June is the month with the longest daylight hours of the year, meaning you have more time to shop. But the urges that drive your purchasing — the summer heat, vacation time, Father's Day and maybe even a wedding present or two — don't always take you in the direction of saving money. Want those fancy dishes that are on your cousin's registry? Don't bet on the "sale" price being anywhere close to the lowest point in the year. So what should you buy now and what should you avoid? We searched through dealnews' extensive archives of deals to sort out fact from fiction when it comes to getting the best deals in June.
The only shopping event of note in June is, of course, Father's Day (we only count Flag Day as a run-up to the 4th of July). Luckily for Dad, the National Retail Federation says that this year's spending will be the highest in eight years. There are a few bargains to be had, mostly on tools. So if your patriarch is a fix-it guy, you can count on sales at Lowe's, Sears, Home Depot, Walmart and even Meritline (for accessories like tool bags and multi-tools), starting right at the beginning of the month. You'll also find low prices on dress shirts, particularly Jos. A. Bank Men's Stays Cool Shirts, which actually went on sale at the end of May. For something a little different, consider that you can find geek chic items like T-shirts with funny messages and favorite cartoon characters at places like Tanga and cafepress, plus ThinkGeek regularly offers coupons and clearance items.
June is a month when people start to think about visiting nature, and the National Parks have been making it easy by giving out free admission to parks (this year on June 21. You can also get various free museum deals (some ongoing, like Bank of America's first weekend of the month deal). Also, you can book a trip. Look for discounts from Spirit, in particular, to heat up in June, and keep an eye out for the Air France summer sale. Deals to the Caribbean during hurricane season, which officially kicked off on June 1, also abound (some come with free travel insurance, but be sure to read the fine print.)
Finally, there's something to watch. With Memorial Day comes the release of the first wave of summer movies, and we're definitely looking forward to the new X-Men, Green Lantern and Cars 2. But what could be better than a summer popcorn flick? A cheap one. Watch for movie theater ticket deals. Regal has $1 weekday movies for kids, and AMC will likely follow suit, if last year is any indication. But for the hard stuff, there's always Fandango deals and other daily specials from Groupon and its clones.
There's a lot of advice out there that June is one of the best times to buy an HDTV because it's at the end of the Japanese fiscal year and manufacturers are pushing out old models. We say baloney. We've always seen the lowest prices on TVs in November and December. And even if the June advice had once been true, it's certainly not going to be the case this year, with the Japanese production system upended by natural disasters. The only caveat to this is that last year, we noticed a steep slide in prices for 55" 3D TVs that started in June when they dropped below $2,000 and kept going down from there, hitting a low of $1,200 in May 2011. For this June, we predict that prices on 55" 3D sets will keep going down and will hit bottom around Black Friday, and other sized models will follow suit. But if you see one of these models in June for under $1,200, you can consider that the best deal around for now. If you don't want to miss out, just set an alert and we'll email you when the price drops.
Conventional wisdom says that winter is the best time to buy video games, and that is generally true. But summer is when kids of all ages have the time to become one with their controllers. So you can bet that even if you thought ahead and stocked up on games in December, you're going to need something new to satisfy the troops. What can you expect price-wise? You're not going to find too many sales on video games, with the notable exception being Walmart's frequent video game bundle deals. Amazon also has video game deals of the day.
The same sort of logic applies to Blu-ray players as video games. December may be the time to find the lowest price, but summer may be when the machine gets its biggest workout. So there are going to be a lot of people out there searching for Blu-ray players at the last minute, and that means that retailers are going to jump at the chance to put a few attractively-priced models in front of them (a nice-looking price is not exactly the same thing as a best price). In fact, prices are currently on an uptick. We saw deals as low as $64 in April, but the lowest in May was $80. There is one caveat to this: 3D Blu-ray players are at close to an all-time low price. If you're in the market for one of these and see the next deal for $100 (like this LG from Paul's TV, be sure to snag it.
If you do happen to pry yourself away from a screen and get outside into the sunshine, you're probably going to want some sunglasses to keep out the glare. But if you didn't buy in May when deals were more plentiful, your future isn't looking too bright. We found just 37 deals on sunglasses in June 2010, compared to 65 last month. But what happens if you lose your shades on your first beach trip of the season and need to resupply? Your best bet for a discount will be a sale at the Oakley Vault or 6pm, but we did just find this really sweet pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses for just $4.
If shopping for sneakers and sandals was once a seasonal affair, the advent of discount web shoe sites has made that distinction moot. Shop any time you want at sites like 6pm, Shoebacca and the like, and you'll find in-season and out-of-season shoes of all kinds. The only specific discounts that are likely to come around in June will be Nordstrom's Half-Yearly sale for Men (not to be confused with the ones for Women and Children in June and the yearly anniversary sale in July) and a Lands' End clearance event, which is not something unique to June.