The best time to buy anything
Best time: July and August
If you're shopping for a low price on a computer, buying slightly
older technology can save you some money. Following the release
schedule of chip makers AMD and Intel will offer some clues as to
when computer manufacturers will offer updates and redesigns, says
Chip manufacturers turn out upgrades quickly, about
every three months, with major computer manufacturers following
suit. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb to follow is to buy in the
middle of the summer to take advantage of the back-to-school sales
or the winter holiday markdowns.
Best time: April to May; October to November
"There are two big seasons for cookware and cookware promotions,"
says Hugh Rushing, executive vice president of the Cookware Manufacturers
Association. "One is in the spring, in April and May, coinciding
with the graduation and wedding season. The other is in October
and November with promotions in regard to the holidays."
Best time: January and July
New furniture hits the showrooms after the holidays, in February,
and again in August. Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of public
relations and marketing for American Home Furnishings Alliance,
says there are two times of the year for guaranteed low prices.
"After the holidays in January, stores have clearance sales
to make room for new inventory coming in February," she says.
"And in July, the same thing happens with fall inventory. For
instance, it may be the same wooden frame for sofas with different
upholstery in new colors for fall."
Best time: Winter
Ritchey says when it comes to gas barbecue grills, timing for the
best deal is the same as shopping for air-conditioners. "Most
people buy in May, June and July for backyard barbecues. But wait
until winter comes to buy, when demand is low."
Best time: Avoid the holidays, Valentine's Day and Mother's
For jewelry, it's more a matter of when not to buy if you're focused
on getting the best deal possible. "You're going to pay closer
to full price around the holidays because most jewelers generate
one-third of their annual revenues and almost 100 percent of their
annual profits in those two months," says Ken Gassman, founder
and president of the Jewelry Industry Research Institute. "You're
going to get great value the other eight months of the year."
In general, avoid the fourth quarter, that's when most of jeweler's
yearly profits are made.
Best time: January
The white sale was a marketing strategy originally devised by John
Wanamaker in 1878 and it was so successful that retailers still
follow his lead today. "January is kind of an industry standard,"
says Deb Dyer, marketing director for Cuddledown. "That is
the time of the year when you are going to see a lot of white sales
by everyone -- retailers, catalogers, everything. Linens do come
out seasonally, so you'll see new colors in stores for spring and
summer and then fall and winter." Just as with clothing, bargains
can be found on the previous season's styles.