By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon
A major appliance should never be an impulse buy. We pinpoint the best moments to buy, on and offline.
Generally, that means you can get more value for your money:
- September, October, and January when manufacturers roll out new home appliance models, and retailers are eager to move last year’s inventory. (Refrigerators are the exception. New models come out in the spring.)
- Last days of the month when stores are desperate to meet quotas and are more likely to dicker over prices.
- Thursday, the day before the weekend rush when aisles are less crowded.
- Major holidays — Labor Day, Memorial Day, President’s Day, Black Thursday (Friday, Saturday) — when stores take advantage of your day off and slash prices.
- Fall and winter are the best seasons to buy air conditioners and gas grills, because few buyers think about warm-weather appliances when leaves and snow cover the ground.
You can’t haggle with a website, so buying appliances online is more computer science than art of the deal. That’s where online data trackers, like Hukkster and TrackIf, can help you find the best time to get the best deals.
After crunching some numbers for us, TrackIf CEO Doug Berg pinpointed the very best times to buy appliances online:
- Thursdays (Retailers are twice as likely to reduce prices on Thursdays.)
- The 4th or 5th of the month (when people get their paychecks), and the 23rd to 29th of the month (quota desperation).
- 3 p.m.
So, theoretically, the very best time to buy appliances online would be the last Thursday of November at 3 p.m. In other words: Thanksgiving. (Baste your bird and buy a new oven.)
More Appliance Buying Tips
In store, don’t be afraid to haggle over prices. The squeaky wheel often gets an additional discount, and it costs you nothing to say, “Is this the best price you can give me?”
When shopping online, compare prices using different browsers. An appliance deal viewed on Firefox could be priced differently when viewed on Safari.
Many stores offer additional discounts if you apply for their credit card. (But only apply if your credit score can handle another card.)
Sometimes appliance repair businesses stock slightly used or flawed — but deeply discounted — appliances. Check with your service guy before buying retail. (I bought a double oven this way and saved $700!)
If you can’t shop on sales days, you may discover the next time the store is going to lower prices by peeking into the metal price stand next to the appliance, which often is stuffed with cards stating the price and date of upcoming sales.