Showers and May flowers aren't the only side effects of April's arrival. Next month also marks the beginning of most industries' second quarter, which means many retailers will offer sales to spring them into the next earnings period.

Here's what to look for as you bargain hunt this month.

Freebies

For whatever reason, many businesses will offer freebies during tax season, especially in mid-April, according to dealnews.com.

For example, Dunkin' Donuts locations in Charleston will bid farewell to March on Monday with free 16-ounce cups of iced coffee all day. You might need the caffeine if you're up all night brainstorming clever April Fool's pranks.

Spring fashion

Since most spring collections launch in February, you'll start seeing promotional markdowns (30 percent off or less) in April. Cardigans, lightweight scarves and ballet flats seem to be the type of mid-season styles that retailers mark down as soon as the warmer weather sets in.

Kids apparel

At the beginning of the month, you'll likely see promotional deals on children's dressy attire in time for Easter. Belk, for example, has already marked down its dress wear for children by up to 40 percent. Once Easter has passed, that's an even better time to snatch deals on items such as white shoes and sundresses.

Eco goods

Earth Day is April 8, so many companies will take that as an opportunity to strut their eco-friendly efforts. It can be gimmicky, but sometimes it means promotions on products with organic or all-natural labels.

Housewares

May is a big month for weddings and graduations. So as students venture into the real world and couples settle into married life, family and friends often make the point to give housewarming gifts, such as cookware and small appliances. That's why April is chock-full of good deals on these types of items.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.