Sure you know the best time to buy a car is right before the new models come out, and buying an air conditioner in the summer is a huge mistake, but do you know when to get the best deal on airline tickets, clothes, computers or outdoor gear? You will now.
Our friends over at FreeShipping.org have put together a when-to-buy guide for over 75 products and services, to give you the heads up on when you can save some cash, and get the best deal on stuff you need. Below are the 35 items guys use most. So before you grab your wallet and head to the store for your next major purchase, check this guide first. (You can read the entire list of 75 items here.)
1. Airline Tickets
Increase your odds of cheaper airfare by purchasing well in advance of your departure. Viewing ticket prices up to 4 months ahead of departure will give you the best chance of finding a guide deal. Look for tickets early in the week to find deals as prices have a tendency to rise as the week goes on.
Try to fly on a Saturday and avoid flying on Sundays to get a better deal. Holiday travel is always more expensive so determining a travel schedule can be especially valuable when looking for discounts around the holidays.
Flight discounts are unpredictable so the best advice is to check frequently, and once you find a good deal take it. It might not be around very long.
Best time to buy airline tickets: Tuesdays, months in advance of departure
2. Big Appliances
The new models for large appliances roll out in September and October, so stores will be working to make room by discounting previous models. Some stores will keep older inventory in stock through the holiday months and then reduce what ever is left at the beginning of the new year.
During the rest of the year look for holiday sales around Memorial Day and Independence Day.
Best time to buy big appliances: October and January
New bicycle models are released in February and March, which means stores will be slashing prices on older models at the start of the new year. Bicycles will be marked down to sell over the holidays. The bikes that don’t sell will be marked down again at the beginning of the year.
Shopping later in January will allow you a more relaxed shopping experience with better customer service. Store employees are not as busy and you have better chances of negotiating a deal.
Best time to buy a bicycle: January and February
Some experts say winter boat show season is the best time to buy. Others recommend checking out dealerships from January to March as they won’t bundle boat-show expenses into the final price. In either case, merchants offer better prices so they can clear their decks to exhibit new models.
Best time to buy a boat: February
5. Carpet and Flooring
Americans love to spruce up their homes for the holidays, which means carpet and flooring is in high demand through the end of December. Once the new year hits, however, demand and prices plummet.
Best time to buy carpet and flooring: January
New model year vehicles are typically introduced in late summer. The end of a model year can be a great time to get bargains on a recommended model as dealerships are making room for new models. Vehicles remaining on the lot at the end of the model year are considered to be “leftovers”. They have been on the lot the longest and can generally be negotiated for considerable savings.
The end of the month can be a good time to buy a car also as many dealerships establish monthly quotas and salespeople may be willing to take much less than asking price in order to make a sale to earn their bonus. The best way to save on end of the month purchases is to walk onto the dealership with a good idea of what you want to buy. Some salespeople may try pressuring you into making decisions about a car you are not prepared to buy if you don’t know what you are looking for.
Throughout the year, manufacturers offer rebates, incentives and cheap financing which often coincide with a holiday, long weekend, or special promotion. Sales incentives can be worth investigating to see how much money you can save.
Best time to buy a car: October, and end of the month
7. Car Wash
As with oil changes, full-service car washes experience their heaviest traffic after 5 p.m. and on weekends. Show up in the first hours after opening and you may get both a better price and better service.
Best time to get a car wash: Early Morning
Any other time of year, champagne gathers dust on liquor store shelves. Come the holidays and the approach of New Years Eve, the bubbly beverage begins to fly out the door. June weddings also give champagne sales a kick.
Best time to buy champagne: December and June
Once merchandise has been in stores a month or more, retailers begin dropping prices to circulate new items. Stores begin stocking shelves on Thursday to prepare for the weekend. Weekends are when the most items are sold so the best selection and best prices can be found if you make it to the store before the weekend.
ave additionally by shopping at the end of the season. Clothing stores need to make room for new collections and will mark down clothing significantly to reduce stock. As a new season nears begin looking for deals on clothing. For example, spring is the time to get a good deal on winter clothing.
