Sales used to be relatively predictable. A popular 1975 book could say with assurance that luggage went on sale in March and the best month to buy a baby carriage was January or August. But these days, with stores pumping out weekly sales circulars and manufacturers introducing new models as fast as they can get them off the assembly line and onto a containership, all bets would seem to be off.
Or are they? We found that it’s still possible to use the calendar to save money on major purchases. Our researchers combed industry surveys and publications, and consulted our in-house experts to compile the calendar. Consider it a general guide, and keep your eye on those sales circulars anyway because there will always be exceptions. Bear in mind, too, that the best time to save money isn’t always the best for selection. In some cases, your bargain might be a discontinued model without all the latest features.
Some other tips that don’t fit neatly into the calendar:
Airline tickets tend to be least expensive to buy on Tuesday afternoon through Thursday. Worst days to fare shop are Saturday and Sunday.
CDs and DVDs generally come out on Tuesdays and might be on sale for the first one to three weeks.
Jewelry sales are common, except around Valentine’s Day and the December holidays. So plan to buy early or hope that your beloved will settle for an IOU.
Bedding, CDs and DVDs, computers, cookware, houses and condos, linens, swimwear, toys, treadmills and ellipticals, TVs, winter clothing.
Humidifiers, indoor furniture, treadmills and ellipticals, houses and condos.
Digital cameras, humidifiers, small consumer electronics (MP3 players, DVD and Blu-ray players, etc.), TVs, winter coats, winter sports gear.
Computers, digital cameras, lawn mowers, spring clothing
Athletic apparel and shoes, camping and outdoor gear, cordless phones, lawn mowers, small consumer electronics.
Camcorders, computers, indoor furniture, small consumer electronics, summer sports gear, swimwear.
Camcorders, indoor furniture, outdoor furniture, swimwear.
Air conditioners, backpacks, dehumidifiers, lawn mowers, outdoor furniture, snow throwers.
Bikes, digital cameras, gas grills, lawn mowers, shrubs, trees and perennials, small consumer electronics, snow throwers.
Bikes, computers, digital cameras, gas grills, lawn mowers, winter coats
Baby products, bikes, camcorders, gas grills, GPS navigators, toys, TVs.
Bikes, gas grills, GPS navigators, home appliances (large and small), small consumer electronics, toys, TVs.