Smart Spending: Electronics a good buy in winter

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 24, 2014 at 1:07 pm •  Published: January 24, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — The winter doldrums strike in January and February, but there is one silver lining: it's a great time to buy electronics. As stores clear out older merchandise and new models get introduced, good deals abound. Here's a look at what to buy and what to hold off on in January and February.

— TELEVISIONS: Large-screen TVs are always a hot item on Black Friday, the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving. But those are usually store brands or lesser-known brand names. In January and February, higher-end brand-name TVs like Panasonic and Samsung start being discounted, says Louis Ramirez, senior editor at DealNews, a Web site that monitors pricing.

The reason? The Consumer Electronics Show, a yearly electronics trade show in Las Vegas, happens in January, and that's when manufacturers unveil new models. So older models are discounted to make way for new TVs.

"A lot of times the differences between 2013 and 2014 are very small upgrades, so the average person who just wants a new TV is just as well buying a 2013 model," he said.

The price to look for? For a 55-inch 3D TV, you should look for $700 and below, Ramirez says. And most retailers offer free shipping on TVs at that price, so make sure to ask about shipping deals, wherever you're shopping.

— LAPTOPS: The buzz is all about tablets, so it is actually a great time to buy laptops if a touch-screen tablet is not what you're after. There are also hybrid laptops/tablets that aren't too expensive as well.

"Retailers are slashing some prices right now to move laptops and PCs," Ramirez says. A 15-inch screen laptop should run about $400, he says.

— FITNESS DEVICES: Competition is high in the fitness device arena, with Fitbit, Jawbone, MIO, Nike and others all coming out with new versions of the workout-tracking gizmos recently. That might mean price cuts in coming weeks.

If you want to try out the devices first, Fitbit and Nike have free apps that you can use on your phone as a trial.