Best time to buy clothing: Thursday evening and end of season
Computers have become essential items for students which is why most retailers have big back to school sales in August. You can also get a good deal on a computer during the run up to Christmas.
Technology blogs and manufacturer websites should have information about when new computer models will be released. If you have your eye on an older model and a new model is soon to be released, it may be worth the wait in order to buy it at a lower price.
Best time to buy a computer: August and December
11. Department Store Merchandise
Cruise the aisles of a department store on a Saturday evening and you may have the place to yourself. Most people are either out on the town or wrapped up at home with their Snuggies, leaving you alone with miles of merchandise. Better still, merchandise typically is marked down on Saturday evening in preparation for Sunday sales.
Best time to get department store merchandise: Saturday Evening
12. Dinner Out
Most restaurants receive new food supplies on Tuesdays. By dining out on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you will have the freshiest ingredients in your meal.
Food deliveries to restaurants don’t generally occur over the weekend and Sundays are usually when restaurants are using up what is left over from the previous week. Many restaurants offer specials to draw customers on Sundays, so you may eat cheaper but you won’t necessarily be getting the best value.
Best time to eat out: Tuesdays for quality, Sundays for price
The best time to buy electronics is in the Spring and early summer, shortly after the Japanese fiscal year. This is when most Japanese electronics companies release their new models. Stores make room for the new products by reducing the price on last years model.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best time to buy electronics over the holidays. Retailers reduce prices more on these two days than any other days during the holidays.
Best time to buy electronics: April, May, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
14. Exercise Equipment
The best strategy for purchasing exercise equipment is to find a specialty fitness retailer where you can spend time using the equipment.
Try to shop during hours when associates are available to spend time explaining details about the equipment. Most fitness equipment is expensive so it is very important to find equipment you are comfortable with and understand. If you know before buying that you are going to be able to operate the equipment, then chances are better of you putting it to use once it is in your home.
Best time: After testing the equipment
15. Flip Flops
The summer months are when stores stock up on hundreds of different flip-flop styles and patterns at low, low prices. Wait until the fall and you may have to pay a hefty premium for out-of-season and out-of-style sandals.
Best time to buy flip-flops: August
New furniture is typically released bi-annually. Retailers slash prices in January with anticipation of new furniture arriving in February. Prices are lowered again in July for the arrival of new furniture in August.
Furniture also goes on sale around Mother’s day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Father’s Day, Black Friday and Christmas.
Best time to buy furniture: January and July
The price of gas is usually higher on the weekends as demand increases. Elevated prices tend to hit the pump by mid-morning on Thursday so save by getting fuel on Wednesday or early in the morning on Thursday.
Another advantage to fueling in the morning is you’ll get more for your money. Gasoline is most dense in the cool of the morning. Pumps charge by the volume and not the density of gas so you will fuel for less.
It is a good idea to add fuel before the guage reads a quarter tank. Running your car on near empty fuel levels can be damaging to the injection system.
Best time to buy gas: Wednesday and early morning
18. Gas Grills
Gas grills are in high demand during the summer and prices rise to match the demand. This makes Fall and Winter the best time to buy a new grill. Companies like Home Depot and Walmart will cut prices on summer grills when winter merchandise arrives.
Best time to buy gas grills: October
19. Gym Membership
New Years’ resolutions have gone out the window by June and gym rats are more interested in outdoor activity than exercising indoors. Membership representatives will leap at the chance to sign up new members, even if it means waiving initiation fees and giving away a free month.
Best time to buy a gym membership: June
Hardware and home improvement stores hammer us with heavily advertised sales directly before Fathers Day and during the holiday season. Apparently merchants believe all men — particularly fathers — lust after nothing quite so much as power tools.
