When is the Best Time to Buy New Carpet?
By Alan J. Fletcher, Carpet expert & Consumer advocate.
“Take advantage of my 30+ years in the carpet business!”
Everyone has been asking me the same question lately…
“Is there a best time of year to buy new carpet?”
If you are willing do your carpet homework to learn exactly what to do and know who to buy from, then the answer is YES! Homeowners can save as much as 25% or more by knowing when to buy, who to buy from and how to negotiate your best deal.
All carpet retailers have busy seasons and slow seasons. If you try to negotiate a better deal during their busy season, then you don’t stand much of a chance to beat them down on the price. However, if you negotiate wisely during their slow season then you stand a very good chance of negotiating a very sweet carpet deal for yourself. Some dealers have special sales during their slow seasons while some dealers have sales going on all the time. You need to be able to recognize which sales are worthwhile and which ones are just a lot of hype.
I support locally owned, family run businesses. Some large corporately-owned carpet sellers advertise heavily on television and offer amazing discounts and always seem to have incredible sales promotions going on. Be wary of wolves in sheeps clothing! I do not recommend buying from this type of carpet retailer. I never recommend buying from carpet sellers who only offer a shop-at-home service and use salespeople who are independent contractors.
The worst times to buy new carpet.
Now, when are the slow seasons you ask? Hold on, let me start by telling you when the busy seasons are so you can have a better understanding of the big picture. The question is, when do people buy carpet most? You don’t want to buy carpet when everyone else is buying. It’s almost impossible to negotiate a great deal on carpet when there are other 10 other customers waiting in line behind you holding their checkbooks. Here are the big three common ”busy” seasons to steer clear of:
1. Between February 20th and April 30th when people are expecting a tax refund
2. From the 4th of July through August 31st. During the hot summer months when people are remodeling an existing home or moving into a new home before the new school year starts.
3. Mid-October thru mid December. When people are getting ready for the holidays, and when out of town relatives and guests are coming.
The best times to buy new carpet.
Alright, now that you know when NOT to buy carpet if you want to negotiate your best deal. Now lets look at the three windows of “money-saving” opportunity so you know exactly when IS the best time to buy new carpet.
Once December 15th rolls around, the Christmas trees are going up and holiday shopping is on high. This means that buying after December 15th is a great time to buy new carpet. This window of opportunity lasts through January 31st. By Feb 15th it’s all done, as the tax refunds are starting to come in. People who file their tax returns early know how much their refund will be and that’s when carpet shopping goes into full swing. You’ll be able to get the best deals at the beginning of January when this slow season is in full swing and most folks are busy paying off their Christmas debt.
The next slow season is from May 1st to June 30th. The tax refund is spent, Memorial Day weekend is busy, the kids are getting out of school, vacation planning is underway and their is plenty of springtime gardening to do. Buying new carpet is not at the top of the priority list for most people during this time. This makes it a great time for you to negotiate a great carpet deal. I suggest shopping from May 20th through June 10th for the best negotiating power.
The next slow season comes right after the kids go back to school and lasts the whole month of September and the beginning of October. Everyone is getting settled into a new school year regimen, enjoying the last few weeks of hot summer weather, and getting ready for the autumn leaves to fall. No one wants to think about getting ready for the holidays just yet. September is a great time to negotiate a great deal on new carpet for your home. This window of opportunity is not very long, I suggest shopping early in September because once people start thinking about the holidays it is all done until after Christmas.
Negotiating a great price on carpet.
Knowing the best time to buy new carpet is important, but knowing how to negotiate a great deal is also important. You can’t just walk into any carpet retailer and ask for 25% off because you know it is their slow season. Some carpet retailers will negotiate with you and some won’t. Don’t expect to be able to negotiate with Lowe’s or Home Depot. The person at the cash register is not able to give you a discount. You need to buy from a carpet dealer who is willing to negotiate with you. Visit my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory at AbcCarpets.com to see who I recommend near you.
Regardless of how much of a discount you can negotiate, it won’t be worth anything if you buy the wrong carpet and pad or if you don’t get it installed properly. So you have to do your carpet homework. You need to learn what carpet is capable of meeting your needs and goals, and what pad is correct for the carpet style you have selected. Not every carpet installer is qualified to install every grade of carpet, so you must take steps to be sure your installer is qualified to install the type, grade and quality of carpet you have selected, even if they are provided or approved by the carpet retailer.
Negotiating a good deal on carpet doesn’t start the moment you begin shopping for carpet, it starts after you have found the perfect carpet, at the price you can afford, and have the total amount for the whole job right in front of you. Before you agree to the deal or sign on the bottom line, is when you should stop, hesitate and say to the salesperson…
“I’m just not sure about this price… it seems a bit high to me. I think I need to consider this a little more just to make sure I’m making the right decision”
This is the beginning of negotiating a good deal on new carpet. Don’t be afraid to leave the store and wait a few days before accepting the deal the offered you. Your hope is that they will agree to give you a better deal before you leave their store or perhaps they will call you in a day or two with a better offer. Be patient. They want and need your business and buying carpet is a major homeowner expense. If they don’t offer you a better deal, then you have the option of accepting their offer or visiting another dealer to see if they will offer you a lower price on the same carpet, pad and installation.
Visit my website where you can learn many more “money saving” secrets to buying carpet wisely and how you can avoid common carpet scams and rip-offs!
Alan J. Fletcher