Want the newest iPhone? Wait six months.(Read article summary)
Newly released products are exciting, but having the patience to wait for a markdown will pay off big in the long run.
For many consumer goods, the price that youâ€™ll pay right now for that item is higher than the price youâ€™ll pay six months down the road. There are a lot of reasons for that.
The big one is that many companies issue products in cycles. Every so often, they replace the version of the product currently on the market with a new one thatâ€™s usually just a fairly small tweak on the old one.
Thereâ€™s also the simple â€śnewâ€ť factor, which pops up on things like video games and DVDs. When theyâ€™re new, companies charge a premium price for those items. When theyâ€™re not new, the price begins to sink.
My solution for taking advantage of both of these factors is to simply decide on the product Iâ€™m going to buy, then putting that decision aside for a while. The time can vary based on how much you â€śneedâ€ť the product.
Cell phones are a perfect example of this phenomenon.
Like many people, my cell phone eventually gets beat up with heavy use. Whenever my cell phone contract is up, I typically replace my phone with a new one, usually a very low cost or free one that comes with the contract.
The thing is that many of the models that the company carries go through a pricing cycle. They start off with a fairly high price, but when theyâ€™re replaced by newer cell phones with just a few more bells and whistles (that, in all honesty, youâ€™ll barely use), they tend to see their price drop pretty steeply. Eventually, theyâ€™re replaced.
The thing is, most of those slightly outdated phones do everything I want a cell phone to do.
So, what I often do is look at the models a few months before Iâ€™m going to be upgrading my phone. I figure out the one that works for me and then walk away.
A few months later, when my contract is up, I stroll in and, most of the time, the phone I decided on is still there, often at a lower price. Sometimes, itâ€™s a recently discontinued model thatâ€™s free with the contract.
Want another example? Whenever a new computer game is released that I want, I simply add it to a list and wait until the following December. Thereâ€™s a good chance that the game will be available at 75% off or better at some online sale or another. Iâ€™ve been doing this very thing for years.
Patience saves you money. If you donâ€™t need the thing, wait a few months. Youâ€™ll save some money in the process and wonâ€™t lose any of the quality of the item you desire.
This post is part of a yearlong series called â€ś365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),â€ť in which Iâ€™m revisiting the entries from my book â€ś365 Ways to Live Cheap,â€ť which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere.