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When is the best time to buy appliances?

Learn when stores offer the best deals for these home essentials

Last Updated 6/1/18
by Zack Reeves ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Store with appliances for sale

Introduction

If you’ve ever bought a coat in the summer, you’ve experienced the benefits of seasonal sales. Like clothes, appliances have seasonal trends that dictate their prices.

If you’re looking for a good deal while you’re shopping for these expensive items (and who isn’t?), you’ll want to pay attention to these seasonal trends. A good sale can knock hundreds of dollars off the list price of large appliances.

And while you can’t always wait for a sale when your appliance dies, recognizing the signs that your appliances will need to be replaced soon can help you buy during sales and save you money.

Food in a fridge

Refrigerators

When your fridge starts to fail, you run the risk of mold, milk spoilage and freezer overdrive. This essential piece of equipment keeps your kitchen going, and finding a new one can put a major dent in your pocket. Plan ahead for this purchase; don’t let necessity force you into a pricey purchase.

How to know when it’s dying:

  • It’s warmer than usual

  • Your food spoils quickly

  • The fridge gathers condensation on the inside surfaces

  • The freezer is running too cold and freezing food

  • The fridge is over 15 years old

When to buy it: May. The month of showers also brings new refrigerator models to appliance stores. In order to make room for these new models, stores will discount their year-old fridges.

Quick tip: Two things to know before you go to the store: which side your fridge’s door swings on and how large the unit is. Use your measuring tape to get the exact measurements: depth, height and width. Check out our refrigerators guide for more ideas.

Pan sitting on a stove top

Ovens, ranges and stoves

Wherever there’s baking, frying, sauteing or boiling, you’ll find an oven or a stove. These powerful appliances are built to distribute large amounts of high heat, and this puts them at huge risk for failure when that heat gets out of hand. If you have to replace a stove or oven out of pocket, you’ll want to keep an eye out for good deals.

How to know when they're dying:

  • Items do not cook or bake in the amount of time they should

  • Electric stove shows error codes on the display screen

  • Gas stove fails to ignite the burners

  • Glass on the oven door is cracked

  • The range is over 15 years old

When to buy it: January. At the beginning of the year, stores offload their old models of large appliances to make room for new products.

Quick tip: Consider whether a gas or electric range would be best for your needs. Switching heat sources might be a good way to save money on your utility bill. Check out our ranges, ovens and stoves guide for more ideas.

Coffee brewing in cups

Small kitchen appliances

When your microwave, blender, toaster oven, coffee maker or juicer starts to break down, your kitchen loses a small, but essential, piece of functioning power. If you do your research and make these purchases at the right time, you could save 20 to 30 percent off the listed price.

How to know when they're dying:

  • Microwave: The unit emits sparks, smoke or unusual noise, doesn’t cook food properly

  • Blender: The blade doesn’t turn or turns slowly, the engine whines or smokes when turned on

  • Toaster oven: The unit doesn’t heat up, emits smoke or makes an unusual noise

  • Coffee maker: The unit only makes steam, doesn’t heat water before it drips

  • Juicer: The unit doesn’t turn on, the unit turns on but doesn’t produce juice

When to buy it: November and December. Stores discount their small appliances during the holiday season to sell product off in large numbers before new models arrive.

Quick tip: Don’t just consider your budget when you make these purchases. Do research on the appliances you need to see which appliances fit your kitchens in terms of size, power, convenience and fashion. Check out our appliances guide for more ideas.

Washers lined up in a row for sale

Washers and dryers

Few mishaps slow down a busy household quite like a busted laundry machine. If you’re not able to budget “run to the laundromat every hour” into your day planner, you’ll want to invest in a quality machine at the right time.

How to know when they're dying:

  • Washers leak or rattle excessively

  • Washers don’t fill up with water

  • Dryers fail to heat up enough to dry clothes

  • Dryer gets excessively hot

  • Units are more than 10 years old

When to buy it: September and October. This is when stores discount their older washers and dryers to make room for new models.

Quick tip: Find Energy Star labeled appliances to keep utility costs down, and consider purchasing high-capacity units to consolidate your laundry cycles. Check out our washers and dryers guide for more ideas.

Woman vacuuming barefoot

Vacuums

Vacuum cleaners are a huge help when they’re working well, but they’re a nightmare when they’re not. You probably don’t want to sweep your carpet with a broom for the rest of your life, so find the right time to buy, and weigh your options carefully.

How to know when it's dying:

  • The vacuum won’t switch on

  • The engine overheats and shuts itself off

  • Mess is left behind while cleaning

  • The vacuum emits a harsh smell after replacing filters

  • The vacuum is over 20 years old

When to buy it: March and April. The concept of “spring cleaning” brings many consumers to appliance stores, and these stores lower prices on vacuums anywhere from 20 to 40 percent to move more product.

Quick tip: Be sure to try the vacuum out in the store, using it as you would in your own home. Check the weight to make sure you can comfortably lift the unit. Check out our vacuums guide for more ideas.

Brats grilling on a grill

Seasonal appliances

Appliances that are used during certain times of the year have long off-seasons. If you catch a store while the demand for a certain appliances is low, you can usually find savings of more than $100 on high-priced items.

How to know when they’re dying:

  • Air conditioners: The unit can’t keep your home cool or is over 10 years old

  • Space heaters: The unit is overheating or not heating up, emits smoke

  • Gas grills: Heat or flames are uneven, ignitor button fails to create heat

When to buy it:

  • Air conditioners and heaters: Spring or fall. When houses in your area aren’t using either their air conditioner or their heater, HVAC companies don’t have as much business as usual. Look for units during this time to find a good deal.

  • Gas grills: September or October. Stores will slowly lower their prices on grills as the summer comes to a close.

Quick tips: Make sure these items have a long-lasting warranty when you purchase them. Check out our grills guide and our air conditioners guide for more ideas.

Couple looking at washer for sale

More quick tips

Negotiate

Don’t be afraid to try to knock the price down a few notches. Price points on large appliances are, like the prices of cars and houses, subject to change. Bring in competitor’s ads and ask if they can match the price.

Shop during the week

Show up during the week instead of a weekend, when businesses are packed. On a weekday, you’re more likely to get good service, which can put you in a better position to do some price negotiating.

Shop at the end of the month

Often the employees of these stores work on commission. The end of the month is a good time to hunt down deals, as employees are trying to fill sales quotas.

Shop around holidays

Most large stores hold sales during major holiday weekends like President’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. Do your research and, if you can handle the crowds, you’ll find great prices around these times.

Clean white kitchen

Conclusion

Your house is too important to make split-second purchasing decisions on these necessary items. Thinking ahead and knowing the best time to make these purchases can secure your home’s future, as well as your finances, for years to come.

Did you find this article helpful? |
Looking for new appliances?
by Zack Reeves ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As part of the Consumer Affairs Research Team, Zack Reeves creates content that helps consumers make important decisions. He parses through fine details to present buyers with all the information they need to improve their lives.

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