About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:

When Is the Best Time of Year to Buy Large Appliances?

By Casey Slide

kitchen appliancesBenjamin Franklin once said, “Necessity never made a good bargain.” It was true back in Ben’s time and it’s still true today.

Consider what happens when you decide at the last-minute to take a vacation to the beach. When you go online to book it, ticket prices are astronomical. Yet, had you planned your trip out over the last 6 months, you would have had plenty of time to find a good deal.

The same is true when it comes to buying a large appliance. If you plan ahead, you’ll have plenty of time to find a good deal before you desperately need the appliance. This is because there are certain times of year that are best for purchasing washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves/ranges, and the like.

But when is the right time of year to buy? And what should you do if you need a new appliance immediately? We’ll examine each question below.

When to Buy a New Appliance

When it comes to large appliances, many people choose to use their current ones all the way up until the day they die. While this does ensure maximum use, it doesn’t allow you to effectively plan a new appliance purchase when appliance prices are at their lowest.

Instead, try to get a rough idea of when your appliance will go out of commission. Then, begin planning your purchase before the appliance breaks. This strategy will ensure that you get the best bang for your back.

Pro Tip: Most companies provide an estimated lifespan for your appliance to give you an idea of when it’s likely to fail. Keep track of its usage to know when you’re getting close to the maximum. Also, if your appliance is performing poorly, it may be on its last legs and is probably using too much energy. For example, if your fridge is struggling to stay below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s not functioning as well as it should and your energy bill may even reflect this.

One other advantage to replacing appliances sooner is that many new models have more efficient technology that can save you money on utility bills. For example, some new washers require less water to run, and dryers are available with sensors that detect when clothes are dry. This allows you to save money on water and electricity and minimize wear and tear on your wardrobe at the same time.

Best Times to Buy a New Appliance

For all major appliances (other than air conditioning units), consider timing your purchase to the suggestions below.

1. September and October
The best time to buy most major appliances is during the months of September and October. During these two months, manufacturers unveil their latest models. This means that the previous year’s models must be discounted in order to make room for the new models that will hit stores in the winter.

2. May
The exception to point number one is refrigerators. Unlike the other major appliances, most manufacturers roll out their new models of refrigerators in the summer. This means that last year’s models get discounted during the spring.

3. January
Some stores hang on to older inventory while they make the transition from last year’s models to the next. But once the new year hits, all of last year’s remaining models must be discounted even further. Though better deals may be available at this time, selection will be limited.

4. Any Holiday Weekend
Retailers have sales that correspond to virtually all holidays. Columbus Day, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and most other minor holidays are good times to get great deals. Case in point, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) can be a perfect time to purchase a major appliance.

Tip: Just because a retailer advertises an item on sale doesn’t mean it’s the best price. Make sure you comparison shop first to know whether or not the advertised deal is really the lowest around.

5. End of the Month
As many appliances are sold on commission or subject to quotas, the end of the month can be an excellent time to negotiate serious savings. With that said, always try to negotiate regardless of what time of the month it is.  After all, the worst that can happen is they won’t lower the price. Here are some negotiation strategies that you can use to increase your chances of success.

6. Weekdays
Appliance stores as well as furniture stores are nightmares on the weekends. The parking lots are jammed, the sales people are all busy, and you may feel rushed into a decision. To get the best deal, avoid the weekend rush and make time for your appliance shopping during the week, even if that means adjusting your work schedule or going in the evening. You’ll get more attention from the salesperson, and possibly a better deal to boot.

7. Anytime Online
By just running a quick search, you can get a good idea where the best deal is online. The best months to buy online don’t differ from the best months to buy in brick and mortar stores, but good online prices can be found year-round. That said, remember to factor shipping into the final cost.

appliances store

What If You Need an Appliance Now?

As much as you might like to time your large appliance purchase to get the best deal, it is not always possible. For example, if you are moving into a new home that does not have appliances, the timing may not work in your favor. Or if an appliance breaks unexpectedly, you’ll have to decide whether to make a costly repair or buy a new appliance even if rock bottom prices are months away. In these cases, consider alternatives to buying brand new.

1. Craigslist
When my husband and I moved into our home, we had no washer or dryer. Wanting to avoid the laundromat, we turned to Craigslist to find a gently used washer and dryer and were overwhelmed with the number of options. We ended up with a nice, barely used washer and dryer pair for half the price we’d expect to pay in a store. In our case, the previous owner had them in his apartment during college, but was moving back home.

2. Refurbishing Center
When our refrigerator broke down unexpectedly last year, we went to a place that sold refurbished appliances. We sold our old refrigerator to them to fix up. Then, we bought a refrigerator they had bought and fixed up already. While we did not get a brand new appliance, we did get one that was better and newer than our old one at a great price.

3. Scratch and Dent
You can get appliances at steep discounts if they have even a tiny, insignificant little dent. When you are shopping, check with your salesperson to see if they have any scratch and dent merchandise.

4. Liquidation Centers
Liquidation centers can have liquidation, closeout, return, and overstock items available for purchase at a fraction of the cost.

5. Pawn Shops
Yes, some pawn shops do sell appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens. Does that mean you should buy a large appliance from a pawn shop? It’s certainly a risk depending on how reputable the pawn shop is, so you will have to decide if it’s a risk worth taking.

Air Conditioning Units

For this item, winter is the best time to buy, specifically October through February. During the hot summer months, demand goes up for AC units and therefore, so does the price.

If you plan to have your AC unit serviced (this extends the life of your current unit), the best time to do so is also between the months of October and February. Getting your unit serviced over the summer will not only be more costly, but will take longer as well.

Final Word

You’ll be better off if you can plan a new appliance purchase in advance. But even if you run your old appliances into the ground, you still have opportunities to get a good deal. In fact, it’s safe to say that given the number of options available, you should never pay full price for a new appliance purchase. Remember also that in order to save the most money on your large appliances, it pays to maintain them properly.

When was the last time that you bought a new appliance? What did you do to get the best deal possible?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

Related Articles

Comments

  • http://www.abczoohome.com Amanda

    I have a problem with the theory that (non-food) things are at their least expensive out-of-season. While this may be true in some places and for some items and at certain key out-of-season points of the year, it has not been my experience. To take the air conditioner example: *if* I can even find one in the winter months, as stores here don’t stock out-of-season merchandise, it’s not on sale. If there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s not being discontinued, and it’s not relevant enough to be in the sale roster it sits around on a back shelf with a full-price ticket on it. I don’t believe I’ve even seen them on end-of-season clearance; they’re often sold out before then. I’ve gone looking for an air conditioner in February during some remodeling, and it was laughably impossible to find, and no particular discount when I did.

    • david

      Amanda

      Great comment. I have found that in these situations, that’s wehre “negotiation” comes in. If you see one on the shelf in an “off season”, get with a sales person and say hey, no one is gonna buy this thing for four more months. Why not take a little off the price and I’ll take it home with me?

      I never thought negotiation would work in your typical big box retailers, until I tried it. It doesn’t work all the time, but more than you might think.

      I’m sure everyone has different personal experiences, and I appreciate you sharing yours with our readers!

      • http://www.abczoohome.com Amanda

        I’ve never tried it myself, but what could it hurt? I would never have thought a major chain store would cut a price either, who knew? Thanks for the info.

        • David Bakke

          Amanda

          I was as suprrised as anybody the first time it worked. It’s pretty easy to tell right off the bat whether or not you even have a chance. I usually just throw a little something out there without really asking for a discount just to see if the salesperson will “bite” or not.

          If they don’t I usually don’t pursue it.

          But, once you get that first disocunt from somewhere, it always gives you alittle leverage the next time you’re in that store.

          I wish you luck!!

  • http://www.abczoohome.com Amanda

    I forgot one thing: demand goes up, so does the price. This is an entirely logical belief. Then why do all the sales on seasonal items happen during the season in which there is demand? Stores know that there is a high demand for those items and want to get you into *their* store to buy them. Lawn care items go on sale in the spring, air conditioners in the summer, cold weather clothing in the fall. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.

  • david

    Here I think you have to be careful. I learned pretty quickly that just because something is on sale does not mean its a great price.

    I do a lot of comparative shopping when I am buying high demand items.

    Your input is really appreciated!

    • http://www.abczoohome.com Amanda

      This is a very good point, and one I should have mentioned. Yes, *always* compare prices, and across seasons if it’s something you need regularly or you have the luxury of shopping for a long time for a major purchase. If you know what the regular prices are you can easily see when something is jacked up or really on discount. I buy big (or even medium) ticket items very rarely, but the same principle applies on everyday groceries.

      • David Bakke

        Amanda

        You’re right on point.

        And guess what–you don’t have to put 100 miles on your car to do your comparing. I do the majority of that rght at home on the internet.

        You would be shocked at how much cheaper you can get some big ticket items on the internet rather than in retail stores too.

        And I am including shipping fees adn all that as well.

        For non-food items, I do the majroity of my shopping on the internet (besides clothes I guess).

        I’d love to see some numbers on that topic, but I think the number of people who do more of their shopping online is on the rise.

        Thanks for the disucssion–I love it!

