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When is the Best Time to Buy Appliances?

TL;DR

Use the table of contents to skip to our tips and recommendations!

Introduction

Next to the price of the house itself, buying appliances is generally one of the biggest expenses you’ll encounter as a homeowner. If you’ve just moved into a new home and need to update all of the appliances, then you can expect to pay approximately $320 to $10,600 per piece. That means a brand new refrigerator, range, and dishwasher could cost you as much as $20,000!

HomeAdvisor Appliance Prices
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Cost of Appliances per HomeAdvisor

Even if you’ve been living in your house for several years, it’s inevitable that at some point one of your appliances is going to break down and either need to be repaired or replaced altogether. Unfortunately with labor rates at $175 on average and the cost of replacement parts through the roof, most consumers are finding they’d be better off just buying brand new. 

So with homeowners expecting to replace their appliances roughly every 15 years and spending thousands of dollars in the process, what can you do to get the best quality products at the cheapest prices possible?

In this post, we’ll explore several times of the year where you’ll score the best deals and some strategies for how you can make your dollars stretch even further.

SMART MONEY HOME tip

Tip: Your seven main appliances are going to cost you $4,180 on the absolute low end and around $35,000 on the high end. If we assume the BEST CASE scenario of $4,180 with an average of 15 year life span, the annual depreciation of your appliances totals $279. This combined with your annual HVAC depreciation of $333 to $1,000, means that at a MINIMUM, your annual systems depreciation expense is $612/yr. Given that a home warranty program will repair and replace all of these systems for under $600/yr, you at a minimum should get a few quotes for a home warranty to protect yourself.

The Best Times of the Year to Buy Appliances

Whether you’re looking to get the latest gourmet coffee maker or an entirely brand new set of matching appliances, certain times of the year are definitely going to be cheaper than others. Here are those times when you’ll want to wait for strategically and when you’re most likely to score the best deals.

Black Friday

If there’s one day of the year you can expect something to be on sale, it’s going to be Black Friday. For over half of a century now, the day after Thanksgiving has become a holiday sensation all of its own where consumers unofficially kick-off their holiday shopping.

As you might guess, appliances are no exception. Black Friday stands to be one of the best times you can go shopping for all major brands. In fact, Consumer Reports has said that you can find most major products discounted by as much as 40 percent. For instance, a new washer and dryer set with a sticker price tag of $2,500 would mean you’d end up saving as much as $1,000.

Thanks to Black Friday enthusiasts, you can usually find all the major sales online almost one month ahead of the actual date. Use this time to shop around and see who will have the best deals.

Cyber Monday

As online shopping has become more popular, so has the Monday following Thanksgiving which has come to be known as Cyber Monday. Though most experts agree Black Friday is a better day for buying bigger ticket items, don’t rule out Cyber Monday just yet.

As more retailers are starting to expand their product catalog online, you can expect to find lots of special sales and even clearance items that you would probably not see in the physical store. You’re also even likely to take advantage of offers for free shipping, installation, haul-away, and extended warranties.

Other Holiday Weekends

Most stores know that it’s good business to throw a sale anytime there’s a holiday weekend. This makes sense because a lot of people will either have the day off of work or are already planning a long weekend, and so they’re more likely to be shopping.

Stores that sell appliances are no different. It’s a safe bet that you’ll find markdowns around the weekends of:

  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Columbus Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day

If you can help it at all, wait until one of these holiday weekends to make your next purchase.

The Best Times of the Year to Buy Specific Appliances

If you’re looking to purchase specific appliances, then in addition to the sales mentioned above, you might also have the best luck during these times of the year.

Refrigerator 

The best time to buy a new refrigerator is late April, May, and early June. Because it’s typical for older style refrigerators and freezers to fail in the heat, manufacturers start positioning their latest models just in time for the start of the summer months.

Range (Stove and Oven)

The best time to buy a new range is September or October. This is because new models will be hitting the sales floor just before winter, and so the stores will discount last year’s models hoping to open up more floor space. 

Generally, it takes about 3 months for the last of these clearance models to be sold. Therefore, if you’re looking for a deep discount, you might also try January.

Dishwasher

Although there doesn’t seem to be a specific month that’s better than others for buying a dishwasher, experts have noted that they were at their highest prices towards the beginning of the year and then declined up until Black Friday. That means waiting until after the summer to make your purchase will give you the best odds of a markdown.

Washer and Dryer

According to radio personality Clark Howard, the best time of the year to buy a new washer or dryer is toward the end of the year beginning in September. Similar to ranges, this is because new models will be released by the manufacturer in the winter and they’d like to start making space for them in the showroom starting in the fall.

Small Appliances

If you’re in the market for a small appliance like a new microwave, coffee maker, or toaster, then try January. The manufacturers of these items will release their new products at the start of the year, so that’s when you can start finding markdowns on the previous models.

HVAC: Furnace / Air Conditioner

Because they are downstairs and outside, a lot of people forget about the furnace and air conditioner unit. But if one of your units needs to be replaced, then it will pay just the same to be strategic about when you buy it. 

The best time to shop around is in the spring and fall. These are the seasons that are in between when consumers are most likely to need these appliances (summer and winter). Therefore, to keep the work steady, contractors will often give discounts of 5 to 15 percent if you make your purchase during one of these times.

