Months and Money: The Best Times of the Year to Buy Things


Everyone knows that travel is more expensive around the holidays and cheaper the rest of the time. If you need to make a purchase, and Thanksgiving isn’t far away, it’s also common knowledge that you need to wait for Black Friday (these days, Canadian retailers offer great deals to keep consumers from taking their business across the border). What many don’t know is that retailers observe pricing cycles for all kinds of merchandise. From big-ticket items such as cars and boats down to smaller purchases such as clothing, appliances and even wedding supplies, there’s a time for everything. Following these cycles can lead to big savings.

Start with fall

Manufacturers time their new product cycles to September each year. If you’ve had your eye on an impressive new Chrysler 200 for some time, October is a great time to move in for the kill. With the new models out, older stocks that dealers still have on the lot go for far less. It’s the same with toys, digital cameras and cookware. Manufacturers bring in their new products in October, which means that everything they had from a couple of weeks earlier is on sale.

Most people don’t expect to see everything that they need for a wedding, from a dress to a venue, to go on sale at this time, but it does. Everyone wants a spring wedding, and the farther you go into winter, the better the deals that you get.

Plenty of everyday clothing goes on sale in October. It tends to be cheaper after the back-to-school sales. Patio furniture is cheaper because winter’s up ahead, and even candy is cheaper after Halloween (chocolate is cheaper after Valentine’s).

November is the best time for most appliances. If you are willing to wait till December, you’ll see sports gear get affordable. Most people don’t expect spirits to be cheaper in the middle of the holiday season, but they do get that way. Retailers announce their best sales at this time.

Winter is a great time to go shopping

January is boat show month, and boat manufacturers have all the new models out. Shopping at this time gives you great deals on the older models. January is also great for furniture. Retailers clear out old stocks, and there are great deals to be had. Even suits and winter clothing get cheaper. Everyone’s already bought what they need, ahead of time.

Here’s what you buy in spring

Many manufacturers bring out their new refrigerator models in May. You’ll find big discounts on the discontinued models. Mattresses are a great buy, as well. Lots of home businesses start up right after tax month, so, retailers selling office furniture have great sales.

There’s a good reason why you should shop for your gym membership in spring, and never in winter. Lots of people sign up in winter in an effort to keep their New Year’s resolutions. This drives prices up. By May, no one’s buying, and prices drop. In fact, you should look online for people trying to sell their partially used memberships on the cheap.

Finally, the third quarter is great for a number of important purchases

July is when people begin their back-to-school purchases. It’s also when computer manufacturers come out with their product launches. Stuff from the previous year goes cheaply. If you have a student ID, you can use it for special discounts.

In general, keeping an eye on websites such as Dealnews can help you understand the product cycles that different industries follow. Going in right after a product cycle begins is the best way to find great, low prices all the time.

Terrance Strickland works in retail and as a family of six has to keep his eye on the household budget. He writes about saving, spending and retail trends in his articles which appear all over the web.