It’s not quite as financially momentous as buying a house or a car, but purchasing a large appliance can take a big bite out of anyone’s budget. Fortunately, if you need to buy a big-ticket item like a refrigerator, dishwasher or washing machine, you can save significantly by timing your purchase with the year’s big sales.
The Best Times to Buy Appliances
According to experts, find the most savings by shopping at the following times:
— September to December.
— Holiday weekends.
— Spring and fall.
— End of the year or end of the month.
— Right now.
[READ: The Best Time to Buy Everything.]
September to December
Why is this a good time to buy appliances? Well, you start off with Labor Day in September, which always a good time for sales across a range of categories. Then, through the rest of the year — at least historically — shoppers have had a pretty good chance of finding sales on appliances.
“Major appliance brands generally release new models during the months between September to December, which is often the ideal time to find the best deals on appliances as retailers need to make room for new models,” says Kristen Gall, president of Rakuten Rewards, a cash-back and shopping rewards company headquartered in San Mateo, California.
There are exceptions, however, Gall says. “Certain appliances like refrigerators tend to release new models in the spring, and May is when retailers offer big rebates and savings on Maytag appliances for Maytag month,” Gall says of the annual promotion.
As we’ve been trained to expect, holiday weekends tend to be heavy on the sales. That is, President’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving weekend (which generally begins with Black Friday and ends with Cyber Monday).
But not every sale is created equally in terms of discounts, according to Metin Ozkuzey, co-founder and president of Designer Appliances, which has locations in Montclair and Bedminster, New Jersey
Ozkuzey says generally retailers offer the best deals on appliances around Independence Day, Labor Day and Black Friday, with Black Friday being the biggest of the three.
“You can find more moderate savings around Memorial Day and Christmas, and minor savings around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, and Columbus Day,” Ozkuzey says.
The co-founder and vice president of Designer Appliances, John Carey, adds that these big sales are supported by the manufacturer, which makes it easier for retailers to hold sales.
“Our margin is usually 20% to 30%. The manufacturer cuts our price by 20% or 30% around these sales, and so that enables us to pass those savings along to our customers,” Carey says.
Gall, meanwhile, says that you may even see discounts in some stores during holiday weekends as steep as 50%.
Spring and Fall
This can sometimes be a good time to buy an air conditioner or a heater. Why?
“The appliance market is usually influenced by the seasons. In the summertime, weak refrigerators and AC systems break more often,” says Yu Amy Xia, associate professor of business analytics at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In the summer, you won’t find too many deals on a refrigerator, according to Xia. The manufacturers and retailers know that you won’t need a discount to entice you to buy that appliance. If it’s the summer and your refrigerator is broken, Xia says, “You just have to buy.”
Because companies that manufacture and sell heating and cooling systems tend to be less busy in the spring and fall — before and after demand is high — you’ll generally find discounts during these times of the year on any equipment that will cool or heat your home.
[Read: Best Discount Shopping Apps.]
End of the Month and End of the Year
Now it sounds like we’re just messing with you — that any time of the year you can find sales on appliances.
It isn’t that. It’s just that inventory and day-to-day business concerns will sometimes affect whether a retailer holds a sale. While the holiday weekends and certain stretches of the spring and fall are especially good times — usually the best times — to find steep discounts on appliances, you can sometimes find them at the end of the month or end of the year, such as after Christmas.
Wei-Chung Wang, professor of business and economics at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, says discounts tend to kick in sometimes “when the inventory pressure looms. Retailers usually forecast out how much sale they’d be able to generate without considering the inventory cost, so whatever they cannot sell will hurt their revenue position for the quarter or year.”
So while you can jot down on the calendar the best times of the year to buy large appliances, you should still be on the lookout for sales no matter what month or day it is. Because you just never know.
Why Right Now May Be the Best Time to Buy Large Appliances
Everything we just told you? Forget about it, sort of.
It’s all true, but at the same time, the pandemic has upended much of our lives, including the rules of shopping. While there will still undoubtedly be sales on large appliances throughout the usual best times of the year, if you see a good deal on an appliance now, you should probably go for it rather than wait and hope something better comes along.
“The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global supply chain,” Wang says. “In addition to the disruption on supply chain due to shortage of raw materials, the record numbers of hulking cargo ships clogging key ports also post challenges for suppliers to fulfill the anticipated demand in the upcoming holiday season.”
He is not too optimistic about big discounts in the near future.
“I don’t think we will have a holiday season of abundance, as there might not be enough to go around. I wouldn’t expect much discount on anything, particularly durable goods such as appliances,” Wang says.
Carey agrees. “Manufacturers don’t need to offer discounts to generate demand right now, because demand is already artificially high. In general, we’re seeing fewer products go on sale on retail holidays this year,” he says.
He says that one popular appliance brand that Designer Appliances carries used to offer Labor Day promotions on about 300 of its products.
“That’s about 30% of its entire catalog,” Carey says. “This year, it offered discounts on 30 products — just 3% of its catalog. Those discounts could still be 10%, 20% or 30%, but they’re not available for as many products.”
Strategies for Getting Good Deals on Appliances
While the discounts on appliances may not be as plentiful or as steep as you’d like, there are some tactics you can try to bring down the price.
Sites, apps and browser extensions that offer cash back, like Rakuten, can help shave more money off already marked-down deals, according to Gall.
She also says that buying floor models could save you 10% to 20%.
Of course, if you have a credit card that offers cash back on purchases, that, too, can help bring down the price of a large appliance.
Gall also notes that because of the pandemic, you’ll want to pay attention to delivery dates on websites. “Some products may be delayed three to six months,” she warns. “If you need it now, some retailers have a ‘show me what’s in stock’ filter on their site so you can see what is available immediately.”
So if you’re in the market for a large appliance, and you see a good deal, you probably shouldn’t hold out for a great deal. Grab the good deal now — and feel great about it.
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The Best Times of the Year to Buy Large Appliances originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 10/18/21: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.