Prices for many staple consumer products have grown significantly over the past year. Overall, the consumer-price index — which is a measure of inflation and looks at the average change in prices for consumer goods and products — reported an overall 6.4% annual increase as of January, according to the latest government data. “Inflation has affected so many parts of the consumer market,” says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com — including everything from gas to eggs to hotels to furniture.
For consumers, it may seem like everything costs more these days, but experts assure that there are desirable items you’ll pay less for now. Here are five consumer goods with prices that have dropped in the 12 months ending in January.
The cost of smartphones recorded an unadjusted percent decrease of 23.9% since January 2022, BLS data show. Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at truetrae.com, says much of this may have to do with how unpredictable the price of electronics were last year because of supply chain issues. “There were moments when retailers were desperate for inventory, so prices were high, but when all the inventory arrived — especially TVs and smartphones — there was a glut, which caused retailers to discount in an effort to clear out inventory.” Here’s where to find even deeper deals:
- Save up to $1,000 on an iPhone 14 with trade-in of iPhone 12 or newer at Best Buy.
- Get up to $1,000 off with trade-in credit and $150 store credit when you buy a new Samsung Galaxy S23 at Samsung.com.
- Free $150 gift card when you buy a new iPhone SE 2022 at Visible by Verizon.
- Get a $10-per-month unlimited plan when you buy a Google Pixel 7 at AT&T.
If your big screen isn’t quite big enough, you may be in luck. Televisions saw a 13.2% year-over-year price decline. Part of this price reduction, Bodge says, is likely because “electronics prices were highly unpredictable last year due to an unstable supply chain.” Some TV deals to consider include:
- Get 3 months of Apple TV and 30 days of FuboTV when you buy a 65” Hisense Class U6GR Series Quantum ULED 4K UHD Smart Roku TV at Best Buy.
- This VIZIO 65″ Class V-Series 4K UHD LED Smart TV was $528 but has since been reduced to $448 at Walmart.
- Save 47% on this 24-inch INSIGNIA F20 Series Smart HD 720p Fire TV and spend just $89 on Amazon.
Used cars and trucks
The price of new vehicles has increased by as much as 5.8% over the past 12 months. That said, used cars and trucks have actually seen continued declines over the period. Since January 2022, the category has produced an 11.6% decrease, BLS data show. That’s down 1.6% in just the past month and the category’s seventh consecutive month with reported price declines.
Why have used cars, specifically, experienced such a decrease? “The year was hit hard after COVID as the supply of chips dried up, and this actually led to spectacular increases in used-car prices,” explains John T. Harvey, professor of economics in the AddRan College of Liberal Arts at Texas Christian University, adding that “because things are, while still short of normal, nevertheless getting there, used car prices fell.”
Ramhold suggests this trend is likely to continue throughout 2023. “Vehicles in general are set to be cheaper this year whether you’re planning on buying used or new, since a lot of the supply chain issues related to car manufacturing have been at least somewhat resolved and the rush to purchase cars has also slowed way down compared to a couple of years ago,” she says. “Overall, car prices are expected to decrease by 5% to 20%, depending on if you opt to buy new or used.” Here are some spots to peruse used cars:
- Prices for used cars start at $9,590 at Carvana.
- 30-day returns or up to 1,500 miles are available when buying a used car from Carmax.
Computers, computer gear and smart home assistants
From smartphones and their parts to computers to smart home assistants, the information technology commodities sector experienced significant price cuts. The category, which also includes computer parts, had an unadjusted percent decrease of 6.2%, BLS data show. Computer software accessories, meanwhile, took a year-over-year dip of 2.9%. Here are some of the deals:
- Save $100 on a new 15.6” HP Intel Pentium Silver laptop with 8GB of memory at Best Buy.
- Get 27% off Ipason Gaming PC at Newegg.
- Save $500 on a 27” Apple iMac® with Retina 5K display at Best Buy.
- Was $100, now get the Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen for just $72 at Walmart.
Major household appliances
With the continued cooling of the once red-hot housing market — which has experienced 11 consecutive months of declining sales, according to Realtor data — has come the price fallout among major home appliances, says Ramhold. “We actually saw these products discounted to a larger degree around major holidays last year,” Ramhold says.
“Even now, many people are still waiting for the market to cool more before buying a home, so these items are potentially cheaper than what you’d expect this time of year, but big sales events like Presidents’ Day will have even more savings.” Major home appliances, as a sector, experienced an unadjusted percent decrease of 3.9% over the past 12 months.
- Save $250 on a 19.7 cu. ft. stainless steel Whirlpool refrigerator with french doors at Best Buy.
- Save 34% on an LG stainless steel package with QuadWash™ dishwasher at Home Depot.
- Get a total price $2,083 off after rebates on a 3-piece GE kitchen appliance package at AJ Mason.
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