There is a best time to buy just about anything. Here are five general shopping rules that can apply to most things you will buy. With these tips, you can figure out the best time — or at least a good time — to purchase almost anything.



This one isn’t a guarantee every time, but it’s a good bet, said Kristen Regine, a professor of marketing at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. “Thursday is an important day for consumers to know because that’s when stores take markdowns,” Regine said. “They’re prepping for the weekend. They know they’re going to get the most foot traffic on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.”

Holiday weekends

In some cases, Mondays are better. Expect big deals on weekends leading up to holidays, said Darrin Duber-Smith, a senior lecturer of marketing at Metropolitan State University of Denver. That can apply particularly to big-ticket items like cars.

Popular sale weekends include Presidents’ Day in February, Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September.

Clearance events

A key to shopping is buying products when retailers are liquidating them. For example, furniture is typically restocked twice a year — February and August, according to Duber-Smith. That means older furniture styles are usually on sale in January in July. “Inventory is the bane of all retailers,” Duber-Smith says. Always check the clearance rack. Same time as last year

The deals retailers have hosted in the past are usually a good indication of deals they will host in the future.

Sephora has a big makeup sale each May, Old Navy has a flip-flop sale each June and Amazon hosts its Prime Day sale each July. To learn about these sales, Regine suggested asking a store sales associate about current and upcoming promotions. Online, keep old retail e-mails in your inbox so you can track sales.

When apps tell you

Regine recommended leaning on technology to help you figure out when to buy something. To keep track of the various promotions and deals, she likes Shop It To Me and the Krazy Coupon Lady, both of which are shopping apps that will notify you of price drops on certain items you want. “Let the apps do the work for you because there is no easy, simple guide,” Regine said.