Buy Computers on Mondays, Books on Saturday and Stoves on Sunday

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couple buying a computer monitor
Alamy
When's the last time you put "shop for a new [fill-in-the-blank]" on your calendar for a specific day? If you're like most people, shopping is done whenever you can squeeze it into your schedule.

You might want to re-think that approach, especially when it comes to purchasing big-ticket items like electronics, appliances and jewelry. Waiting even a few days to buy that new best-selling book can save you a few bucks, according to research from Extrabux.com, a website that helps shoppers find coupons, compare prices, and earn cash back on purchases, and camelcamelcamel.com, a Firefox tool that tracks prices.

Teaming up to determine the cheapest days of the week to shop online, they found out that, rather than doing all your shopping on, say, a Saturday, you can save money by strategically timing your purchase for a specific day of the week. Although the study was conducted at the end of 2011, the explanations for why some items are priced lower or higher on certain days of the week can help you research and time your next major purchase.

Monday: While the savings may only be a few dollars here or fifty bucks there, waiting until the weekend is over to purchase these products is a smart move.
  • Computers. According to the Extrabux experts, computer prices online are lowest on Mondays, at an average of $1,210.24 that day compared to a high on Fridays of $1,256.27. Their researchers say that computer and electronics manufacturers apply their discounts and rebates on Mondays and retailers pass those discounts onto customers that day, too.
  • TVs. TV prices are also lowest on Mondays, with an average of $1,101.52 compared to an average of $1,122.82 on Fridays, when prices are highest. Mondays are the biggest sales days for online shoppers, so retailers offer their best deals that day, the Extrabux experts learned.
  • Cameras. While TV and computer prices fluctuate during the week, camera prices are lowest on Monday and tend to rise and then stay high the rest of the week. The average low price on a Monday is $199.08, with the average high price of $207.53 on Tuesdays. The Extrabux team learned that cameras, because they are relatively inexpensive compared to computers and TVs, are put on sale on Mondays to entice buyers who are back at their computers after the weekend. The theory is that buyers will sign online to look at cameras and then perhaps buy other items, too.
  • Video games. Video games are also cheaper on Monday, with a low price of $67.17 compared to a price of $70.19 on Fridays. Unlike other items, video games stay low at the beginning of the week and then spike on Thursday and Friday, which are light shopping days online. The researchers at Extrabux found out that computer algorithms take over pricing for video games on the weekends, automatically lowering prices at one store when a competing store does, until they typically drop to the lowest price on Monday.

Tuesday: While prices aren't the absolute cheapest for anything on Tuesdays, prices tend to stay low for computers, TVs, and video games. So if you didn't fill your cart on Monday, you can still get prices nearly as low on Tuesday for those same items you were considering.
Wednesday: Wednesdays are the day to buy your bling from online retailers, when the average price for jewelry drops to $218.26 compared to a peak of $220.49 on Saturdays. The Extrabux researchers were stumped by this one, with no explanation as to why jewelry prices dip midweek, even if only by a few bucks on average.

Thursday and Friday: You may want to step away from your computer toward the end of the work week. This is when prices tend to spike for computers, TVs, and video games. Prices rise to near-peak levels on Fridays for jewelry, too.

Saturday: If you're a bibliophile, you should order books online on Saturdays, when the average price dips to $12.72 from a peak of $14.33 on Fridays. The Extrabux experts speculate that book prices are lowest on Saturday because people have more time to read on the weekend and are looking for new books to fulfill their literary needs. They say retailers typically offer their lowest prices on days when more consumers are searching for their products.

Sunday: Online prices are lowest on the weekends for appliances because that's when consumers spend more time at home and work on home improvement projects. The average price for a major appliance drops to $806.83 on Sundays, compared to a peak price of $818.33 on Tuesdays. The Extrabux researchers determined that as the number of shoppers increases (as shown by Google searches), the average price decreases.

While the days-of-the-week shopping method won't guarantee you'll get the lowest price for a specific item, it's worth a try to see if you can save a little more by moving your online shopping spree from one day to another.

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