        • Rob & Ben

          David – We totally agree with you, we do 95% of our shopping online after we perform extension online comparisons… the biggest reason for this is because #1) you can often find an item cheaper online and then either go to that store in person to purchase (saving yourself shipping costs) or in some cases get your local retialer to “comp” (match) the price you found, and #2) in many cases you can find your item online at a less expensive price and often with free shipping, simply because the seller can move more products online without having the expense of maintaining a “brick & mortar” approach or display of any kind… so what we often do is check an item out physically at a local or not too distant store to inspect it and ensure that it would meet our needs, then we go online and do our comparisons and if all goes well, make the final purchase… there have even been occassions where after much consideration and comparisons we actually ended up buying a 2nd or 3rd choice item because it turned out to be the better deal in the end.

          Great website, thanks for the info!

          God Bless!

  • david

    Rob & Ben:

    That’s some great stuff–you take it even a step further than I do.

    The price match thing is great!!

    And yes, lots of times I’ve ended up getting a 2nd or 3rd choice item as well.

    Thanks for chiming in…hope to see more of you…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q7WFGWHL2PJWDK6MYU36IOE6JY Buck

    I’ve got some really good deals by:

    1) Finding a low cost store to deal with (usually ABC Warehouse)
    2) Shop at the end of the month when their sales quotas are due
    3) Bring cash – large bills $100 & $50 bills do fine.
    4) “Scratch & Dent” items get big discounts and most times the scratches and dents can barely be seen (like the back side of a clothes dryer).
    5) Check the Internet for the best price first so you know if they are offering a good price before you even get in the door.
    6) If it’s on sale for $499.95 and the Internet price tells you that’s a good deal (add in shipping for the Internet price so you are comparing apples to apples) then offer them $500 out the door (sales tax included, etc.).

    Purchase NO additional warranties AND make sure you have a truck or minivan to take it home with you. Out the door means out the door. You are getting a good deal here. Don’t push your luck by demanding extras like delivery. If they balk just take out those five $100 bills and fan them where the sales manager can see them.

  • Guest

    You’ve got to be kidding me – the best time to purchase is . . . wait for it . . . any day of the week! Just watch prices and good luck! If this article is indicative of the help on this site, I won’t be back

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phyllis-Campbell/100001498119570 Phyllis Campbell

    Ck this out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mishell.garver MiShell Garver

    This site is rediculous! To make you sign in to this level in order to make a comment…..????!!!! Stupid

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.plett1 Jordan Plett

    Erroneous argument and logic! If you buy a last minute vacation deal; you save huge. Don’t try and sound intelligent by referencing Ben Franklin in your opinion. Your article was a waste of space and time.

  • Mary

    Be careful of buying on Craig’s List. We bought a used fridge with a 90-day warranty from a small local business. It was “completely refurbished.” No, it wasn’t. By the 90-day mark, it had turned into a cupboard with temps of 65 degrees inside. The freon all leaked out of the thing. Huge repair costs: more than we paid for it. Company is refusing to answer our calls now. But … same thing could have happened by buying from an individual and we would have no recourse. Just be careful. You get what you pay for. Learned our lesson the hard way. Wish we had bought a brand-new one and financed it.

  • bobbg

    Get An Extended Warranty! Stuff used to last 20 years now it seems it might not last 20 minutes, even the good big named brand stuff. Case and Point F&P Dryer total failure after 3 years cost more to fix then to replace with new. it also had a MSP Manufacturer Set Price.
    NEVER BUY SOMETHING that has a Manufacturer set price unless its something that is high end and top of the line best on the market. Or You’ll be sorry.
    Like that F&P Dryer was the bottom of there line.

    Don’t Be a fool and take 5-100 dollar bills into a store, You wave 5-100 dollar bills in the salesman face he’s going to get all of it from you, if you hadn’t you might have gotten it cheaper.
    A Debit card is just as good as Cash!
    It wouldn’t make me move on Price one bit, I’d just Laugh after you walked out with what I taught you where the value was in that product and you paid full price. Had you not showin me cash I might have given you a discount.
    Go to the store in Jeans and a T Shirt act like you need a good deal and you’ll get a better one. The sales man will think you work for a Living and don’t just push a pen at a desk.
    Suite’s Pay more Money! They can afford it.

    I’ve worked a sales Floor I know what I’m talking about. I also like to treat everyone the same. Not what most the sales people do.

    Next thing is Your looking at Dryers have 5-100 dollar bills in your hand and you don’t find one you like so you walk out the store and some Thug knocks you over the head and takes your hard earned MONEY!
    DO NOT FLASH CASH, if you want to keep it!

Links monetized by VigLink