When Is the Best Time to Buy Stuff for Your Business?

by Teri Cettina on December 27, 2012

It can be tempting to buy everything you think you might need for your small business right before the end of the year. That way, you can deduct as many of the expenses as possible from your taxes come April.

However, depending on what types of business-related goods you need, it may pay to wait. Some items — such as computers and furniture — tend to get discounted at very specific times every year, which means you could save a bundle and put that cash to better use.

Here are a few business-related items that get discounted regularly — and when you should look for the best deals.

Computers — Retailers put computers on sale after the holiday rush. They often go on sale again in April as new models are introduced. The best time to buy laptops may be in August, when retailers typically offer specials for back-to-school shoppers.

Cell Phones — According to Consumer Reports, small electronics are traditionally a great deal during back-to-school season and right before the holidays. Snap up a bargain in September and December. Your accountant (and your wallet) will thank you.

Carpeting — OK, so rugs probably aren’t at the top of your business wish list. But if you really need to re-carpet a small office, buy your flooring supplies during the winter. Retail customers don’t spend much money on interior décor after the holidays, particularly in January, so carpet prices are at their lowest.

Digital Cameras — Looking to take pictures for your business beyond what you can snap on your phone? February is often the ideal time to buy digital cameras. As new models arrive at trade shows, sellers are ready to bargain on last year’s inventory.

Furniture — Need an updated desk, chair, filing cabinet, or other office furniture? Buy during off-peak times: January/February and June/July. Furniture manufacturers typically release new models in late February and again in August, so you can score a deal on close-out models right before new items arrive.

For more on seasonal sales, check out FreeShipping.org’s “Best Time to Buy” and Consumer Reports’ “When to Buy What” guides.