Sure, we have the moniker “Winter-Peg” because of the weather, but us Winnipeggers should have another moniker, “save-a-toba”. It’s no secret, we like our bargains. If you think you can only get one during a holiday sales event, you’d be wrong. The truth is, retail revolves around sales cycles.
Kerry K Taylor
“There are a couple of rules of thumb when you’re buying things,” says Kerry K. Taylor, creator of Squawkfox.com, a money and finance blog. “Either wait for post-season to buy the item or buy it when it’s at peak demand.” Makes sense to buy post-season as retailers discount items in the hopes of getting rid of them to make room for new merchandise. But buying when an item is in hot demand is another strategy you can use. The benefit of buying during peak season is that there will be a lot more inventory to choose from. And it’s a kind of logic that tends to spill into many months: gardening tools tend to be discounted 30 to 40 per cent around Mother’s Day, for example, and many toys are discounted in early December in time for Christmas. So when is the best time to buy what you want?
Taylor breaks down the best time to buy stuff every month.
Clothing — especially winter clothes and coats
Linens — white sales are a tradition in January
Fitness equipment — these are placed on sale in time for New Year’s resolutions
Humidifiers — it’s the height of winter and most people invested in a humidifier before the season began
Boxed chocolate — leftovers from Valentine’s Day
Travel — especially cruises
Appliances — especially refrigerators, since this is when new models are released
Flatware and dishes
Gym memberships — since people are more apt to workout outside in the summer, gyms are eager to lure people back inside
Home decor and furniture
Kid’s clothing — in preparation for back-to-school shopping
Big appliances — new models are being released, so now is the time to snatch up an older one for less; it could also be a good chance to score a deal on an air conditioner
Clothing and school supplies — retailers are looking to blow out their back-to-school merchandise, and as an added bonus, now everyone knows what’s cool for school and you can stock up
Winter clothing — it’s not at its cheapest, but it will get pricier in November
Halloween costumes, candy and decorations
Electronics — it’s best to wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
Christmas decorations, trees, cards and wrapping paper — these all dip in price on Dec. 24
Taylor does have one warning for those who are dedicated to online shopping: the retailers could be plying you with dynamic pricing. “This is where the retailer [typically a smaller or independent one] will change the price of their item online based on things like your browser history or your postal code. For example, you might look at a camera one day and go back the following day to find it’s $2 more,” she says. “They’re using cookies, which stores your browsing history, to see that you’re looking at an item and will raise the price slightly to cause stress and make you think you’re missing out on a deal.” They could also use your postal code to see where you live and change the price based on the socioeconomic profile of your neighbourhood. She advises shopping in one browser but switching to an incognito browser to buy, or disabling cookies altogether.