Plunder the World.

How can you score killer deals on almost anything?

All you need is a butt—sit on it and wait.

By: Judy Dutton. June 1999

You don’t need to pore over your newspaper ads. You don’t need to call 20 stores, confer with clueless buddies, or haggle with a salesman over pennies. The only dignified way for man to hunt down a discount is to kick back, polish the collection of miniature stagecoaches, and consult his calender. ( the calender’s the secret.)

Strike at the right time and you will pay less for almost anything.

Here’s why:

Many deals have nothing to do with how hard you look; it’s when you look that’s most important. Getting the best deal on a new DVD player comes down to simply knowing when inexpensive DVDs are in season (December and February), then pouncing. It’s the same story with other big purchases. Here’s the best time to........

Buy a big-screen TV:

(a few days after the Super Bowl.)

Yeah, yeah, I know, you want it before;

but a little patience will save you 10 to 50%, which could amount to $1,500. Why the postgame steal? “Big-screen-TV returns are high in January because kids buy them for the Super Bowl, throw a party (with admission for a fee, of course) then return them afterwards” says Gayle Marco, professor of marketing at Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh.

The set then go on “open box” sale, which means discounts of up to 50% if the returns are large. Worried that some drunken idiot broke the TV? According to Consumer Reports, most stores will replace the used set with a new one in that event as just good public relations.

Purchase a plane ticket:

(July, August, and December)

These are the months that business travel drops, and airlines have to offer deals, says David Fucus, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, a coalition of U. S. Airlines. For a last-minute deal on a weekend getaway, shop on Wednesday, when airlines often extend discounts as dep as 70%. Why Wednesday? “On Monday an airline typically kicks off a sale. On Tuesday other airlines start undercutting the first one’s deal. By Wednesday the ticket war is at its heigh, and prices are down as far as they’ll go.” says Tom Parsons, president of

Drive ‘er home:


Most new models roll onto the lots in September. That’s also when last year’s models are rolled out-----along with $2,000 rebates or 1 to 2% interest loans, says Dave Van Sickle, consumer information director for the AAA. “Given that the typical car loan is 7 or 8%, you can save thousands if you decide to finance in September.” he says. Hit the lots around the 29th or 30th, when sales managers are scrambling to fill their sales quotas. “The big boss may just be dangling Caribbean cruise to the top salesman or threatening to fire anyone who doesn’t make the cut.” explains Robert Moskowitz, author of How To Organize Your Work and Your Life.


Join a gym.

(July and August)

In summer, anybody with half a brain heads outdoors to exercise. “But, since gym traffic is slow in July and August, gyms are anxious to sign new people up.” says James Auerbach, vice-president of the New York-based World Gyms, a national franchise that historically has offered 5 to 15% off its annual fee during those months. In addition, look for new gyms that are expanding their facilities, suggests Corey Sandler, author of Secrets of the Savvy Consumer. “Gyms need to generate cash flow the moment they open or expand,” he explains. Shoot for a two-years-for-the-price-of-one deal at these times. (He really needs you)

Buy a computer.

(right after Christmas)

When Santa heads back north start hunting for a new computer. The stores will be frantic to sell off anything left over from the holiday rush, often discounting machines at least 25%. But if you’re willing to do a reasonable amount of research, the best deals arrive when new technology hits the market. “As soon as Intel announces a new chip, buy the old one,” says Wendy Taylor, editor of PC Computing magazine.

Hunt for an apartment or house.

(January, July, and December)

Against a backdrop of dismal gray light, even the nicest house is less in demand because it looks about as cozy as a 19th century English orphanage. Also, fewer buyers are willing to battle the elements to see it. According to Ray Brown, coauthor of Home Buying for Dummies, this puts sellers and landlords at the mercy of the buyers and renters, who can sometimes negotiate an additional 10 - 20% off the listed price. Another very good time to rent or buy a home is late summer, when most families who planned and wanted to move before school starts have done so. Come mid-July, “landlords and home sellers who missed out in the early-summer rush will be desperate to sell now,” Brown says. You can take advantage of that desperation; and seeing a landlord grovel is one of life’s rarer pleasures.

Travel to Europe.

(October through April)

From May to September, tens of thousands of Americans invade Europe, driving prices up with demand, as they get shat on by French waiters. If you travel from October through April (excluding holidays), however, normal tourists traps may be half the cost, according to Eleanor Berman, author of Traveling Solo. And, depending where you plan to go, it is possible the weather may beat that at home. Paris’ average high temperature in March is about 52 degrees F. seven degrees warmer than New York’s. While it may not be balmy enough to let it dangle on a nude beach on the Riviera, you’ll still get two weeks-----or three Dutch prostitutes----for the price of one.

Shop for a suit.

(November through January)

If you’re a Cosa Nostra consigliere, every day is the right day to buy a money suit; if you’re not, post-Christmas bargains are unbeatable, says Kenny Luck, author of 52 Ways to Stretch a Buck. You can also look for end-of-season “sample sales,” in which manufacturers unload showroom merchandise at nearly half the regular price. A good place to find out where the sales are is, a wussy on-line guide that lists more than 100 sample sales held in major U. S. Cities during November and December (and 20 to 30 in each of the other months.) Of course, you should really go to this site only when no other men are around. (

Go on a first date.


On a dinner date, you’ll cough up half your paycheck for a steak the size of a saltine; but many upscale restaurants offer lunch for far less, according to Secrets of the Savvy Consumer author Sandler. For instance, at New York’s famed Le Cirque, where a dinner entree can run more than $35, there is a $25 price fixe lunch that includes entree, appetizer, and dessert. Plus, this innocuous midday rendezvous will put a woman at ease. Date number two may be at her place. Good Luck!

Buy electronics.

(February and December)

Each January in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electrics Show unveils the world’s next generation of electronic products. The month before the show, large electronics chains start slashing prices----up to 30%-----on models rumored to be discontinued. Smaller stores, however, generally don’t discount item until after the show, when they’re sure which models are goners. Don’t let the fact that items are discontinued get to you.

“There’s nothing wrong with any discontinued products,” explains Stewart Wolpin, executive editor of E/Town, a home-electronics Web site. “The technology on many items hasn’t changed in eons. Most modifications are cosmetic.”

Renovate your shack:

(June, July and December)

During summer and at yuletide, people focus on seasonal activities; getting drunk on the beach, and getting drunk at the office party. Nobody wants to focus on the butt crack of a construction worker who’s raiding your fridge for your beer. And, lucky you, that’s why contractors often, usually, have to shave 5 to 10% off their fees at this time to get work for their crews. Not only can you save two grand on a $20,000 roof job, you’ll also get a better roof. “During slow times, the contractor has laid off the bad employees,” says James Carey, host of On the House

a syndicated radio home-improvement show. That also means the rejects won’t be peeking at your wife while she’s showering.

Source: MAXIM

              June 1999. Pgs.58-62.


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