Everyday we make purchases whether they are necessary or not. Some purchases are just impulse buys and with others, we tend to pay more attention and do more research about the products we purchase. There comes a time when you must make the important decision of what appliances to purchase. Though many homes come with appliances, the day is going to come when they must be replaced, and being well prepared will always help you save money. Always do your research before going into a hardware or appliance store, because the last thing you want is to be bombarded with hundreds of different styles, brands, colors, functions, and a pushy sales rep wanting to make a fast sale. You should research large appliances the same way you would research buying a new car. For example, you should always set a budget you are comfortable with and pick quality brand names and manufacturers with a history of long-lasting products. Then, you can further your research by narrowing down your choices according to the necessary functions and specifications. Researching ahead of time will also allow you to find the best deals.
Many people don’t know that there are certain times or months throughout the year when you will be able find the lowest prices on large appliances such as, washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves/ranges, etc. When purchasing anything, especially large appliances, you expect to use them until they give out. While you do get maximum use out of using your appliances until they die, you won’t have enough time to plan and research for a new one if you wait till the last minute. Pay attention to the average lifespan of your appliance provided by the manufacturer, keep record of how long you’ve had it, and when the product’s end-of-life nears, you’ll be ready to shop for a new one. Another advantage to switching your older appliances before they give out is all the technological advances of the new energy efficient products that will help lower the utility bill.
So, what happens if your appliance randomly gives out and you’re in need of a new one immediately? Don’t worry; there are plenty of budget-friendly solutions for that, too.
Air Conditioning Units
The best time of year to purchase AC units is during the autumn and winter months, specifically October through February. The demand for AC units increases during the hot summer months, and so does the price. As with all appliances, it’s wise to get your air conditioning system serviced regularly as this extends the lifespan. The ideal time to get your AC unit serviced is also during the same months since most people won’t realize they need repairs till the coming summer when they first try to use their system.
Best Times of The Year To Buy A New Appliance
- September and October – Many large appliance manufacturers tend to release all their new models for the following year during September and October. In order to sell and make room for the newer models stores will showcase in the winter, prices of the older models are heavily discounted during these two months to get rid of excess inventory. If you don’t mind an appliance that doesn’t have all the latest and great technology and are looking for something simple, cheap, and get’s the job done, this may be your time to swoop in for the deal.
- May – With the exception of all other large appliances, refrigerator manufacturers release their newest models during the summer months. During spring, stores lower prices on the previous year’s fridge models in order to make room for the new ones. Finding a particularly energy efficient model will help conserve electricity and lower your utility bill during the coming summer months.
- January – A lot of stores tend to keep some of the older models of appliances as they make the transition to the new ones, just to have inventory available for emergency situations where people need a product overnight. Stores that keep the older models will have the greatest discounts and offers for the after New Year’s sales, though selection may be limited.
- Any Holiday – Retail stores, car dealerships, and e-commerce sites have sales for practically every holiday. Labor Day, Columbus Day, St. Patrick’s Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and most other holidays are a good time to get great deals and offers on appliances. Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is possibly one of the best days to purchase large appliances. Just buyer beware: sales do not necessarily mean you are getting the best value. Sometimes, products that are not selling well are heavily discounted to clear inventory.
- Weekdays – Going shopping on a weekend, even to an appliance store, can be a nightmare. Parking lots are packed, sales people are busy, and you may even feel rushed into making a decision and purchase. Instead, avoid the weekend rush and go during the week days. If you can’t go during the day due to scheduling conflicts or a job, make an effort to go at night after work. You’ll be able to get more attention from and information out of the salesperson and look at the products comfortably without feeling rushed. Remember, you may have this appliance for the next 10 years – you certainly want to walk out with one that you are happy with.
- Anytime Online – Spend just a few minutes online conducting a quick search and you’ll have a fairly good idea of which retailers are offering discounts or low prices. You can even check out professional or consumer reviews and get a general idea on how this product compared against others. The best months to buy online are the same, but reasonable prices can be found year-round. Remember to include the shipping price in your final cost. Don’t forget about Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) when most retailers post their online deals.
- End of the Month – As with many retail stores, sales reps are given commission quotas they must meet, and the end of the month can be an excellent time to negotiate and save big on your purchase. The sales rep is going to do everything possible to sell items to try and meet their quota.
Need Appliances Now
In the ideal world, you’ll have plenty of time to plan ahead and research before buying your new large appliance. Unfortunately, it does not always work out that way and sometimes an immediate purchase is necessary. For example, an appliance breaks down, you have an important dinner the coming weekend or there are no sales right now, and the repair costs are fairly high, consider buying a used one until you can find a brand new appliance that is a bargain.
- Craigslist – The online superstore where you can find anything from used products for sale to job listings. You’ll be able to search for your specific appliance, choose from a variety of sellers, and can ask to see it working before purchasing it. Most of the time your search listing will include gently used items for about half the price of a brand new product, and even then, you can still haggle to get lower prices.
- Refurbished Products – A lot of places are buying old items and either fixing them up or using the parts in other appliances, and selling them for a bargain. You might even be able to find appliances that were better than your old one, for a fraction of the price. You can also sell your appliances to refurbishing centers before buying a new one, kind of like when you trade-in your old car. You’ll get some cash and it’s better than having to pay a company to haul it away for you.
- Scratches and Dents or Returns – When visiting the appliance store or showroom, always keep in mind scratch and dent merchandise. You’ll be able to get a hefty discount on appliances that have even the slightest, insignificant little dent. Ask the salesperson to see if they have any scratch and dent merchandise available. Similarly, the same goes for appliances that were purchased and then returned for reasons other than defects.
- Outlet Malls – Outlet malls are awesome. You can buy name brands for pennies on the dollar. Just as you would visit an outlet store for affordable fashion options, check out TVs, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washer and dryers. However, be careful when purchasing appliances at unreasonably low prices – you may not realize that the product was a complete commercial flop and is the reason the company is trying to get rid of it. Depending on the specific situation, sometimes it’s better to buy one appliance that lasts 10 years than to buy two replacements that each last 5 years. Keep in mind your time and effort when figuring in costs as well.
- Pawn Shops – Not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of buying appliances, but believe it or not, some pawnshops do sell large appliances such as refrigerators, stoves/ovens and dishwashers. It doesn’t mean pawnshops should be your first choice, because it certainly is a risk when it comes to the quality and most pawn shops don’t have return policies. If you do know of a reputable pawnshop and find an appliance in good shape, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to buy it until you can get around to purchasing a new one.
As with everything in life, it pays off to plan ahead before purchasing any product. With the number of options available, there should be no reason for you to ever pay full price. Always remember to maintain your appliances properly.
Note: Many major appliance stores such as Sears offer protection plans, which usually pay for themselves after the first visit. For example, if you request a serviceman to come out, Sears charges $125-150, plus all the necessary labor, but for $189.99, you can purchase a 3 year protection plan for your refrigerator, which includes yearly cleaning and maintenance, repairs and labor. For appliances that will undergo heavy use, this may be a smart investment.