A couple and a little girl in a kitchen with appliances

Savvy shoppers know to look for big discounts on large appliances on three-day holiday weekends, and in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. But you can't always time your purchase.

When your refrigerator breaks and a repair won't fix it, you need a new refrigerator ASAP.

"Prices tend to drop on specific models when retailers want to make room for new models that replace them," says Mark Allwood, a senior market analyst covering major appliances for Consumer Reports. "New laundry appliances usually debut in March and April. Refrigerators come out then too, and in June and July. New dishwashers roll out throughout the year." 

Here's how to save money on appliances any time of the year. 

Manufacturer Offers and Rebates
Scour the sites of manufacturers and retailers for special deals, rebates, and discounts on overstocked items. The offers apply to models purchased within a certain time period, and if there’s a rebate, you’ll need to mail it in or submit it online by the deadline that’s spelled out.

When comparing deals, check whether fees apply for delivery and haul-away of your old appliance, and also if basic hookup of an appliance, such as a washer, is free.

Home Depot and Lowe's, for example, charge for installation of cooktops, wall ovens, dishwashers, gas ranges, and more, so check for specifics. Then scour their sites and manufacturers' sites to see if manufacturers are offering free installation deals as an enticement to buy. 

Keep digging for special discounts. Lowe's, for example, offers 10 percent off to those who have served or are currently serving in the military. 

Price-Match Guarantees 
Compare the price-match policies of your favorite retailers. Best Buy and Lowe's, for example, match the prices of local competition and some major online retailers, as long as it's not a third-party seller. They also match the prices offered by your local warehouse club. It doesn't go the other way, though: Costco does not price-match.

Keep watching prices for several weeks after you bought your appliance. Some retailers, like Lowe's, honor the price-match guarantee for 30 days from the date you bought your appliance. JCPenney honors it for 14 days, and beats the competition's lower price by 5 percent. 

Note that Best Buy, Home Depot, JCPenney, and Lowe's do not offer a price-match guarantee if a competitor has a liquidation sale. You'll see all the details in the what's-not-covered section of their sites. 

More on Appliances

Haggling
"It definitely pays to negotiate," says Martin Lachter, a senior research associate in Consumer Reports' survey department. "Most customers shopping for a major appliance don't haggle over the price, but 73 percent of those who do are successful, saving a median of $97."

How do they snag a good deal? Some negotiate a lower price when shopping for more than one appliance at once, and some do price checks on other retailers' sites, then use this info to negotiate. You can always just ask if this is the best price they can offer, and negotiate any haul-away fee or charges for hookup supplies, such as water supply lines or hoses.  

Utility Rebates
Search for rebates on Energy Star appliances on your utility company's site, and on energystar.gov. Amounts will vary. We've seen rebates of $25 to $100 for major appliances. 

Is It a Good Deal? 
Not every appliance on sale is actually a good deal. So check our appliance ratings to see how a model performed in our tests, and take a close look at the brand's predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings.