You all know that in the retail world, prices for your favorite items are always going up and down.

Lots of things affect pricing (the price of raw materials, transportation costs, etc.), but ultimately, it’s all about supply and demand, which can be pretty easily related to the calendar year.

Ok, there are a few companies that tend to fix prices at levels that never seem to change (like Apple and Nike), because their products are limited and popular, which means that they don’t HAVE to put them on sale.

But for most other products, there are specific times of year that prices drop, and savvy shoppers learn when those times are so that they can get the best deals.

Here are some of the reasons you see the price drops:

  • Holidays – of course, retailers love to have sales on holidays (Memorial Day, Presidents Day, Labor Day, etc.) but sometimes it’s AFTER the holiday that the items really start to discount (Christmas). Oh, and don’t forget Father’s Day (tools). 
  • Trade Shows – Shows like the CEC (Consumer Electronics Show) in January, usually spur the sale of older items as new versions are released. Others include Kitchen/Bath Show (January), International Housewares Show (February), and the list goes on! 
  • Special Events – Events like the Super Bowl and Valentine’s day spur the drop in price in TVs and Chocolate. Back to school time always means a drop in computer prices. But don’t forget that many industries also have their own special days and months. For example, March is National Frozen Food month. Oh, and National Doughnut Day (my favorite) is in June, and National Ice Cream Day (another favorite) is in July! 

Because I’m all about saving money whenever I can, I thought it would be fun to pass along a “best time of year shopping list” that I compiled from various online sources (see the reference list at the end of the article).

Note that you use the grid by finding the item in the left column, and then read across to the month(s) that are filled in with yellow.

Have fun with it!

best time of year for bargains - graphic final

Here are some of the sites I used to compile the list:

As always, I would love to hear your comments or questions. Please leave them below!