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The best time to buy appliances (and the worst time to buy)

Appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers are relatively large purchases. Sure, you can probably buy a basic refrigerator with a top-mounted freezer for around $500 to $1,000, and you can buy a basic dishwasher for a few hundred bucks. But if you want better quality, more features, or smart home connectivity, the bill can quickly add up.

Because the bill for new appliances can easily get up into the thousands, a lot of people research and plan before making a major purchase like a refrigerator or washing machine. They might even research for months to find the best option (which option: Top-load or front-load washing machines?) at the best price. According to data published on Statista, quality and value for the money are the two most important aspects consumers consider before making appliance purchases.

The best way to get the most bang for your buck is to buy your appliances at the right time. This purchase timing guide uncovers the times when you can get deals on appliances, and times when you should avoid buying appliances if you’re looking for savings.

Best times to buy appliances

Holidays and holiday weekends

Most people know they can get deals on just about anything on shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But you can save some cash on other holidays throughout the year as well. Appliance manufacturers and retailers often offer sales on the three-day-weekend holidays and others such as:

  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Fourth of July
  • New Year’s

If you buy during a holiday sale, you can spend as little as half of what you’d pay if you bought at regular prices. On Presidents Day, merchants like Best Buy, Lowe’s, and Sears offered between 30% and 50% off refrigerators, microwaves, and washers and dryers. On Black Friday, Home Depot advertised up to 40% off of appliances with special buys, plus instant savings of up to $500 when you buy two or more select appliances. Some retailers offer additional incentives too. For instance, Best Buy had a special offer where you could get a free $200 gift card when you purchased two or more select Samsung appliances.

Right before the release of a new model

Just like with many other electronics, the price of a new model is at its highest when the manufacturer first releases a new product. You can get a heck of a better bargain if you wait a while and make your purchase after the price has a chance to go down. Think about someone who purchased a PlayStation 4 immediately after it released. They probably paid much more for their PS4 than someone who just purchased their console last week.

PlayStation 4 Pro review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

When the newer version of an appliance model is about to be released (often in the fall), retailers also may need to make room for the new inventory, and they’re more likely to have deals on the previous models and even on floor models.

At the end of the month

Some retailers and appliances salespeople have monthly quotas. If the store wants you to buy an appliance more than you need to buy an appliance, this puts you in a good position. You have the upper hand.

If you’re shopping at a locally owned retailer, you can even straight up ask for a discount. The worst they can say is “no.” If you get a “no,” you can always buy it anyway or go to another retailer.

Certain months

September, October, November, and December are the months when appliance makers release new models or when holiday shopping deals tend to start rolling in. This means that stores are often more willing to give deals on previous models.

Refrigerators are a bit different, though. Makers of that kitchen appliance tend to release new models in the spring, so that’s typically a good time to buy a fridge. May is also Maytag month when retailers offer rebates and savings on Maytag appliances.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Back-to-school sales

Back-to-school may seem like a weird time to think about buying appliances, except for one important factor: All the kids leaving for college and moving into their own dorms and apartments. Those students need new microwaves, mini-fridges, space heaters, and lots of other various appliances — and manufacturers know it. That’s why a certain number of back-to-school sales will include affordable appliances, especially smaller versions. That makes it a great time to look for deals, especially if you also need a space-saving version.

Buying in the off-season

There’s a whole class of seasonal appliances that people are only really interested in during certain times of the year. One example is a barbecue grill, which people mostly use in spring and summer. People tend to think about room heaters in the winter, not during high-temperature summer months. Likewise, people want new AC units in summer, not in the middle of winter.

This creates an inverse effect where the best time to buy season appliances is often in the opposite season. That means — in addition to the advice we gave above — you should look for heaters in the summer, AC units in the winter, and so on. This a good rule for all kinds of HVAC and fuel-related appliances.

Buying open-box or floor models

A final note about buying in the store: There’s one more thing that you can do to find the best deals, and that’s ask about any damage discount. For many larger appliances, small scratches, dents, and dings won’t affect performance at all and may not even be visible when the appliance is installed. But these small spots of damage tend to yield 10% to 20% discounts that you can use to save even more money. While you’re taking a look, make sure you ask about any damage discounts for the specific kinds of products you’re looking at.

The best time to buy appliances online

Five best gift cards
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While online shopping has its perks, like allowing you to search pricing at multiple stores in a matter of minutes, the downside is you can’t actually see the appliance in person. An appliance is a big purchase, so you want to ensure you’ve done your homework and you know exactly which brand and model you want beforehand to get the most benefit from buying online.

If you do choose to purchase your appliance online, the best time of day to buy is 3 p.m., and the best day to purchase is on Thursday, CEO Doug Berg reported to House Logic. Retailers are more likely to reduce prices at those times.

It’s also wise to use online shopping events and deals such as Cyber Week and Amazon Prime Day. There are a few websites such as Rakuten and Swagbucks that will even offer customers cash back or gift cards.

Worst times to buy appliances

Image used with permission by copyright holder

It can be tempting to want to buy the newest and most magnificent models when you’re ready to update your kitchen, but purchasing an appliance immediately following its market première is never the best thing to do. Consumer reports on a year of pricing data for about 1,500 cooktop ranges showed that rates for new models were at their most expensive during the first half of the year and declined at a steady pace throughout each holiday after the Fourth of July. Dishwasher prices operate similarly, as their rates peak at the beginning of the year and wane as Black Friday’s approaches. If you’re in the market for a brand-new stove or dishwasher, we believe you should wait it out until fall before you go all-in on your favorite. 

It can also be challenging not to buy a new appliance when you feel so desperate, and you simply can’t afford it. It might sound weird, but you’ll most likely get a lower price if you purchase a new appliance before it’s required. If you keep waiting until your refrigerator or dishwasher kicks the bucket to replace it, chances are, you won’t be able to afford to hold out for a sale. As a result, you’ll probably find yourself making a careless, inadequately researched investment.

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