I ran across an interesting list of the best items to purchase during a recession. Of course, this article is speaking to consumers that might actually have access to cash at this time and does not suggest purchasing any of these items on already extended credit. The online article in www.Time.com presented the list but the comments are my own:
Fancy Threads: A relative bargain at this time compared to year’s past as Designer’s are finding themselves with abundant inventory and lackluster high end clientele orders. Web sites like www.Gilt.com offer many designer items (clothing, purses, and jewelry) at much lower than retail prices. This is a member’s only site and sales are offered on regularly scheduled basis. This allows the designer to knock off prices online without negatively affecting the retail value on the showroom floor. (Plus, you get a $ 25 referral fee each time one of your referrals makes a purchase… great deals and rewards, too.)
Computer Memory: You will find pretty good deals on all computers and computer products at this time. Since it is relatively inexpensive to purchase a new computer, the costs associated with upgrades are lower at this time. However, with the fast pace of technological advances… if your laptop is more than a few years old, you will be better served comparing the costs of upgrades versus new.
Cameras – I love taking photos and anyone with a passion has to feed this passion with great gear. Prices for great quality digital SLR cameras are coming down so fast that I frankly do not see any reason to use point and shoot – except for having it handy for quick party shots or when you do not want to lug around the much heavier SLR. The new cameras are so intuitive that almost anyone can handle them yet they have manual functionality for the shooter who understands what he is shooting. I am a Nikon fan but there are many different and terrific makers to choose from. Check with your local camera store (not necessarily the big box department stores as their staff may not have the experience and brand knowledge necessary to help you find the right equipment for your level of expertise and shooting style).
Stuff for your House: I recently met with the owners of www.DirectBuyHouston.com who stated that their business is usually recession proof. Why? Because today, many of us stay home for a “Staycation” or decide to stay put as opposed to move, and our home becomes a priority. This time of year is a great time to purchase furnishings. Check first with the big name stores but also visit the little guy because he may just have the perfect, unique item you are looking for and at a great price, too. Don’t forget the discount stores like The Dump and Brandon’s… they have an ever changing showroom and offer great deals if they have what you want when you want it. Google “discount furniture Houston” and you will be amazed at what you find.
Lobsters: Funny, don’t know a thing about this one except that I love Lobster. Recently,HEB had lobster tails for $ 5.99 per lb. and they steamed them while I shopped. It does not get any better than that.
New Car: It is a no-brainer that cars are a good bargain right now – even with the makers that have not been bailed out by our Government. This is certainly not the time to pay “sticker price” for any vehicle. I would research your dream car, figure out the base costs and make an offer that will compensate the dealer fairly. I usually go straight to the Fleet Manager and avoid the floor guys (sorry guys and gals) because I want to avoid “the pitch”. I am in sales and hate nothing more than a sales pitch. The more you research and know before you go, the better your deal will be. But whatever you are offered in the deal…get it in writing!
Travel: Ahhh, my favorite topic. Great travel deals are everywhere and truly benefit those with flexibility to leave on short notice. Flights can be researched through a variety of web sites but I like www.Kayak.com because it will watch the fare for you and send you notice of up or downward pricing. Another great way to go is to cruise just about anywhere. My office mates and I are taking a 7 day Carnival Cruise in a few weeks and we paid barely over $ 600 total for 7 days… Do the math, folks… no air because we drive to Galveston, all food, room, entertainment (except our 2 excursions) and all the relaxation we can stand for less than $ 100 bucks a day. WOW! Try to get that deal anywhere on land.
Country Club Memberships: Private clubs are a luxury that has been hit hard with the recession and many are seeking new members with terrific incentives. Check out your local country club and ask for discounts… all they can say is NO. Of course I am like Groucho Marx… I may not want to join any club that would have meJ.
Houses: Glad to see this on the list as this is my area of expertise. First let me state that real estate is truly “local”. Before I suggest you go out and purchase property, you really need to check with a Realtor in your area. That said, our housing market is improving all across the nation and many areas have already bottomed out and are on the incline. Foreclosures are a good buy in some areas but not so in others (due to too many factors to illustrate here.) Again, check with a professional Realtor who knows the area, the market and the ramifications of purchasing a home at this time. If you are a first time home buyer… time is running short on the Tax Credit (although I truly hope our Senators will extend this fantastic incentive) so you may get another chance. Now truly is a terrific time to buy.
Stocks: Watch what the big guys do… Warren Buffett only buys when stocks are cheap and only sells when they are high. Sounds easy but when stocks are cheap (like now) most of us are still licking our wounds from recent losses and are afraid to purchase even more stocks so we tend to get conservative and put money in low yield mutual funds, CD’s, etc. Not really all that much better than putting it in their mattresses so it might just be a good time to take our heads out of the sand and dip our toes back in the stock market.
What would you add to this list?