Reporting John Shumway
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In case the dancing presidents on your television screen haven’t gotten your attention, we’re heading into Presidents’ Day weekend.
It’s a big time for mattress sales, but the deep discounts of February go way beyond bedsprings. There are some real deals to be had.
We’re talking deep, deep discounts on merchandise across the spectrum. You might call it retail house cleaning.
While new models start coming out in March, some old models are still on the shelves.
“Vendors themselves are saying discount it, sell it and we’ll get you the new stuff,” said Matthew Frank, of Specialty Luggage in Downtown Pittsburgh.
That means in luggage departments and stores, there are deals to be had.
“Twenty-five to 70 percent off signs dot the store,” said Frank. “With the exception of maybe three or four vendors, everyone is running a sale right now.”
The same is true for cameras. Whether in the big box stores or Bernie’s Photo Center on East Ohio Street, clearing the shelves is the priority, profit optional.
“Move the product and cover your basic credit card expenses,” said Bruce Klein, of Bernie’s Photo Center, said.
The new cameras are already being made, boxed and shipped. So, that $250 camera in the store lingering from Christmas could come down to $190.
And a little more price will come off the closer we get to March. But remember, we’re talking clearance here, so availability will also be diminishing.
There are holes already showing on the wall of big screens at the Best Buy in the South Hills. Every television is either on sale or clearance there.
“Usually, we start off 10 percent off, and it can get up to 20 to 30 percent off depending on exactly what the model is, how long it’s been sitting here and how much the manufacturer wants to push their new product and get it out on the floor,” said Alaina Stout, of Best Buy.
Of course, jumping on one of these deals means you’re passing on the new bells and whistles coming with the new models.
“If you’re not a person that hast to have the latest and the greatest, now is a good time,” added Stout.
The furniture industry has latched onto Presidents Day and February as its Super Bowl of sales.
“It’s just a tradition; it seems like 50 so years ago all of a sudden everyone went after the business at the same time,” said Greg Theobald, of Levin’s Furniture, of mattress sales.
He says customers will see 50 percent off deals this weekend.
Of course, the furniture industry helps the effort along with no interest for 60 months.
But buyer beware, if you are financing, read the fine print.
And this month is when the car dealers make a final push to rid their lots of 2011 models.
A final point, except for furniture, when it comes to luggage, cameras, televisions and other closeout sales, the surplus items are more limited this year than in years past.