Report: Best Time to Shop for Appliances? Fall. To Buy? January
Shopping for a major appliance in January can mean substantial savings, according to Viewpoints (www.viewpoints.com), a leading consumer reviews and product ratings website. That's because stores are trying to clear inventory from the past year.
January appliance sales
"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, prompts retailers to hold sales and also be willing to bargain to close a sale," says Matt Ong, retail analyst at NerdWallet.
Appliance deals again in the fall
But waiting until September through November can result in even more savings. That's when new models come out, so stores slash prices on older versions to clear space in the showroom.
Andrew Schrage, co-owner of the website, Money Crashers, notes exceptions. Air conditioners and refrigerators should be purchased in winter and spring, respectively. And there are other strategies. "For instance, if you shop earlier in the week when stores have fewer shoppers, you can receive better service. You certainly don't want to invest a lot of money in a new appliance without making an informed decision."
Expect to negotiate
Another factor in getting a great price is being willing to haggle, says Schrage. For the best deal, he recommends Sears, Home Depot, Lowe's, h.h. gregg, BrandsMart and Best Buy. Schrage also suggests signing up for email updates from websites like FatWallet, which posts appliance deals from both online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Many consumers favor new models, but Schrage advises, "Unless there's a new feature that is simply a must-have, consumers do not miss out on much by purchasing older models on sale."
Shoppers also should read product reviews before purchase. "It's only a bargain if you get what you pay for. Viewpoints provides authentic feedback from consumers on how you can expect the appliance to work in real-life situations," says Viewpoints Founder and CEO Matt Moog.