Discounts are all in the timing.

By Kristine Gill
July 09, 2020
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The best times to buy furniture will depend on the type of pieces you’re looking for and the season in which you’re shopping. If you’re looking for a patio set, the best time to buy outdoor furniture isn’t when inventory is new and fully stocked at the beginning of the summer. Similarly, indoor furniture has a sweet spot for getting the perfect price. Here’s when to keep an eye out for big savings on furniture, whether you’re shopping in stores or looking for the best place to buy furniture online.

Each spring, when the weather finally breaks, you’ll notice the mad rush stores embark upon to replace outdated winter clothing and gear with spring and summer trends. Swimwear replaces sweaters and snuggly throws are tossed in favor of tiki torches and mosquito repellent.

“At the start of the outdoor season, you’ll see some good deals because people are starting to get their stuff moving in April,” says Michelle Madhok, online shopping expert and founder of deals site She Finds.  

While it might be tempting to buy when the newest pieces are first stocked, shopping experts say it pays to be patient.

“The best outdoor furniture sales fall between July 4 and Labor Day. Labor Day sales are a great option to snag low prices,” says Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet.

Stick with your rickety rattan a few more months and buy when the current outdoor furniture pieces and sets are marked way down—your wallet will thank you.

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Indoor furniture doesn’t have a season the way outdoor furniture does, but there is still a best time to buy furniture based on a handful of sales sprinkled throughout the calendar year.

“Furniture is usually part of a lot of January sales when people are refreshing their homes for spring,” Madhok says.

If you can wait to update your decor until the first and second quarter of the year, that’s when Madhok says most retailers are looking to move their home furnishing inventories.

Whether you’re shopping for indoor or outdoor pieces, the best time of year to buy furniture usually coincides with major sales targeted for holidays and three-day weekends, Madhok says.

“Think President’s Day, Memorial Day, those kinds of weekends,” she says.

If you’re looking to splurge, you should also keep an eye out for the kind of financing that big box stores offer, which will allow you to pay over time with little or no interest, sometimes with a store credit card (just be sure to avoid the trap of deferred interest).

Gift Card Granny will also direct you to discounted gift cards,” Madhok says. See about buying a large gift card on sale which you can then use at the store for what amounts to a discount on your new furniture.

If you’re shopping for furniture online, Madhok suggests using sites such as RetailMeNot for alerts on savings. And if you frequently shop at a certain store, such as Target, sign up for its app for alerts on special deals and savings for loyal customers.

Madhok also recommends the site Cashback Monitor for alerts on price savings, and the app Slice will let you know if the new end table or ottoman you just bought suddenly went on sale so you can get a partial refund.

“Once you buy something, they’ll alert you if it goes on sale,” Madhok says. “There’s usually a 14-day window, and the apps will monitor and make a claim for you.”