Best and worst deals for April

Book that cruise vacation now, but hold off on buying new office furniture in April iStockphoto

(MoneyWatch) Early spring is a great time to snag discounts on all sorts of goods and services, with some unexpected bargains to be found, we noted recently. At the same time, however, there are some purchases you should hold off on making this month because better prices will come to those who wait.

With that in mind, here's a look at some of the best and worst things to buy in April, courtesy of the experts at Dealnews.com:

Best Bets

Cruise vacations. April is typically a good month to book cruises, says Dealnews features editor Lindsay Sakraida, and this year looks better than ever. Cruise prices in general have been dropping when compared with last year, probably due to the industry's tumultuous string of recent public disasters. Compared with similar cruise deals from this time last year, 2012's offers are as much as 11 percent better.

Spring clothes. The general rule of thumb is to wait about two months after a new line of apparel hits stores before you can cash in on sizable discounts, Dealnews notes. Many retailers began debuting their spring merchandise in late January and February, so that puts April at about the two-month mark for some lines. Look closely at the discounts though -- you'll want a sale that takes at least 50 percent off or more.

Non-Apple tablets. Apple announced its new iPad last month and, surprisingly, said it will continue to manufacture and sell the iPad 2 at a lower price. The discounted iPad 2 puts pressure on Apple's competitors, especially since Dealnews has already seen the older tablet priced as low as $349. Non-Apple slate makers will feel compelled to respond aggressively. Indeed, Dealnews has already seen new all-time low prices on Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Bad Bets

Office furniture. Some sources praise April as the best month for top office furniture deals, but according to the Dealnews archives, there will be more deals or better-quality deals coming in May and June. The latter, in particular, racks up more Editors' Choice caliber offers, meaning that the styles are at the lowest price point Dealnews has seen. Look to OfficeMax, Office Depot, Staples, and Walmart for these offers in the future.

Grills. It's getting close to backyard barbecue season, but don't jump the gun by purchasing a new grill just yet. Dealnews archives suggest that June will see better-quality deals, while other sources promote post-Independence Day sales as an excellent opportunity to get discounts on grills and related products.

3D HDTVs. Although April isn't a big month for TV deals, Dealnews doesn't expect it to be a bad month either. Still, it may pay to wait on buying a 3D TV. February's all-time low of $699 on 3D TVs didn't repeat itself in March. However, Dealnews does expect it to make a return before the summer, so keep a look out for deals on off-brand 55-inch 3D TVs.

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    Dan Burrows, a veteran of Aol's DailyFinance, SmartMoney and MarketWatch from Dow Jones, covers the markets and economy with an eye toward investing for the long haul.

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