What to Buy (and Skip) in September 2023

Tommy Tindall
By Tommy Tindall 
Edited by Courtney Neidel

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Thanks to seasonal retail cycles, products tend to go on sale at the same time each year. September is known for blowout deals on select products like mattresses. While there’s no shortage of sale weekends, a couple years of rising prices means every discount counts. Look out for Labor Day deals this month.

Buy: Mattresses

Labor Day is on Sept. 4, and retailers typically observe the federal holiday with sales all weekend. Traditionally, these events include discounts on items for the home, such as mattresses and appliances.

In past years, these deals have happened at brands such as Purple, Serta, Casper and more. Check these sellers (and others) this year if you’re in the market for a new bed. Mattress brand Saatva is advertising up to $600 off during its Labor Day sale.

Skip: Electronics

If Labor Day is known for home deals, Black Friday is known for electronics deals. Black Friday, arguably the biggest shopping day of the year, always falls on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, that’s Nov. 24.

Hold off on buying electronics now in anticipation of what’s coming in the months ahead. In previous years, we’ve seen hundreds of dollars off TVs at Target and laptops for quite a bit less than list price at Best Buy.

Buy: Summer apparel and pool toys

By Labor Day, retailers will be ready to clear out summer inventory, especially those who may have too much of it.

Clothing items like shorts, t-shirts and even flip-flops may be a good score for those who live in places where it stays warm into the fall months, according to Jane Boyd Thomas, professor of marketing at Winthrop University in South Carolina.

Thomas suggested pool toys as another under-the-radar product category that could be marked down significantly. Use them now if the weather stays warm, or save them for a sunnier day. “Depending on where you live, you could even give pool toys as a Christmas or birthday gift,” she said in an email.

Skip: Decorations

Another category to skip? Fall and holiday decorations. Decorations get cheaper when the holiday gets closer. So as long as you don’t mind last-minute decorating, wait until mid-October for Halloween decorations and mid-December for Christmas decorations.

Buy: Older iPhones

Apple’s special product launch event is confirmed for Sept. 12, and sources agree the company will probably unveil the iPhone 15. While the new model (or models) won’t come with a discounted price, retailers will mark down last year’s versions. The savvy cell phone shopper buys at least one model back. Opt to buy a used iPhone and save even more.

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Bonus: Coffee and a cheeseburger

Wait, what? No, not together. Sept. 18 gives you a good excuse to indulge since it’s National Cheeseburger Day. And you might be able to find a free cup of coffee on Sept. 29, which is the national day of America’s favorite caffeinated bean. As always, check for deals on your favorite social media platforms.