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The Best Times to Get the Lowest Price on 14 Major Purchases

October 15, 2009 | 34,355 views

shoppingWhen it comes to major purchases, simply buying them “whenever” rarely get you the best deal. The top bargain hunters strategically delay these purchases until off season sales or manufacturer discounts kick in. Here are 14 examples of big purchases and their ideal buying times.

Gas

What many still do not know is that gas is typically cheapest at certain times during the week. Wednesday morning is the best time to buy gasoline, because prices usually move up for the weekend, after which they settle, hitting the low point by Wednesday.

Airline Tickets

For non-holiday domestic travel, watch the 21-day mark because some carriers will file their lowest fares as a 21-day advance purchase. Also keep your eyes peeled on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for the best rates.

New Appliances

The best time to buy is September and October, when stores are under pressure to clear space for the new arrivals. Simply buying last year’s model can save hundreds of dollars.

Air Conditioners

Think about when they’re most in use -- May through September. The stock gets depleted, the demand is higher and so is the price. When cool weather comes around, the demand drops, as does the price.

New Cars

Car salespeople are expected to meet certain quotas for sales per month. Waiting until month’s end will likely put you face to face with a someone hungry to make a sale -- and shave a few bucks off the price. Still better is to put off buying until the end of the year. This is when manufacturers are eager to unload last year’s models.

Computers

New computer systems adhere to a seasonal pricing schedule that can be anticipated by bargain hunters. The low-priced sweet spot of the calendar as regards new computers is July and August. Keep your eyes out for winter sales as well, typically preceding the holiday months.

Cell Phones

The best deals on cell phones are not time-sensitive. Rather, the consensus appears to be that the best time to buy is when you are signing up for new service.

Cookware

April, May and December are the months to watch. Since cookware is a popular gift item for newlyweds and graduating college students, stores often run specials on cookware in early summer. Stores offer specials on these items again during the Christmas holiday season.

Furniture

Dining room sets are highly promoted in late October and early November. Recliners and chairs, on the other hand, are often on sale in May and June in anticipation of Mothers Day and Fathers Day. Mattresses and box springs are promoted from late May to early fall.

Houses

If you are concerned primarily about selection and having the most houses to visit and choose from, spring appears to be best because more houses are listed for sale. If you are concerned primarily about price, however, fall seems the best time to look because most people don’t want to coordinate a huge move during the cold winter and holiday months ahead.

Clothing

Try buying on Thursday evenings, six to eight weeks after an item arrives in stores. Track sales fliers so you can get an idea of when various items arrive, and mark on your calendar when you plan to stop in and get them at reduced prices.

Champagne

Due to fierce competition among the Champagne houses, prices are actually lower during the holidays than they are at any other time of year.

Health Insurance

Fall marks open-enrollment season for employer health-insurance plans. Policy rates don’t drop at this time of year, but that’s when you should review the changes to your plan’s costs and coverage options.

Gym Memberships

Discounts can typically be found from the beginning of summer through the beginning of fall, when demand for membership increases.

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