Consumer Electronics — The Right Time to Buy

September 7, 2007

Getting a really good deal in consumer electronics generally means being patient. While technology prices can drop quickly (though not usually as quickly at the Apple iPhone), they frequently drop in cycles.
– For many consumer electronics, including computers, cameras, and music players, January and February are great times to buy. Many manufacturers announce new products at the consumer electronics show in January, and put last year’s models on sale. Retailers also try to clear out unsold holiday stock early in the year, before inventory.
– Over the past few years, I’ve found that many stores offer extremely good deals early in the holiday shopping season—early to mid-November shoppers can actually get some extremely good deals if they’re willing to look through the Sunday ads and get out there early.
– In general, phones are a best buy anywhere from 6-12 months after the first come out. I’ve seen the price on many advanced phones drop by $100 or more after six months. The best shopping strategy is to follow the latest phones your provider releases, learn the initial price, and then check back once a month or once every two months and purchase after the first big price drop.

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