem.

Before braving the cold for a trip to the mall, consider purchasing these items at a later date.

Spring and summer apparel

It’s tempting to start shopping for spring clothing as soon as retailers bring out their warmer apparel. But you’re going to pay full price for items that will be marked down in just a few months. If you can wait until the weather begins to change, you’ll find prices that are more affordable.

The biggest summer sales begin in July and continue through August. But you can start looking for discounts as early as May when temperatures start to rise.


If you’re beginning to prepare for a summer vacation, wait a few weeks before snagging a new suitcase or luggage set.

March is the best time to stock up on duffel bags, carry-ons and large suitcases. As new luggage lines hit the floor, retailers will mark down styles from last year. Many stores will also slash prices in an effort to appeal to spring break travelers.

You may see some luggage on sale this month. But unless you’re traveling within the next few weeks, it’s worth it to wait for the promotions coming in March.


There’s no better way to show your Valentine some affection than to buy her a big bouquet of roses. But florists know flowers are a popular gift, and their prices tend to rise with increasing demand.

“Flowers are marked up around Valentine’s Day, so even when you see discounts and special offers, it’s typically off a higher price than you would see the rest of the year,” says Regina Conway, consumer expert at Slickdeals.

If your partner is a flower fan but you’re not looking to splurge this Valentine’s Day, get creative.

“Try picking out a bouquet from the grocery store to save on significant markups and delivery fees,” Conway says. “Even at the grocery store, however, expect to pay more than you would the rest of the year.”


You’re bound to find some great deals on jewelry this month. Just remember that the best time to buy necklaces and rings is often between holidays, when jewelry is in less demand.

Retailers offer discounts around big jewelry-giving holidays, like Christmas, Mother’s Day — and, of course, Valentine’s Day. But prices are still high because of the influx of shoppers.

Wait until the summer and early fall to start looking at diamonds and pearls. Those are typically slower periods for jewelers. Besides bypassing the holiday rush, avoiding the busy season may also help you save money.

Home improvement tools

If you’re using the cold winter weather as an excuse to hibernate and avoid DIY projects, you’re in luck. You can put off your home improvement projects for a bit longer and still score big savings.

“There will be some sporadic offers throughout February, but until the weather warms up, there’s a good chance you won’t be tackling your DIY projects just yet anyway,” Conway says. “If you can hold off, expect to see more home improvement deals in upcoming months as the weather starts to improve.”

Small electronics

TVs may get cheaper this month, but other electronics probably won’t cost any less.

The holiday season just ended, so big-box stores haven’t unveiled additional discounts on items like tablets and smart home devices. And since newer models haven’t arrived in stores, retailers don’t have much of an incentive to lower prices.

If you’re not in dire need of a new laptop or smartphone, wait until the temperature heats up. Retailers usually cut prices on electronics during back-to-school sales.

For items from specific brands, find out more about their release cycles. They’ll help you determine when older models will be moved to the clearance rack. Apple, for instance, is secretive about their new releases, but you can generally expect new iPhones in October and new Mac computers around July.

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