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Best Time to Buy Expensive Items
When it comes to major items such as jewelry or travel, the best bargains are available at specific times of the year. According to Kiplinger.com, here are the best times to shop for these 15 big-ticket items:
Plane tickets. The absolute best time to get a deal on airline tickets is 47 days before your scheduled departure, although prices are lower anywhere from 114 days to 27 days before you fly. If you book before that, your ticket can cost you an average of up to $50 more. And if you wait too long, you pay more too: an average of $111 within 14 days and $174 within seven days.
High-quality bicycles. In January and February, many bike shops cut prices 30 percent to 50 percent on the prior year’s models to make room for the new models that will be coming in the spring.
Cars. As with bikes, you can get the best bargains – including price, incentives, etc. -- when dealers are clearing out their inventory for new models in the early fall. If you don’t want to wait that long, try toward the end of the month, when dealerships are trying to make sales quotas and may be more willing to deal.
Computers. Computers come down in price 30 percent to 40 percent at the end of the Japanese manufacturing cycle in late March and early April. Many retailers also discount computers substantially during back-to-school sales and around the holidays.
Cruises. The best prices on cruise packages are available at least nine to 12 months before you sail. If you delay, you could end up paying 40 percent more.
Furniture. Retailers put their existing stock on sale in January and July, ahead of the new stock. January sales – which often last into February to take advantage of Presidents’ Day – can offer especially deep discounts.
Grills. Grills usually go on sale after Labor Day, which marks the end of the summer grilling season.
Appliances. New appliances come out in the fall, so stores often try to clear inventory in September and October. Many appliance retailers also offer sales during major three-day weekends, when buyers have a little more time to shop around.
Jewelry. Jewelers tempt consumers to spend their tax refunds with discounts of up to 25 percent in May; just avoid the days leading up to Mother’s Day. You also can get some deals in July and August, which are traditionally slow times in the jewelry business.
Lawnmowers. Retailers often kick off the mowing season with discounts of up to 30 percent in April. The best bargains usually come after Labor Day, although there might be a limited selection. You also can find some sales around Father’s Day.
Mattresses. Memorial Day weekend is mattress sale time, with discounts of 50 percent to 80 percent. Prices also often are cut on Presidents’ Day weekend.
Patio furniture. Retailers start marking down patio furniture after Labor Day. However, if you are willing to settle for a reduced selection, you can save up to 85 percent if you wait until October or November.
Refrigerators. May is the best time to buy a refrigerator. And, since the fridge usually is the most expensive appliance in your kitchen, you might be able to negotiate reductions on your stove and dishwasher as well.
Televisions. Thanksgiving week – including Black Friday – is the best time to get a good price on an HD TV; discounts can be as high as 50 percent. For high-end big-screen TVs, look for sales that coincide with the Super Bowl.
Wedding gowns. Many engagements happen over the holidays, and that sends a multitude of brides into the stores right after Christmas. Knowing this, stores try to clear out old inventory in early December.