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When is the BEST Time To Shop To Get Discounts and Great Deals

A few years back, the board of SALE was rare outside retail stores. In recent times, i observed that retail store owners have permanently FIXED the board of SALE outside the store. The discounts offered under the sale are mostly fake. I shared my personal experience of one such sale in my post, The real truth behind the sale. The higher the discounts offered, the higher is the probability of sale. But always remember that there are NO FREE lunches in this world.

In past, i have shared posts cautioning buyers on the pricing and tricks associated with the same. You may check following posts

Online Shoppers – 5 Trends that can burn hole in your pocket

Beware of Dynamic Pricing of E-Commerce

You must be wondering then it means that all the discounts and deals offered are fake. The answer is not all but most of them are fake. There is a very common perception that you get some of the best deals and discounts during the Diwali Season. In fact, i shared a post, Why is Diwali considered as annual shopping season in India. We always reserve high value or big ticket purchase for Diwali. To share an example, one of my friends is planning to buy a new car. Trust me this planning is going on from last 6 months. Recently, he told me that he will buy near Diwali as he will get good discounts. In my opinion, it is just a perception.

I have different thoughts. In my opinion, Diwali is not the shopping time if you are looking for deep discounts and great deals. If a buyer would like to purchase gold, car, house etc only during the auspicious period of Diwali then this post is not for you :) At the same time you will pay a premium if you purchase during the Diwali season. How? That we will discuss later in the post. If the time of purchase is important for you then you should not be concerned about deep discounts and great deals. On the other hand, if you are specifically looking for discounts and deals then i will let you know when is the best time to shop?

When is the BEST Time To Shop To Get Discounts and Great Deals?

To kill the suspense, based on my personal experience i can say that best time to shop is from mid-July to end of September i.e. just before the start of festival season. Normally i schedule my big ticket purchase during this period for discounts and deals. Now you must be wondering WHY? Let me share why you get a REAL discount during this period.

1. Monsoon Season:

The monsoon season i.e. between July to September is lean for retail business. The rural demand is lowest/muted. Traditionally, it is difficult for retailers/wholesalers to maintain cash flow. As a thumb rule, The real discounts are offered when the footfalls are not there and retailers are in a desperate need of cash flow. Small retailers find it difficult to survive and are willing to offer products at very high discounts and low margins. In other words, the customer is in NO MOOD to spend but to make him spend, real discounts and deals are offered.

On the contrary, during Diwali season a customer will purchase/buy whatever it may come. Like the example of my friend quoted by me. He will definitely BUY a car near Diwali and will not postpone the decision even if there is NO real discount. It’s a different matter that he will be offered a fake discount by the dealer as he would like to keep customers in good humor.

2. Inauspicious Period:

Many people consider this period as inauspicious especially the period of Shraddh just before Navratri’s. New items/products are not purchased during this period. If as a buyer, timing is not a concern for you then you can bargain hard to get good discounts during this period.

3. Clear OLD STOCK:

Before Diwali, the retailers and wholesalers are in a rush to clear the old stock. In some cases, depending on urgency they are willing to offer products at No Profit No Loss i.e. at their landing price. This is the best possible scenario for potential buyers.

4. The launch of “New Models” (Marketing Gimmick)

I discussed this point briefly in my post, 5 Habits that are wealth destroyer in a long run. Recently, the same handset provider (as quoted in the post) cut the price of existing models by Rs 22,000 to pave the way for new models. Similarly, in LED TV’s there is NO Technological intervention in last few years. Every year before Diwali the new models are launched at a higher rate. It will not be an extrapolation that New Models are Old Wine in New Bottle.

Therefore, if a buyer is not so over obsessed with new models then he/she can buy a model with same specifications at much lower price. The retailers are in a hurry to clear the stock thus offer huge discounts on “soon to be phased out” models from mid-July till the end of September.

5. Indirect Discounts

A buyer should also consider indirect discounts. Interest-Free EMI is one such discount. One of the general observations from my end is that during lean period i.e. from mid-July till the end of September, you have fairly good chance to get interest free EMI offer. As i shared in my post, How Bank make you spend more on credit cards. The interest cost is borne by the consumer good/auto companies.

I received a similar offer from one of the leading car dealers. In this case, the dealer told me that as i am holding a credit card of Bank X. Therefore, they will accept Rs 3L through credit card. It will be converted into 12 interest-free EMI’s. I did some back end calculation and concluded that i will be saving approx Rs 15,000 in terms of opportunity returns.  I consider it as an indirect discount to a customer. The dealer also agreed for freebies worth Rs 30,000. The only trick is that i visited the showroom and left my mobile no with the dealer :)

Words of Wisdom:

As i keep highlighting that personal finance is all about timing. Be it a stock market, gold, real estate or for that matter shopping of big ticket items. If you are buying in seller’s market i.e. demand is more like during festive season then you end paying more. On the other hand, the buyer’s market between mid-July and the end of September offer heavy discounts and great deals in the true sense. The reason being, demand is less because of less no of buyers in the market.

To conclude, life is a zero sum game, you have to compromise either on the time of purchase or discounts/deals. I as a buyer do not compromise on discounts/deals. Hope you liked the post.

Copyright © Nitin Bhatia. All Rights Reserved.

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