Or to buy baby clothes, air conditioners, carpets, cell phones, boats, chocolate, furniture, or flip-flops?
A newly expanded FreeShipping post has the answers, based on the premise that there are certain times of the year—or even days of the week—when the consumer will pay less, mostly based on supply and demand, and the fact that, for example, retailers are eager to get the darn snowblowers out of their showroom once winter is over.
FreeShipping lists the best times for buying 75 different products—or services and activities, as in the case of gym membership (sign up in June) and bowling (before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday). I guess there’s nothing wrong with a little post-breakfast bowling, though post-9 p.m. is past my bedtime.
Less helpful is the advice for when to buy insurance. According to the post you should buy life insurance “when you qualify for it,” home insurance “when you buy your home,” and auto insurance “when you will be driving.” Well, duh. The best time to buy a home theater is reportedly in February, though I would argue that the best time to buy a home theater is never—unless you can charge admission, and it’s more of a business investment, that is.
Of course, these are all general guidelines, and exceptions abound. There’s no telling when you might stumble upon the year’s best deal, or when you might be cursing because you just spotted something on sale that you paid full-price for a month prior. Some of the “best times” are up for debate too: There seems to be a consensus that October is the best month to buy a car, though it can be argued that the buyer is even more in the driver’s seat at the end of December.