So you’ve finally saved up enough money to make one of the biggest purchases of your year (or your decade)—now all you have to worry about is the actual transaction. While not everyone has the luxury of waiting around for the perfect moment to buy, those who are a little more flexible should take advantage of it—just waiting a few months can make a huge difference in terms of savings. With that in mind, here are the best times to shell out for 10 major purchases.
1. MATTRESS // PRESIDENTS’ DAY, MEMORIAL DAY, LABOR DAY
Some people in the mattress industry insist that the best sales occur over Presidents’ Day weekend because George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were poor sleepers. The more likely explanation is that the three-day weekend gives consumers an extra day to shop. To attract customers with some time on their hands, killer mattress deals can be scored on Presidents’ Day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day. It turns out that all those federal holidays are good for more than just sleeping in.
2. TELEVISION // BLACK FRIDAY, JANUARY
Black Friday is indeed one of the best times of the year for shoppers to buy a television. For those of you willing to brave the early hours and vicious crowds, some stores offer big-screen TVs for up to half off what they normally go for. Thankfully, that’s not the only time you can find a cheap television. Stores often apply deep discounts to products that didn’t sell over the holidays to make room for the new models that arrive around March. January is also the month leading up to the Super Bowl, and retailers are hoping their low prices will tempt buyers to splurge ahead of the big game.
3. HOUSE // OCTOBER
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime, and it’s certainly nothing to rush into. That being said, if everything happens to come together on October 8, by all means, take the plunge. According to one recent review of over 32 million real estate sales from the past 15 years, October is the best month to buy, with homes purchased at that time selling for 2.6 percent less than the current market value. And more specifically, October 8 was the best date for deals, with homebuyers scoring an average discount of 10.8 percent on their purchases. The reason? Because fall tends to be a slow season for house hunting, sellers are more willing to settle for lower offers. So even if you can’t swing an October 8 closing date, sealing the deal in that month will likely leave you better off.
4. ENGAGEMENT RING // SUMMER
It turns out the most popular time of year to get married is also the most affordable time to buy an engagement ring. By the time June rolls around, most couples have already gone through the engagement process and are shopping for jewelry for the wedding. In order to keep the engagement ring inventory moving, many jewelers will lower those prices through the end of August. On the flipside, prices tend to skyrocket between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, which is peak engagement season. If you’re looking to save on a sparkler, plan your proposal accordingly.
6. FURNITURE // JANUARY
Furniture outlets tend to debut their new models in February. In order to move out old products, prices can be lowered by up to 50 percent off the original prices the month before. Plenty of stores host post-holiday sales, helping smart shoppers secure even more savings.
7. LAPTOP // APRIL
April marks the end of the fiscal manufacturing year in Japan, and around this time, old inventory needs to be off-loaded quickly. This means shoppers in the market for laptops can take advantage of discounts on older items still protected under warranty. During this month, buyers should easily be able to take home last year’s models at around 20 percent off the regular price.
8. PLANE TICKETS // EARLY DECEMBER, LATE JANUARY, EARLY FEBRUARY
While it may sound ominous, flying during a dead zone is an easy way to save money on your airfare. The two weeks between Thanksgiving and the Christmas rush and the weeks following New Years are the slowest times of year for airlines, which means that tickets are sold for hundreds of dollars less than you would find during peak dates. Travelers get the added bonus of avoiding huge crowds at the airport.
9. LARGE APPLIANCES // MAY, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER
For major appliance like washers, dryers, and dishwashers, the best time to shop is September and October, when manufacturers debut their latest products, which means—you guessed it! —the older models are marked down to make room on the sales floor. The main exception to this rule: Refrigerators, because new models are usually debuted in the spring. This timing makes May ideal fridge-shopping season. Buyers will also get the chance to scope out Mother’s Day and Memorial Day sales at the same time.
10. DIGITAL CAMERA // MARCH, APRIL
Whether you’re looking for a DSLR or a simple point-and-shoot, you’ll save the most money in early spring—as long as you don’t mind taking home something that’s been around a little longer. Electronics companies generally debut new models in March and April, and stores are eager to get older products out of the way.
11. POOL // AUTUMN
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge, you’ll probably want to get it over with as soon as possible. (Especially once the mercury starts to climb!) But waiting until autumn—which, yes, means putting off your poolside relaxation for another year—can mean big savings. By contracting the job at the end of the pool builders’ busy season you’ll get their undivided attention—and at a reasonable price, to boot. Equipment like fencing will also be marked down to closeout prices ahead of wintertime.
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