Major retailers have been promoting sales ever since the start of 2013. From Sears to Target, you’ll find marked down home and kitchen appliances from all the name brands. What most shoppers what to know is if January really is the best time to buy. According to retail analyst for NerdWallet Shopping Matt Ong, you’ll find some incredible deals at the start of the year.
“In January, you can often still find discounted models from the previous year that never made it out of a retailer’s inventory,” Ong explains. “January is a notoriously slow month for retailers across the board, and the need to push sales this month, combined with the quickly diminishing value of anything left over from the previous year, prompts retailers to hold sales and also be willing to bargain down even further to close a sale.”
He also says appliance stores have good deals on holiday weekends, like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, meaning retailers might try and cut prices down more to draw in shoppers.
The best time to buy
Ong says aside from January, September through November in actually the best time to buy most large appliances.
“As retailers will be rolling out new models and have to slash prices on older versions to clear space on the showroom floor,” Ong says. “Although January is likely not the absolute best time to buy, January is generally accepted to be a very strong buyer’s season as well.”
MoneyCrashers.com co-owner Andrew Schrage agrees, explaining that most new models are released in late fall, so that’s when you’ll find the best deals. There are only a few appliances that you can consistently find great deals on depending on the time of year. He cites air conditioning units and refrigerators as two of these such appliances that should be purchased in winter and spring, respectively.
“For most other large appliances, there are particular times of the week, month, and year when you can find the best prices,” states Schrage. “For instance, if you shop earlier in the week when stores have fewer shoppers, you can receive better service from a sales rep and get all your questions answered. You certainly don’t want to invest a lot of money in a new appliance without making an informed decision.”
Where to buy
Local stores with great deals can be hard to come by, so it’s often easier to look to major retailers for the best sales. Schrage says the biggest factor in getting a great price on a large appliance is how much you’re willing to haggle. To find the most competitive prices, he recommends Sears, Home Depot, Lowe’s, HHGregg, BrandsMart and Best Buy.
You can even find great prices online at eBay and Craigslist as long as you’re cautious about who you’re buying from. Schrage also recommends signing up for email updates from a daily deal website like FatWallet or MoneyCrashers, which posts appliance deals from both online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Should you buying sale appliances?
Many consumers are swayed to purchase new appliance models because of flashy features or design trends. While it’s always important to stay up to date on safety features, Schrage says it’s completely okay to buy last season’s model on sale.
“Unless there’s a new feature included in a brand new model appliance that is simply a must-have, consumers do not miss out on much by purchasing older models on sale.”
In most cases, the question isn’t should you buy sale appliances, buy do you? Ong says the bottom line is most consumers just aren’t thrifty enough to make the most of these purchasing tips and sales.
Ong explains, “The reality is that most people, besides the professional bargain hunters among us, won’t wait an extra 9 months to buy appliances if they’ve just moved into a new home, are experiencing problems with old appliances, or are looking to remodel a kitchen.”
Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with air conditioners or refrigerators, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.