Consumer Reports analysts track prices year-round, so we can tell you when products are on sale, month by month. Planning a vacation at the beach this summer? You can find deep discounts on bathing suits in July. People planning a stay-cation shouldn't dispair; outdoor furniture will be on sale, too, so you can spruce up your outdoor living spaces.
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Want to replace an old sofa, table, chair, or bedroom set? Look for great deals on indoor furniture this month, too. And just in time to record your family's summer fun or a special wedding, camcorders will be marked down.
If you're in the market for these items on deep discount in July, we've got the shopping tips, buying guides, and ratings that can help you find the best deals. If camcorders are on your list, there's a video below that pits Sony's Action Cam against GoPro's Hero 3 in a tough series of tests.
Want to know what's on sale the rest of the year? Check our calendar of deals.
Furniture is on sale this month because stores need to make way for new lines that will arrive later this summer that were shown at the spring High Point Furniture Market.
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Where you shop makes a difference. Catalog retailers, for example, have been around for several years, sometimes as an adjunct to a chain of stores. Mass-market retailers, including Ikea, Levitz, Value City, and Walmart, tend to stress price. Expect a fairly limited fabric selection on upholstered furniture at those spots.
Many items are discounted toward the end of a season. With fall on the horizon (in the view of retailers, anyway), you'll find to find great deals on outdoor furniture.
Some well-made sets are resonably priced, but you do have to know what to look for. For example, plastic resin is a good choice for poolside or in salt air, but strong winds can knock lightweight pieces around so choose sturdy chairs, and ones that are wider, allowing guests to get comfortable.
On cast aluminum sets, look for stainless-steel or aluminum fasteners, which won’t rust, and pass on sharp, unfinished edges.
Choose untreated natural wicker only if it will be protected from the elements. Otherwise go with outdoor plastic wicker. Look closely at the set, passing on pieces that are loosely wound on the frame or unraveling.
As temperatures soar, you'll find good deals on swimsuits (and fetching caps). But because it's the end of the swimsuit season for retailers, selection may suffer.
Shopping at the right time can help save even more, say the editors at ShopSmart magazine. Kohl's fans, for example, should check out the "Gold Star Clearance" racks, where prices are slashed up to 80 percent on weekend nights. At Target, women's clothing is generally marked down on Tuesdays, men's on Wednesday, and kids' on Mondays. Markdowns at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx usually happen on Wednesday.
You might find the best deals on swimsuits at outlets; read our guide to outlet shopping.
The right camcorder features are important, whether you're considering a standard definition or high-def model. If you want better quality and more options, consider a full-size model. If you need a smaller, more portable model–or if you're an athlete or adventurer who loves to capture footage like the fellow at right–then consider an action cam.
Use our camcorder buying guide to discover which features are most important to you. We also have unbiased Ratings based on our lab tests, plus camcorder reviews to help you choose the best model at the right price.
If you're interested in an action camcorder, check out the video below.
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