My darlings, I have been neglecting you. I am sorrowful over it. It is not that I don’t love you or that you’re not pretty (because I do, and you really are), but sadly, my love of The Bargain has been slightly overshadowed of late with other things. Like travelling. And getting ready to travel again. And peeling the velcro children off of me while they beg me not to go away a second time.
Please forgive me for not living up to my usual responsibilities in finding you fabulous and quirky freebies and deals, and for neglecting my advice pile. Here! I will make it up to you! I’ll answer a question right now!
Mir, you are indeed pretty and smart!
We will need some new kitchen appliances in the next year or so. It’s not going to be an emergency purchase (hopefully), like when the freezer dies and you must get a new one before everything thaws.
How can we make sure we find good prices on appliances? Specifically, I’m wondering if there is an “off season” of the year when we might be more likely to find good deals on a fridge, stove, microwave, or dishwasher.
We bought our car in the fall (a model that was not being continued the next year) and it was thrilling to save literally thousands of dollars compared to… oh, compared to some other car we could have bought but didn’t. Now I’m loving the whole “off season” concept even more than before, and trying to save money this way on as many purchases as possible.
I’ll confess; this one took some deep thought.
Like, I read “freezer” and then I thought “ice cream” and from there I wondered if I had any ice cream and then I discovered that I did and then I couldn’t do any more thinking that night (on account of the ice cream headache).
(The things I put myself through for you people, I tell you what.)
So. We all know about the seasonal deals on cars. Cars have model years; at some point, the old ones must be cleared out to make way for the new ones. Even mattresses have different covers depending on the year, and sometimes get clearanced to make way for new styles.
Do appliances have a “hot season?”
The first thing I came across made perfect sense to me: According to this CNN article (which quotes The Dollar Stretcher, although I was unable to find the reference on their site), December to February is the best time to find a deal on a major appliance. The reason is simple and applies to many other big-ticket items as well; everyone is tapped out from holiday shopping, and merchandise just isn’t moving. So think President’s Day Sale or whatever. Chances are excellent you can find a deal in the cold, broke winter months.
On the other hand, what I was able find at The Dollar Stretcher was this month-by-month buying guide wherein May is crowned as the pinnacle of cheap appliance availability, owing to Memorial Day blowout sales. Later, I found this appliance buying guide which claims that it’s really refrigerators that are the Memorial Day stars, with microwaves and room air conditioners being easier to find in the spring, and washer/dryers taking center stage in September.
Now. You know I adore The Dollar Stretcher. I do. But I disagree with some of this.
I’m okay with the Memorial Day sales thing. But my experience is that air conditioners are best purchased in the fall, if you can wait that long, to get clearance on whatever’s left. Also? If you want a small microwave? September, baby, after all the college kids have finished their back-to-school shopping. Same principle.
And I have no idea why washers and dryers would be cheapest in September. I’m not saying it’s not true, just that it doesn’t make any sense to me. When in doubt? I’d stick to the post-Christmas timeframe when sales are slow. You know I’m all about negotiating, and your sales clerk is going to be much more flexible in January when everyone is at home recovering from the Christmas Blitz.
The Dollar Stretcher also mentions some other tips, like looking for “scratch and dent” items, and although that’s not season-dependent, it’s a great suggestion. Do you really care if your washing machine has a scratch? You do? Oh. Um. How nice for you. Ahem. Yes, well, for those of you who can deal with a small cosmetic blemish in return for some money off, that’s a great way to go. Many major retailers have a “back room” or other area specifically for these items.
The truth of the matter is that you’ve already put yourself in exactly the right position: You don’t need to run out and buy something right this instant. Keep your eyes open and do your research, and when the right deal presents itself, pounce.
And then? Celebrate with some ice cream.