Thursday, November 20, 2008

To find the best deal, it's all about timing

You've wanted to buy that that to-die-for Michael Kors peacoat since you spotted it mid-summer (haven't we all, honey?), but it's already getting cooler and, well, coats are flying off racks faster than you can say "Minus 10 degrees with wind chill." If you had planned ahead, you'd be strutting around right now in your new warm and toasty Michael Kors coat, coffee cup and cute bag in hand. Unfortunately, due to lack of a good sales price and everyone wanting the same popular coat, the only thing that fits in your budget is a bad Rampage knockoff from Burlington Coat Factory. (And you have yet to ever fully feel warm in the godforsaken unlined thing.)

From now on plan ahead when you'll buy the bigger purchases in your life to maximize the savings you garner with each item. Time, it seems, really is of the essence!:

What: Airline tickets

When to buy: 1 a.m. on Wednesday
Why: This is the best time to find a deal because airlines reset their fares every Wednesday just after midnight, says Women's Health magazine. I wrote a whole blog post in July on how to snag cheap airfare, if you're curious.

What: New suit
When to buy: January or July
Why: The spring collection hits stores in January, so find a deal on fall suits; they'll be marked down as much as 30%. It's the reverse in July.

What: Gym membership
When to buy: July and August
Why: New memberships plummet midsummer, so you might find a deal because gyms are in a negotiating mood.

What: Car
When to buy: November and December
Why: Don't, as many experts say, buy the previous year's model in late summer when the new models hit. There's a year of depreciation on them already. Instead, buy next year's model late in the year, when dealers are antsy.

What: Caribbean vacation
When to buy: March and April
Why: There will still be plenty of chilly weather at home to escape in early spring, and you'll save 25% or more by avoiding the peak season of December to February, says Orbitz travel expert Kendra Thornton.

What: House
When to buy: October to December
Why: Real estate varies from place to place. But in general, supply exceeds demand in the fall, after the school year begins. [Women's Health Magazine]

Do you have any good, not-so-obvious tips on when to buy certain things?


Anonymous said...

Good information. I'll keep it in mind! Thanks :)

Budget Mama said...

Great tips! I deifnitely will remember the airline ticket one.

Anonymous said...

I would say you have more leverage in June/July. But there are more deals around in January. Just like you start to see more and more ads for Nicorette, etc. They know people are still devoted to their New Year's resolutions and want to get them into a contract asap.

I usually shop the end of the season sales and then just wear the items the next year. But I'm also warmer blooded than most, so I can wear short sleeves more comfortably in the fall/winter.

I would be willing to bet that the best time to buy any high-priced items (esp electronics or cars) will be Jan 2009. Everyone is always hurting after the holiday season. (And I just wrote a whole piece about how people are still going to overspend, no matter what the polls say.) So that means less spending, plus we'll be hitting a particular low-note in the economy by then. So salesmen will be desperate to make deals.

Granted, that means you have to find a store where they can toy with prices.

It will probably be great for places like cell phone stores. Expensive electronics, but I got the distinct impression recently from an AT&T rep that he had some latitude for negotiating.

Anonymous said...

I caught this on a morning news show last year, and it stuck with me because it made sense:

Best time to buy a TV: February. Prices hit their lows AFTER THE SUPERBOWL.

silverdot said...

Great tips! Thanks. I find great buys on cashmere sweaters in March, April. They are usually on clearance at that time. Funnily enough, I'm usually able to find what I want in my size.

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Julie said...

I love this post, Brunette! Thanks! I didn't know that about the airline fares either. I appreciate it.

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