Minding the calendar can save you money on everything from cars to cookware. Here’s a roundup:
Starting in September, car dealers need to make room for next year’s models, which means buyers of this year’s cars and trucks can see discounts as high as 25 percent. “The longer you wait, the more you’ll save,” says Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There. If you hold off until November or December, you probably won’t have the best color selection (expect to see a lot of orange and purple), but by then you can sometimes negotiate at or below the dealer’s cost. “Don’t be afraid to make crazy lowball offers,” advises Di Vincenzo. Looking for a hassle-free way to get a deal on a new or used vehicle? Try the GEICO Car Buying Service, powered by TrueCar. (Not sure what features to look for? Check out Cool Car Technology To Look For This Fall.)
Most sellers list in spring and summer because that’s when buyers are most plentiful and houses look their best. If a home is still on the market by fall, the seller might be eager to cut a deal before the colder months hit. One caveat: Before you get caught up in buying your dream home, keep an eagle eye on interest rates. A rate hike could wipe out any savings you’d reap on the price of the house.
After Labor Day, most people have finished their back-to-school shopping, and retailers need to clear their shelves of notebooks and pencil boxes to make room for Halloween. So it pays to wait until the very last minute.
The months after summer break and before the holidays are a low travel period, so look for getaway deals on hotels, resorts and airfare. Also, book plane tickets for holiday travel; you’ll get the lowest fares if you buy them at least eight weeks in advance.
As Thanksgiving approaches, retailers often try to entice consumers to upgrade their pots, pans and other kitchen equipment. “Ranges and refrigerators often go on sale in September and October,” says Di Vincenzo. “Again, that’s a function of retailers wanting to make room for new appliances.”
Grills, lawn mowers, patio furniture: expect all of these to get substantially cheaper as the days get shorter. You can also find great buys on summer clothes and bathing suits, provided you don’t mind wearing this year’s fashions next summer!
The bottom line: “If you want to know the best time to buy something, just ask,” says Di Vincenzo. “If salespeople know, they will almost always tell you.”
Want to score great deals all year long? Visit GEICO’s discounts page to see how you can save on all of your insurance needs.
Are you planning any big purchases this fall? Tell us about them below.
By Sara Eckel