13 min. read
If you’re on the hunt for electronics, mastering the art of timing can save you a bundle. In this fast-paced world of ever-evolving gadgets and models, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed without knowing when it’s the best time to buy electronics, especially if your new tech wishlist is longer than your arm! In this article, we’ll dive into some of the best times of the year to buy electronics, so you can secure your dream tech and save money.
Before diving into the dates, it’s important to remember this: The ”Electronics” shopping category is massive. In fact, ST defines electronics, specifically personal consumer electronics, as covering “a wide range of devices including smartphones, tablets & eReaders, wearable devices,” gaming devices, drones, audio-video equipment, and virtual reality devices.
Most electronics have sale periods specific to the item, making it challenging to name a single date as the best time to buy all electronics.
With this consideration in mind, this article will be structured a little differently from the other articles you might’ve encountered on Best Time to Buy. We’ll start off by naming the best times, generally, to buy electronics before diving into the best times to buy individual items.
Shop around long enough and you’ll probably notice that most [sales] are offered on last year’s models—not current ones.
Unlike most other items on Best Time to Buy, electronics sales periods are dependent on a few factors, such as the release of new items, developments in the field of electronics, retailers, and more. Shop around long enough and you’ll probably notice that most are offered on last year’s models—not current ones.
Despite this, it’s not impossible to find sales on the latest releases, too. You just might find it a little more challenging as you’re shopping around during the best sales periods.
Very broadly, the best times to buy electronics are during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
Now that you know the dates, let’s explore why electronics will be on sale during these sales periods. And if you’re reading this article and find that Prime Day and the holiday sales aren’t close enough, we’ve got you covered with other great times to find sales on electronics.
Amazon Prime Day has solidified its reputation as one of the top occasions to snag exceptional deals on all kinds of items, especially electronics, and it’s no wonder why. The exclusive shopping event, available only to Amazon Prime members, showcases an extensive array of electronics at significantly discounted prices.
The first Amazon Prime Day took place on July 15 in 2015, and grew to become one of the most popular shopping holidays of the year. The dates change from year to year, so keep an eye on the Amazon Prime Day website or on the company’s social media accounts, as they’ll announce dates well in advance. Following their accounts is also a great way to keep up to date on exactly what will be on sale.
Black Friday has established itself as one of the best times to buy electronics and for good reason. The annual shopping extravaganza takes place the day after Thanksgiving and offers unbeatable deals and discounts on a wide range of electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops, TVs, and more.
Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping season, serving as a way for retailers and companies to kick-start their sales and generate high consumer demand. For the duration of the sales period, retailers compete to provide enticing offers, slashing prices to maximize long-term profit.
The term ‘Black Friday’ originated from the practice of recording financial losses in red ink and financial profit in black ink.
Over time, Black Friday has grown into a massive retail event, both for in-person stores and online, drawing in millions of eager shoppers seeking the best deals. On this day, you can expect to find deals on most electronics.
Instead of Black Friday discounts on products, Apple offers gift cards that can be earned by purchasing products at normal market prices. Historically, this has been the company’s internal response to the holiday shopping extravaganza, but that doesn’t mean they won’t skip the gift cards and start offering discounted products in the future!
Regardless, if you’re looking for a new Apple product on Black Friday, other retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Costco Wholesale might be better options unless you have your sights set on earning a gift card.
If you missed out on Black Friday shopping, you can still cash in on Cyber Monday. On the first Monday following Black Friday, Cyber Monday is known for being “one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, surpassing even Black Friday,” according to Kimberly Amadeo in ‘What You Need To Know About Cyber Monday.’
Beginning in 2005, Cyber Monday was first coined when stores first realized they could increase sales through their online stores by offering steep digital discounts. This sales trend gained in popularity as access to the internet became commonplace with the rapid development of cell phones and laptop computers.
While the sales may have changed since 2005, Amadeo writes that users should be prepared to take advantage of deals on everything from clothes to electronics, including headphones, TVs, gaming consoles, and more. The best way to take advantage of a Cyber Monday deal is to subscribe to your favorite brand’s social media accounts and sign up for their newsletters.
If you’re itching to get your hands on the latest tech and find yourself nowhere near the three sales periods mentioned earlier, don’t fret! Here are a collection of other prime times throughout the year where you can find fantastic discounts.
Starting mid-January, you’ll start seeing prices fall on last year’s models. This dip in sales is due to more than just the new year; it’s due to CES. CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, is “the most influential tech event in the world,” serving as a trade show where leaders in the consumer technology industry showcase their innovations and upcoming releases.
After CES, the prices of last year’s models fall.
With the new models announced and upcoming release dates scheduled, retailers and manufacturers will start cutting prices on last year’s models.
As you now know, CES is a significant time for the field of electronics. Not only is it a time for companies and manufacturers to debut their latest wares and upcoming releases, but it also marks the start of a relatively substantial sales period.
In order to make room for in-store inventories to receive the latest models and releases following CES, vendors will start offering discounts during this time to encourage sales. In his article “The Real Significance Of CES,” author Tim Bajarin says the end of CES also triggers “the buying cycle for the back half of any current year and especially for the (upcoming) fall and holiday season.” A major part of this ‘buying cycle’ is ensuring there’s enough room in inventory to absorb the influx of new items.
It’s challenging to pin down precisely what’s on sale between President’s Day and April, but one thing is more certain: You’ll probably have a wide selection to choose from as most inventories will be freshly stocked following the holiday season.
For several compelling reasons, the back-to-school sale season is an ideal time to grab discounted electronics like laptops, Bluetooth speakers, computer accessories, monitors, tablets, calculators, and more. Not only can you find significant price reductions during this time, but you can also take advantage of back-to-school bundles, exclusive student discounts, and tax-free weekends, depending on your state.
What’s great about this sale is that it’s for more than just students – it’s possible for anyone to take advantage of the discounts featured during this time! In fact, most stores will offer back-to-school sales that don’t require an active student ID to validate.
If you live in a state that recognizes back-to-school tax-free weekends, you can shop without having to worry about taxes being tacked on at the register.
Keep an eye on laptop and computer sales during the back-to-school sale season.
With the demand for new computers high during this time of the year, manufacturers and retailers will release the latest models either during this time or during the spring and summer months leading up to the sale. This makes the last week in July to the first 3 weeks in August a great time to find a discount on a new or the latest computer.
Now that you know the general best times to buy electronics, let’s take a look at some of the best times to buy specific types of electronics.
It would be great if all electronics shared the same best time to buy date, but that’s not the case! While most items listed below can be purchased during the top three sales periods listed above, some items follow unique sales patterns. Since we believe in setting you up for sale success, here are the best times to buy popular electronics.
Not every product listed below has a dedicated page on our website, but we’re working on it to ensure you have the best, most comprehensive information available at your fingertips. Make sure you subscribe to the BTTB monthly newsletter to keep up to date on when we publish new products and articles.
While back-to-school sales might be a good time to upgrade, the best time to buy a computer is Cyber Monday. However, Cyber Monday isn’t the only time of the year to take advantage of lower prices, but you can read more about that in our article on the best time to buy a laptop.
It’s common for most cell phone manufacturers to offer sales on models that are about to be released, meaning you can snag a good deal on last year’s model instead of the latest release. However, at Best Time to Buy we like to offer recommendations that are as specific as possible so you’re not just eyeballing your carrier’s website to scope out deals. With that in mind, Black Friday is one of the best times to buy a new cell phone.
Once primarily used for entertainment, tablets “have gained momentum in a range of commercial applications,” ranging from educational to professional, making them useful tools in many situations. Aside from Black Friday being the best time of the year to buy a tablet, you can also find decent discounts during the back-to-school sales that happen during summer.
Video game sales are tricky to pin down because they’re frequently based on how much time has passed from the original release date. In fact, the prices of newly released video games usually fall by around 50% once they hit being released after a year to a year and a half. This is true of most games—except for The Last of Us, which was released in 2013, but saw a drastic increase in sales and price following the successful HBO adaptation.
Typically, the best time to buy video games is during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when retailers are more likely to slash prices of already lower games in order to boost sales. The best time to buy video game consoles is during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, too.
The best time to buy a new TV might actually surprise you. Sure, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the best times to buy a new screen, but the third day might surprise you. Head on over to our article on the best time to buy a TV to learn more.
Bluetooth and portable speakers typically go on sale for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The good news about sales that span both Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that they tend to stay on sale throughout the weekend.
Headphone sales tend to fluctuate based on the release of newer models, but you can generally count on major sales days like Amazon Prime Day and Cyber Monday to find the year's best deals. The same sales apply to earbuds, too.
Fitness trackers are a staple for anyone interested in tracking and monitoring their health. While most smartwatches come with built-in fitness trackers, some people prefer to have their fitness trackers separate from their watches (like the classic Fitbit). You can expect to find the best prices on fitness trackers on Memorial Day at the end of May.
We don’t have a page for the best time to buy fitness trackers yet, but we do have one for the best time to buy fitness equipment.
Digital cameras are a popular item frequently featured at CES in January, which means newer models are released in February. For digital cameras, this means the year's largest sales take place in January, usually just after Christmas, to make room for the release of new inventory in February.
Monitors are one of the most important accessories you can purchase for your computer, especially if you run many programs simultaneously for work, school, or for fun. Aside from Black Friday, the best time to buy a monitor is during Amazon Prime Day and Cyber Monday.
If you’re looking to buy a new smartwatch at a competitive price, keep an eye out for deals hosted during Amazon Prime Day. You are limited to what’s in stock on Amazon’s website, but with such a large selection, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.
If you’re searching for a new way to listen to music on the go, you’ll want to wait until the next holiday season to make your purchase because the best time to buy a Bluetooth speaker is during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Are you looking to create the perfect at-home theater? We recommend waiting until Thanksgiving to start making your purchases. The best time to buy a home theater system is during Black Friday and Cyber Monday when the pieces and various electronics are on sale.
Acquiring new electronics can be a massive investment, both in time and money, but now that you’ve unlocked the secrets of the best time to buy electronics, you’re ready to shop with confidence and save a buck or two (or many).
Don’t let discounts slip through your fingers like a slippery smartphone—subscribe to our newsletter today to stay up-to-date on the latest sales items and website updates, and stay connected so you can easily request which product you want to learn when to shop for.