Guest Blog: What People Buy in May

If your mom’s like mine, she wants something techie for Mother’s Day to keep her more connected with all her friends and family. Hot electronics have been the trendy gift the last couple of years leading up to Mother’s Day with growing opportunities to save on laptops, tablets, smartphones and those accessories.

No tech-mamas on your shopping list? No worries. May was made for both moms and  those of us who spruce up our homes each spring. This coincides with the majority of retail inventory clearance sales and seasonal gift-giving events like Mother’s Day, graduations, weddings and early Father’s Day bargain hunting to help us save money in May.

Add on the need to book summer family vacations, buy supplies for warm weather parties and feasts, and shopping the Memorial Day sales or purchase new gear for outdoor activities, May equates to a solid month of prime discounts.

(in early May)

Mother’s Day sales bring out big discounts and increased cash back savings from dozens of top stores on purchases for traditional gifts, items moms want for the home and exclusive deals on wireless and mobile devices most moms want for on-the-go.

  • Flowers & Gifts: (flowers, candy, books, crafts & supplies, jewelry)

  • Home & Garden: (cookware/kitchenware, pots, plants, tools, feeders, outdoor decor)

  • Gift Cards: (restaurants, retail, craft/fabric stores, electronics)

  • Tech: (laptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras, streaming media, wireless devices)

Tip: Not sure what tablet or smartphone to get her? Recent surveys say moms love gift certificates.

The summer sportsperson’s shopping list will include tools, gear and equipment for their favorite summer hobbies and outdoor activities, and discounts from stores like Cabela’s, REI, Sports Authority and others will be havens for savings early and later leading up to Father’s Day.

  • Sports: (golf, cycling, baseball, athletic apparel/shoes)

  • Outdoors: (fishing, cycling, running, camping, swimming, hiking)

  • Tools/Garden: (saws, drills, tools, boxes/benches/storage, grills/accessories, tires)

Tip: If you don’t need the latest and greatest gear, there will be heavy discounts on last year’s models and increased cash back savings at for sports and outdoors items.

Finding the best summer vacation deals are specific to your destination and when you want to go.

  • Early Summer: June trips to the big attraction National Parks (like Yellowstone and the other 57) will be cheaper for visits before the deep summer crowd runs the price of hotels up high in July and August.

  • Late Summer: Those willing to travel out of the US and don’t mind hot weather, many Caribbean destinations will see airfare and hotel rates take a nice dip for a fun, affordable family trip.

  • Hotels: Many of the online hotel retailers (, the coastal chains and Vegas hotels) will have great specials on longer stays. Take advantage of free additional nights offers, and deep discounts on select regional destinations.

Tip: Start monitoring travel deals earlier in MAY so you’re ready to jump on good offers as prices go back up fast this time of year.

(in late May)

Similar to President’s day and Labor Day, Memorial Day is a seasonal sales event with a captive audience (3-day weekend-tax returns) with almost every store serving up some type of store-wide seasonal discounts on items for the home.

  • Furnishings: (mattresses, furniture, patio sets)

  • Appliances: (refrigerators, washers, & dryers, stoves/ranges)

  • Clothing: (kick-off of Spring Fashion Clearance)

Tip: Store-wide and category discounts can be tricky, compare prices the week before you shop Memorial Day sales to assure you’re actually getting a great deal.

Shopping earlier for gift-giving events can have it’s rewards. Father’s Day is a perfect fit for this strategy as May’s typical sports and outdoor deals and home and garden sales make good gifts for dad (as well as grads and weddings).

  • Sports and Outdoors: (golf, camping, fishing, grilling, gym memberships)

  • Tools: (automotive, home improvement, garden and yard)

  • Electronics: (laptops, tablets, smartphones, gadgets)

Tip: Often you can purchase larger, heavier items online for significantly reduced costs and take advantage of free in-store pick-up (vs. shipping charges).

Contributed by Brent Shelton:

About the author: Brent Shelton is an online shopping expert and media relations specialist for BBB Accredited Business-  Brent has 15 years of B2C marketing experience, analyzing online shopping behavior, retail trends and personal finance strategies to help bring awareness of the latest money-saving trends and tactics to journalists and consumers. Follow Brent on Twitter@brentsheltonnow and on Google+.

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About Trisha Sefakis

I started at BBB|Cincinnati in 2004 as the Database Coordinator, I am now the Manager of Digital Media.