In our day-to-day lives, we rely on a wide range of home appliances. As you arrive at home after a long, hard day at work, you probably quickly switch on the oven or microwave to make some food, while you could soon notice carpets that need vacuuming or clothes waiting to be washed.
Therefore, it’s obviously frustrating if an appliance stops working just when you most need it. Unfortunately, however, it’s an all-too-plausible occurrence – as, in many instances, we prefer to wait until our appliances conk out before we replace them.
This strategy is ill-advised, however, as it puts you in a desperate position that leaves little time for researching the options or sniffing out a bargain. It can prove a much better idea for you to start planning your purchases ahead of when you need them – but when should you finally seal a deal?
What are the warning signs that your appliances are failing?
It might be tempting to keep holding off replacing appliances out of a determination to wring as much use as possible out of your existing ones. However, for reasons on which we have already elaborated, this would be risky. Instead, carefully monitor your devices for signs that they are dying.
The exact signs for which you should watch out will depend on the type of appliance. For example, you would have reason to worry if a vacuum leaves a mess even while you are cleaning. Similarly, a leaking washer is a cause for concern, as would be a microwave that emits sparks or smoke.
As these problems become increasingly evident, start planning a visit to an online or bricks-and-mortar retail store. However, for what time ought you to schedule that trip?
Schedule a shopping sojourn for a weekday or the end of the month
It’s not a good idea to set aside a weekend for your retail excursion, however obvious an idea it might initially seem. In fact, that’s the crux of the problem – it’s too obvious. Many other people will have the same idea, leaving you to contend with uncomfortably bustling crowds.
With so many people to tend to, the sales people could have little time to address your own needs. For this reason, choose a weekday instead. Yes, this might necessitate you booking time off work or waiting until the evening, but you could be rewarded with more opportunity to haggle on prices.
You could have especially strong leverage for negotiation if the month is drawing to a close. After all, that’s when salespeople could be especially eager to meet monthly quotas and so give way on price.
Watch out for holiday weekend sales
Is a holiday weekend fast coming up? The answer could be a reassuring yes, as there are certainly many of them throughout the year – think Columbus Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day and Labour Day, to name just a few. Retailers often hold special sales over holiday weekends.
Even minor holidays could ease your efforts to unearth a few cut-price gems. However, don’t be too quick to assume that, just because a particular item is on sale, it must have the best price available. Before handing over any money, do some comparison shopping, which is especially easy online.
For most major appliances, wait until late in the year
As a general rule, wait until the second half of the year before you launch yourself into a spending spree on major appliances. This is advisable because that’s when manufacturers tend to take the veils off their new models and so usher in discounts to remaining stock of the year-old models.
With stores eager to clear their inventory to free up some shelf space for the new models set to arrive in the winter, you can help to make the job easier for them and snaffle a juicy bargain (or two… or three… you get the gist) to boot.
Nonetheless, in narrowing down the exact time for placing a purchase, carefully consider what you will actually be buying. August looks like the ideal month for adding an air conditioner to your shopping list. Meanwhile, contrary to the overall rule, you should save a refrigerator buy for May if you want to capitalize on clearance sales.
Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide ideal opportunities
If you can keep eking life out of your spluttering appliance until late November, do so. That’s because this time of the month brings a double-whammy of discount days. They start on 23 November with Black Friday, when physical stores dramatically slash their prices far and wide.
Online stores follow suit the following Monday, 26 November – giving this date the name of Cyber Monday. If you have often balked at the upfront expense of home appliances, these special days offer plenty of exciting deals on appliances, enabling you to dodge much of the potentially prohibitive cost – but act quickly before your particular products of choice fly off the shelves.