For other ways to save on your HVAC see our article on how to buy and maintain your HVAC.

Best time of year to buy appliances, refrigerator, range, stove, oven, dishwasher, washer, dryer, microwave, hvac
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Best Ways to Save Money on Appliances

By now, you get the fact that some months are better than others to buy new appliances. So what happens when your washing machine breaks unexpectedly? What do you do when you find your dream home where the only downside is that it needs a new set of kitchen appliances and you can’t wait until Black Friday?

The good news is that timing isn’t the weapon in your arsenal. There are lots of other strategies you can use to buy appliances at a discount. Here are a few you should try.

Listen to Your Appliances

Usually long before your appliances need replacing, there are signs. Maybe the refrigerator isn’t getting as cold as it used to be or the dryer is making a funny squeak sound when it’s running.

When these things happen, don’t ignore them. Just like when your body will send you signals when it doesn’t feel good, your appliances are trying to tell you something is wrong and needs attention. If that happens, get on top of it as soon as possible. 

You can call a professional or even watch videos on YouTube to try to troubleshoot the issue (I’ve always been surprised how many problems I fix myself by doing this first). Either way, it’s worth a shot before a little problem turns into a much larger one.

Get to Know Your Appliances

The absolute worst time to start shopping for an appliance is when you have no other choice because your old one just broke. Unfortunately when this happens, it’s nearly impossible not to make a good decision because you’ll be acting out of haste and emotion rather than sound logic.

To get ahead of this situation, you should get to know your appliances as far in advance as possible (or at a minimum at the first sign of trouble). This would be doing simple things like noting:

  • What is the make / model?
  • What is its capacity?
  • Do they still sell that model? If so, how much is it? 
  • If not, what’s the next most comparable model, and how much does it cost?

By knowing these kinds of facts upfront, you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions about if you should pay for repairs or just buy a whole new unit altogether. 

Comparison Shop Online 

Even if you believe you’ve found a good deal on an appliance at a brick and mortar store, take a few minutes to go online before you make your purchase. Search for the specific make and model you’re interested in and see if other stores are selling it for less. You never know when you might find another retailer who’s got it listed for $100 less thanks to some sale that exists only online.

Even if you’d still rather go with your preferred retailer, you can use this information to your advantage. Most stores have a price match guarantee that they will honor as long as the appliance is exactly the same make and model. 

Even if they won’t price match, you could always use the sale with the other retailer to negotiate with the salesman and see if they would be willing to come down in price. Worst-case scenario, they say “no” and you’d just end up paying the price you had originally intended anyways. So it’s worth a shot!

Buy Your Discounts

If you’re thinking about buying your next appliance from one of the big-box stores, then it might be helpful to know that those stores will often send out coupons for 10 percent (or so) off major purchases. With a coupon like that, you could be looking at a savings $200 off of a $2,000 appliance you’ve been wanting.

Where are you going to find coupons like that? Believe it or not, eBay is full of people looking to unload coupons that they have no intention of using. While it might cost you a few bucks to get one, for the prospect of saving a few hundred dollars, it will be well worth it.

Shop on Weekdays 

If you can manage to make it to the appliance store on a weekday, then you might also be able to score a much better deal than you’d normally find.

Since most people shop on the weekends (because they work 9 to 5 during the week), this makes the brick and mortar stores crowded on Saturday and Sunday. If you’ve ever tried finding a salesperson when the store is like this, then good luck! You’re probably not going to ever get with one.

That’s why if you can stop by on a weekday, you’ll be more likely to get the attention of a salesperson. And since they’re inclined to make a sale, most of them will be glad to tell you which products are the best deal and if they’ve got any other hidden discounts available.

Scratch and Dent Discounts

If you don’t mind a little cosmetic damage, then ask the store if they have any scratch and dent models. Stores run into problems with products that are dinged or scuffed from delivery mishaps, returns from customers, or because they were floor models. As long as you don’t mind, the retailer will usually be willing to knock anywhere from 10 to 20 percent off the retail price just to move the product.

Shop Second-Hand 

No one ever said you have to buy brand new! Lots of people are getting rid of perfectly good working appliances every day. And as long as you don’t mind the fact that it’s used, then you could end up saving a boatload of money! Try sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

The Bottom Line

Buying appliances is expensive! But that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price. There are lots of smart ways you can get a great quality product for far less than retail price.

Even though there are certain times throughout the year to score great deals like Black Friday or when the manufacturers roll out new models, there are other strategies you can use to your advantage as well. By getting to know your appliances, comparison shopping online, and keeping an open mind to scratch and dent products, you’ll be sure to find some great discounts.

SMART MONEY HOME recommendations

  1. Save our infographic so you remember what time of year is best, though if you forget everything, Black Friday – Cyber Monday will most likely offer up the best deals.
  2. Keep in mind how important it is to get the discounts. Your total appliance spend is going to be a minimum of $4,200 and as high as $35,000. And remember that you pay sales taxes on those appliances, so every discount goes a little further than you think!
  3. Get quotes for a home warranty. The math works out considerably in your favor and if you buy the appliances second hand you’re unlikely to get the manufacturer’s warranty, so this is the only way to get protection.

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