Best time to buy hardware and tools: June and December
21. Home Theaters
The biggest sales of both big-screen TVs and home theaters are directly before the Super Bowl. Dealers want to clear their inventory for new product lines and customers want to upgrade for the highest-rated show of the year.
Best time to buy a home theater: February
Spring is a great time to buy a new house as this is the time when more homes are for sale than at any other time of the year. You will have a greater selection of homes to choose from but there are also a lot of people looking at this time of the year.
Though you’ll find more selection in Spring, house prices can be lower in the Fall when the buyer demand isn’t so fierce. Because the selection of homes is lower in the Fall, it may be difficult to find exactly what your are looking for in a home.
Best time to buy a house: April – June for selection, October – December for price
23. Hotel Rooms
Book your hotel stay on a Sunday for the best chance of getting a reduced rate. Sunday afternoons are very slow for hotels and managers will have more time to negotiate than they would the rest of the week.
Best time to book a hotel room: Sundays
24. Lawn Mowers
Once summer is over stores begin preparing for Fall products, which means big sales on lawn mowers. Stores need to make room for new inventory and lawn mowers take up plenty of space.
Best time to buy a lawn mower: August
25. Mattresses and Box Springs
The best time to buy a mattress and box springs is in May when retailers need to make room for new models. Your chances of getting a great deal at this time are quite good as manufacturers leave retailers enough room to reduce prices.
Best time to buy a mattress: May
26. Movies and Music
Discounts on new tunes and movies are heaviest immediately after release, usually on Tuesdays. Why Tuesdays? Some say it’s because this allows products to soak up a full week of sales before charts are computed. Others point to an ancient deal between studios and delivery companies: Mondays are the heaviest delivery day. Wednesday is new comic book and magazine day. Not sure what they do on Thursday: Probably deliver live animals and poison-pen letters.
Best time to buy movies and music: Directly After Release
27. Oil Changes
Early bird specials aren’t just for Senior Citizens. Quickie lube shops often try to attract customers with price cuts in the early hours, when traffic is thin.
Best time to get an oil change: Early Morning
28. Office Furniture
Most home-based business start up in January and right after tax time. These are usually when retailers have their best deals on office furniture.
Best time to buy office furniture: January and end of April
29. Outdoor Gear
Sometimes it feels the biggest adventure is finding outdoor gear at a reasonable price. Make a resolution to buy after the New Year, when merchants are eager to clear out the old and bring in the new.
Best time to buy outdoor gear: January
Mad dogs and Englishmen paint in the noon-day sun…or in the heat of summer. That’s why paint retailers have sales on both interior and exterior paints during the hottest months of the year.
Best time to buy paint: Summer
31. Patio Furniture
Wait until the first week after summer ends to buy your patio furniture. Stores like Walmart and Target will drastically reduce the price of patio furniture because they need to make room for Christmas decorations.
Best time to buy patio furniture: September
Have you ever tried to buy a snowblower in the winter? Merchants enjoy a flurry of sales during winter storms. Come March, however, customers are as rare as hen’s teeth. What’s a merchant to do but drop prices to rock bottom in April?
Best time to buy a snowblower: April
“Suit up” on fall suits in January and spring suits in July. Before you buy, however, make sure the style is timeless. Avoid such time-dated fashions as double-breasted suits and the gargantuan shoulders of the 1980s.
Best time to buy a suit: January and July
You don’t have to wait for holiday blowout sales to find a good deal on a television. The best deals can be found in the spring when new models are released. The fiscal year ends in March for most Japanese companies and new-model year releases typically coincide with the new fiscal year. Discounts of up to 20 percent are offered on previous year models.
Retailers also have big sales on televisions during the run up to Christmas. You will usually find the best deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Best time to buy a television: April and December
Some utility companies charge less for energy used after prime time. Wait until 10 p.m. to toss in that load of laundry, start the dishwasher and use other energy vampires.
(For when to buy the 40 other items so you can save big, click here.)