When is the cheapest time of year to bag a bargain?
By Vicky Shaw
Would you consider buying a barbecue in chilly October, or, with spring on the way, a fireplace in February? While these may seem strange times to be making such purchases, buying out-of-season – when retailers are looking to clear stock – can potentially save shoppers a fortune.
However, if you’re keen to bag the best bargain, retailers’ constant sales promotions may also make it difficult to work out exactly when is the right time to swoop in and make a purchase.
To give an indication, price comparison website PriceRunner.com analysed thousands of products, looking at how prices have gone up and down in the recent past, and have compiled an ‘essential 12 month buyer’s guide’.
Christine Gouldthorp, consumer expert at PriceRunner, says: “My golden rule to get a product at its lowest price is to always compare prices before buying.
“Summer products tend to be less expensive off-season, so if you need a new lawnmower you can generally find the best deal in autumn, when retailers are trying to get rid of stock and older models, or very early in the spring before they start re-stocking shelves. Being a savvy shopper could save you hundreds of pounds a year, or even more.”
To help pinpoint the best moments to bag a bargain, here’s what PriceRunner found…
Fireplaces: Buyers could potentially shave around 15% off the price of a fireplace, compared with if they bought at more expensive times of year.
Garden power tools: Prices will often be lower as some retailers yet to re-stock their supplies and raise prices.
Cookers: PriceRunner found many cookers are cheaper earlier in the year, with potential savings of around 14% compared with more expensive times.
Hot tubs: It pays to buy before temperatures start sizzling, with half (50%) of hot tubs analysed found to be at their cheapest in April. Hot tub buyers may be able to save around 18% on price compared with the costliest times of year.
Maybe nothing! Out of the 19,000 different products analysed by PriceRunner, none had the highest amount of cheap prices in May. But unexpected bargains can pop up at any time of year, so keep an eye out and shop around.
TVs and routers: PriceRunner found some home tech such as TVs and routers can be best to buy mid-year, ahead of the summer sales and Black Friday, with the lowest prices often achieved in June.
Big savings can be found on white goods and other household items, including dishwashers, lawn mowers, freezers and fridge freezers, tumble dryers and vacuum cleaners.
Garden power tools are a snip at this time of year, as summer sales come to an end. And with temperatures still hot but autumn also on the horizon, fans also tend to be cheaper.
Carpets, rugs – and Christmas trees!
If you’re already thinking about Christmas in September, good for you. As the evenings get darker and people spend more time indoors, buyers may also find it’s a good time to buy home cinema systems.
Barbecues: Some summer items such as barbecues can be bought at their very cheapest in October compared to many other months, as retailers clear out older models from the past year to make room for new ones next spring.
Sofas and desks, web cams, outdoor furniture, steam irons, toasters, kettles, coffee makers and washing machines.
November is a particularly good month to make savings on web cameras, PriceRunner found, with typical savings of 28% on prices compared with the most expensive times of year.
November also means Black Friday is on its way, so if you’re planning to buy, check prices and shop around before the big day to make sure you’re really getting a bargain.
Patio heaters and parasols, beds and mattresses, curtains, microwaves and speakers.
Patio heaters could net buyers the biggest savings in this month, the analysis suggests, with as much as 23% knocked off the price compared with when they’re at their most expensive.
Computer monitors, printers, lamps and bathroom scales.
Bathroom scales weigh in as a big bargain this month, with potential savings of up to 26% compared with the most expensive times of year, PriceRunner found.
The website suggests it’s also be a good time to invest in home tech, with the prices of items which haven’t been snapped up in the Black Friday and Boxing Day sales falling even lower.