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'March is kind of a wasteland' - Deals to cash in on and avoid in March

Sandwiched between months with big sale days, March deals are scarce, but that doesn't mean they don't exist

OHIO, USA — March is a strange month when it comes to sales. It falls between two other big shopping holidays: President's Day in February, and Memorial Day in May. But don't be discouraged, retailers will always find an excuse to lure you into the stores.

Irene Botsko is old school. She actually likes being in stores, despite COVID. "I'm a person that likes to touch, feel and see," she said. "So I really don't like buying online unless I absolutely have to."

Botsko says she finds sales even in March, when sales are scarce. It's just a matter of looking for them. And the experts agree.

"March is kind of a wasteland," said  Deal News' Julie Ramhold. "What ends up happening is for things like St. Patrick's [Day], we see retailers kind of jump on board with that because it's like, 'Well, there's nothing else coming up for a while.'"

Ramhold says that stores use the holiday as an excuse for extra discounts like 17 percent off your purchase.

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But no matter the season, you can always get deals on things that are going out of season. 

Kimberly Palmer from NerdWallet says March is a good time to buy anything you need for winter. "Buy it now because the prices have started to come down," she said. Stores are trying to make room on the shelves for spring inventory.

If you're looking to get away to someplace warm after a long winter, March travel deals can help you plan your next vacation. "Domestic airfare is one of the categories that we're seeing a lot of discounts on right now," said Sara Skirbol from RetailMeNot. And Skirbol says airlines are offering even more flexible deals because of the COVID pandemic. Many airlines are waiving change fees, meaning, "you can actually buy a ticket and if you need to change it, you can do that and not have to pay a price."

 And if you need new luggage for that trip, all the experts suggest putting that on your itinerary as well. 

"We usually see Samsonite take up to 50 percent off and you can also look to stores like Kohl's," Ramhold said. "They took at least 55 percent off on some luggage close outs."

And even with all these deals, extra cash is always nice. That's why you should cash in on tax software savings in March.

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But what about the deals you should avoid?

The experts say you might want to stay away from outdoor living supplies, and major appliances. March is also a particularly bad time to shop for TVs and mattresses, those sales passed last month. But, Palmer says, there is an exception.

"We see a lot of inventory starting to come into stores right now, mattress stores, for example," she said. "So if you are open to taking a floor sample of a mattress, you can get a really good deal."

And while deals may be few and far between in the month of March, Botsko has some tricks to score any time of the year. 

She recommends The Freecycle Network, a community of millions who give and get just about anything for free to avoid landfill waste. There are also plenty of Facebook groups, where people, "share things that they really love and the deals they get. So it's the best way to try something new."

Whether it's a seasonal shift or a freebie on the internet, there are always good deals to have if you know where to look.

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