The holiday shopping season is upon us, and my mailbox is getting cluttered with Black Friday promos. I always picture Black Friday shopping with way too many people standing in lines, road rage in the parking lots, and lost sleep. But are we really getting the best deals of the year? When is the best time to shop for the biggest markdown on everything? I decided to ask a good friend of mine who understands the retail industry quite well. Ellis the owner of Sören Custom, a men’s custom suiting store in Toronto that is known for its superb quality and attention to detail. Since Ellis keeps himself in-tune with what’s happening in the marketing game, I’d like to share with you his advice for getting the best deals. 

January-February. This month is a great month to shop the best deals for suits, coats, and jewelry. Everyone is left broke after the holidays, and making New Year resolution’s vowing to better use and save their money (another rank on this another day). Also, spring is fast approaching, and retail stores need to make way for the next season’s must-haves. I personally have gotten most of my winter coats the cheapest this time of year. With Valentine’s Day in February, you’ll find some great deals on jewelry.

March. With spring break fast approaching, March is the best time to get new luggage. So if your trusty travel companion can hold on until then, I highly recommend doing so to get the best deal.

April. Spring showers bring May flowers. Spring showers also bring out the raincoats. However, April is also a great month to buy them as well. Most retail stores will temporarily stock up on them, but they’re also priced to sell fast, as they know they have a very short timeframe to sell. April is also a great time to check thrift stores. A lot of people are spring-cleaning, and decluttering their closets, so you’re most likely to find brand-name and brand-new pieces at a fraction of original cost.

July-August: These months are the best time to get your summer pieces, as all retail stores are rushing to clear inventory for back-to-school. Shorts, swimwear, beachwear and sandals will be at all-time low price. Consider saving extra money to spend around this time as well if you are looking to do some high-fashion shopping.

October: After the back-to-school rush, October is the best month to shop your denim. Stores will cut in half prices of our beloved jeans to move volume, and jeans are usually the first items they try to get rid of.

November. For those that are in the retail industry, November is immediately associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The best things to buy on this should-be holiday are luxury items and electronics. Whether it’s a cashmere overcoat, expensive watch, or a new TV, wait until November to purchase, as these types of items otherwise will not go on a very good sale, if any sale at all. You can also look for sleepwear around this time, as most retail stores want you to give them as gifts for Christmas. Sneaker deals are better as well, with consumers concentrating on buying boots and winter gear around this time.

Another shopping trick that can score you great savings, is to shop for something in the opposite season it would be purchased. For example, you’re shopping for some swimwear for your winter getaway trip to Hawaii. Instead of buying in the summer season, buy it in January, when specialty stores will be beginning you to buy them at whatever price, as nobody is looking to sport a bikini in a foot of snow. Why pay more for something if you don’t have to, and can use that money towards a surf lesson or tickets to your favorite band? So before you feel pressured to buy everything on Black Friday, keep that surf lesson in mind and shop smarter.

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