Here is one thing I have never heard anyone argue about: Shopping for appliances is not that much fun. Strolling through aisle after aisle of large washer/dryer combos, refrigerators, endless coffee makers and microwaves, especially with their usually large accompanying price tag, is a less than thrilling experience. Not to mention, that you are more often than not you are forced to do this when your home appliance is about to die off or, even worse, already completely busted.
Going appliance shopping in this state of desperation not only stinks, but it you aren’t careful, some salesman might smell it on you and before you know it, you’re leaving the store with more than you need and an emptied wallet. While all this may sound a little grim, what it I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Whether you are shopping from the comfort of your own home, or at your local Best Buy or Sears, we have a few tips of the trade that will keep you wallet just a little bit fatter.
There are Better Times of the Year for Purchasing than Others
The right time to buy will vary some from store to store, but it’s helpful to remember this one constant: the appliance will always be cheapest when the retailer needs your money the most. Lets take a look at how this actually shakes out.
When shopping at a physical location, keep in mind that manufactures typically release their new models in January, September and October. This means that the store will be trying to sell of the last of the old stock and be willing to let it go for much cheaper.
The end of the month is also a great time to check in and see what kind of deals you can score. You see, by this point, salespeople will know how close they are to hitting (or not hitting) their monthly quota and are more likely to work with you in order to do so.
The off-season for whatever appliance you’re tying to buy is also a good time to find a lower price. For example, instead of buying your barbeque as summer is starting, think ahead and go get it January. Retailers know that people are willing to pay more when they really need it are less likely to budge on price.
Don’t Be Blinded by the Advertised Price
One thing I’ve noticed after years of appliance shopping is that it doesn’t matter whether I am looking online or at a printed ad in my local newspaper, the prices are always the same across the board. This is because the manufacturer and stores have a deal where there is a minimum price that they are allowed to advertise any given product for. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get it for less. Advertised price and actual sale price can be very different things.
In order to find out what the real price is, continue down the online sales process all the way to checkout or speak to a floor salesman to find out what it’s actually going for. In my experience, if you’re willing to push a little, the store will let it go for a lot less.
Take Advantage of The Online Abandoned Shopping Cart
Have you ever forgot to check out on an online clothing store and an hour later received a coupon from the retailer you encouraging you to come back? Well appliance retailers practice the same strategy. If you want to see what kind of discounts they are willing to offer you, navigate to the page right before you check out and walk away from the computer. You will be surprised what kinds of coupon codes show up in your email shortly after.
Decipher the Price Tags for the Maximum Allowed Discounts
Many stores utilize a hidden code on their price tags that, when decoded, can reveal how much a salesperson is allowed to reduce the price by. Lifehacker did a great article on these sneaky ciphers and created a handy chart that covers the codes for some of the major retailers in the United States.
Don’t Be Afraid to Channel Your Inner Haggler
Trust me, I get it. Haggling can be intimidating. You’re going up against a seasoned pro and most people find it uncomfortable. But salespeople expect you to, and asking what they are able to do for you can result in some really awesome savings. Don’t believe me? Well, consumer reports looked at this topic specifically and found that people who haggled received a $200 discount on average. Not too shabby!
Remy Bernard – Owner and Editor at Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes