Sales on Father's Day and graduation gifts

By Amanda WalkerConsumer Reports

Not sure what gift to give your dad for Father's Day, or a member of the graduating class of 2014? The suggestions below should be appreciated by them all. Better yet, our market research analysts, who track product prices year-round, have found that these products are at their deepest discounts this month.

Before you buy a Father's Day or graduation gift, check out our shopping tips, buying guides, and ratings so you'll know what to look for when you head to the store.

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None of these items exactly what you had in mind? For your father, consider a copy of "Golfing with Dad: The Game's Greatest Players Reflect on Their Fathers and the Game They Love," on sale for about $16 on The site also has a great price on the perfect book for graduates: "101 Things To Do With Ramen Noodles" ($8.99).

––Mandy Walker

Today's full-sized camcorders are smaller and more lightweight than previous models. If you think a more compact model is more appropriate, you have two options: a pocket camcorder or an action cam. There are fewer new pocket camcorders available these days. But in their place, you'll find action camcorders, such as GoPro's Hero line of camcorders. Such models are very small and lightweight, and they often have rugged bodies, which might suit a graduate who's heading abroad for a backpacking adventure.

Use our camcorder buying guide to discover which features make the most sense for the person on your list. We also have Ratings based on our lab tests, plus camcorder reviews to help you choose the best model at the right price.

Laptops and even all-in-one desktops continue to get thinner and lighter, which could be ideal for the dorm-room-bound scholar, or the dad who likes the sleakest designs. As you're shopping around, you'll find Ultrabooks, which are laptops with Intel-mandated standards for thinness, performance, and other features. You'll also find thinner and lighter laptops with AMD processors, such as HP's series of Sleekbooks. And with its latest all-in-one iMac, Apple offers a desktop computer that measures just under 0.2 inches thick at its edge.

For tips on getting the right model, read our buying guide. To see which computers did best in our lab tests, check out our Ratings.

Need to get some chairs, dressers, or bedside tables for the dorm room? Could Dad use a new easy chair? Furniture is on sale this month.

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.

We can help you find the best furniture stores, and check out this interactive guide, which includes details on upholstered furniture, styles, and furniture-care tips (you might want to forward that last one on to your grad).

Want to know what else is on sale this month? Read 8 products on deep discount in June.

Stores cut prices on pots and pans now to attract shoppers looking for gifts for brides and grooms. You can take advantage of these price cuts for the dad who likes to cook, or a grad moving into his or her own apartment.

Consider nonstick pans for grads; they're best for easy cleanup. Uncoated pans are your best choice for Dads who do a lot of browning and braising. For more shopping tips, see our cookware buying guide, and read our Ratings to find the brands and models that did best in our tough lab tests.

If your gift recipient would be interested in some smaller consumer electronics, such as an MP3 player, Blu-ray or streaming media player, or a home theater system, now is a great time to buy.

Before you hit the stores, check out our shopping tips in our MP3 player reviews, buying guide, and Ratings. We've also got a buying guide for Blu-ray players and streaming media players and services, and one for home theater systems and sound bars. Check our Blu-ray player Ratings, streaming media player Ratings, and home theater systems and sound bars Ratings.

Now is a great time to find deals on summer gear for the outdoor sport enthusiast. If you'd like to get your grad a new bike, remember safety and comfort are the two most important factors, and finding one that fits is essential. So in this case, you'll want to shop with your grad (or Dad) so he or she can give the bike a try.

Stop by a bike shop. You'll pay more, but we think you're more likely to be satisfied. We've found bikes from big-box stores aren't always properly assembled. If the pedals or seat on a particular model aren't right, some bike shops will swap components at little or no cost.

We've also got a bicycle helmet buying guide and Ratings of the helmets that did best in our lab tests. And check out our Ratings of activity trackers; there's also a behind-the-scenes look at our activity tracker lab tests in the video below. Plus, see our Ratings of pedometers to find the best models.

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