When I was growing up my dad worked for a popular department store. He taught me that there was discount season for everything. Bed linens were discounted in January white sales. Winter coats were marked down in February, etc. From that exposure I learned that if I wanted to get the best deal, timing is everything. Here are just a few
Smartphones: If you are patient you can save 30-60% new model smartphones by not rushing to buy the latest model. With the exception of Apple, most smartphones drop in price by at least 30% within 6 months after being released. The less-than-hot sellers dropped about 60%. If you want an Apple product the best time to get a deal is just after a new model is released. After the iphone 5 was released the iphone 4s could be found for $99.
Laptops: Computers are cheapest on Mondays, when manufacturers apply their rebates. Also do some shopping in August when back to school sales are available and manufacturers and retailers off some of their best deals of the year. April is another great month for laptop deals. It could be they are looking to get some tax refund dollars. Whatever the reason you can save hundreds of dollars.
Golf clubs: The best time to save big on a set of clubs or replacement clubs is in June and July. The start of the season means last years models get marked down- sometimes as much as 50%. 2nd best- the holiday shopping season. Big holiday markdowns plus retailers desire to shrink end of season inventory – can often result in big savings from 25-60% if you combine deals (markdowns plus store coupons).
Major home repairs like new roofs or furnaces: The number one answer is to make home repairs when you are not experiencing an emergency. That is when you can shop around for the best product at the best price. For HVAC updates consider having your systems changed in Fall or Spring before the busy seasons of Winter or Summer. Once you know what kind of system you want do an online search of the manufacturers for coupons or rebates and also ask the installers if they are offering any specials. When you aren’t in a pinch you can ask for a deal.
Boats: The boat show season is in February. That is when the new models are unveiled. It is a great place to climb aboard and get to know what you like. But you may want to hold off buying for a few more weeks. Soon after the shows wrap up- the dealers are looking to clear out last year’s models to make way for the new vessels. That is when you can sail off with quite a bargain for last year’s model.
RVs: Most RV trade shows happen in the first quarter. The shows may be a time for you to strike the best deal. But most experts suggest if you are new to RVing consider renting or buying second hand to save the most. Make sure you are mindful of the added costs of RVing from fuel to hook up and fuel costs.
Digital cameras: Look for black Friday and cyber Monday deals for some big savings offered by retailers and e-tailers. If you missed out on those deals you get a second chance in January when new models are released during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Last year’s models will drop 20-30% as retailers make room for the new models.
Toys : The best time of year to get deals on toys in the holiday shopping period which runs before Black Friday (early November) straight through New Years Day. You can even sign up for email notification of flash deals from big retailers like ToysRus. The flash sales can be as much as 40-50% off.
Plants/landscaping/garden supplies: The best time to buy supplies is often in clearance after the growing season (November thru January). But the best time to plant is April-May and September-October. The best deals for plants come just before those seasons and right at the end.
Cruises: April is a good month to get off-season deals on cruises. It is not a big vacation month so often last minute deals saving you 35-40% off your trip are available.
Airline tickets: If you are buying tickets for Holiday travel- the best time to buy is September. But for other times of year- Wednesday at midnight great last minute deals are released by the airlines. These are worth monitoring as they can shave hundreds of dollars off of a roundtrip ticket.
Mattresses: New Mattress season is in the summer so just before that in May you can often find the best deals on Mattresses- you maybe able to save as much as 40%. Tip: Know exactly what you want before you start comparing prices to make sure you are really getting a deal- not just a lesser model.
Exercise equipment: January is when you will find the bets deals at the big box and fitness specialty stores as they try to take advantage or New Year’s resolutions.
You can make anytime the best time to buy virtually anything if you give yourself time to shop around and get a strategy. Much of that shopping can be done from the comfort of your home using the internet to compare prices. Lastly, don’t forget to check into store coupons. Once I narrow down the stores that have the best price for what I want- I check to see if they have online coupons or if they put out weekly circulars. Often I get an additional 10-20% off of my purchase for my efforts.
Mary Caraccioli is a money expert and host of LiveWell TV’s “We Owe What?”