Author Topic: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?  (Read 2536 times)

cincystache

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Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« on: November 15, 2016, 08:02:47 PM »
I'm wondering how people think about the following.

I see a great deal on something (ie. water heater, refrigerator, bicycle) that I don't need now but will need at some point in the future. When said item breaks, I want to avoid having to make an urgent purchase and spend much more than I normally would. If my water heater dies in January, I'm not going to wait for the next black friday sale to replace, for example.

Does anyone ever buy stuff during a great sale and then store it until needed at some point in the future.

I only consider this for staple items that I know have a finite lifetime and will break with little warning.

Thoughts?

ketchup

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 09:03:45 PM »
I would say it depends on both the potential cost savings, and your ability to store "inventory."  It would also make more sense if you could sell your old item as still working (applies more to something people actually buy used like a bicycle than to say, a water heater) so it doesn't depreciate all the way to 0.

If the cost savings are significant, and you can make it happen, I say go for it.  On Black Friday 2011 I upgraded my computer substantially sooner than I had to, but got a crazy-good enough deal on parts that after selling the old parts, I had only come out $60 behind and extended the life of that computer significantly.  Obviously, computer parts are easier to store than a refrigerator and water heater.

JLee

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2016, 09:33:59 PM »
How far in the future? If you're looking at something that is likely to fail in a few months and you're able to get an excellent deal, I would preemptively replace it and not have to deal with the hassle and frustration of a failure.

cincystache

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 09:48:32 PM »
It's more of a hypothetical, but two actual examples are the water heater (9 years old) and getting a newer bike when nashbar has sales. 

Would you buy a new water heater and store it in the garage until the old one fails?

JLee

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 10:21:03 PM »
It's more of a hypothetical, but two actual examples are the water heater (9 years old) and getting a newer bike when nashbar has sales. 

Would you buy a new water heater and store it in the garage until the old one fails?

I had mine replaced before it failed because it was about 20 years old and I was moving to the other side of the country. I didn't want to deal with a potential failure from 2500 miles away.

As your warranty period on a new water heater will begin when you purchase it, I wouldn't buy one unless you plan on installing it right away.

With This Herring

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 10:23:05 PM »
I don't own a home yet, but it seems like you would end up storing a lot of stuff, and losing out on the opportunity cost of that cash, unless you limited this to things you know will die in a few months.

I do buy shoes ahead, though, as they wear out within a pretty predictable timeframe, and consumables such as soap.

Jschange

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 10:32:09 PM »
I think for the types of items you're looking at, you probably don't want to store. Especially the bike - why do you need a new one? What is happening to the old one? That sounds like you just want it. Which is okay, as long as you're honest with yourself.

The water heater, do they have a scheduled expected life? Did the repair guy come, throw a patch on and say "this should hold you to January, but you should think about replacing it"? I might be wrong, but I think water heaters last a super long time - you could probably get in on next year's sale.

My bias is that my family are hoarders. And I hoard a little. But mine is more food, with a predictable timeframe to replace.

MayDay

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2016, 04:12:17 AM »
I generally don't buy ahead unless there is a known timeframe when I'm going to need it.  I'll happily pay 100$ more to not have a water heater collecting dust for 1 to 15 years.

Here is a good example from this week. My good friend told me she found an awesome bargain on cheesecloth (a whole bolt for 25$- they are apparently 3 or 4 times the price on Amazon). So she bought 2, because she'll use it...... someday. But seeing as how she isn't exactly a professional cheese makers, lol, why? Just why?

In my mind if you don't have a specific end use on a specific time frame, you are crossing into hoarder territory.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 06:10:22 AM by MayDay »

GuitarStv

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2016, 04:54:59 AM »
My view is that if it's not too much trouble to store, and if you know for sure that you'll use it it's probably worth getting on sale.

- Several years ago I purchased three pairs running shoes very cheaply at a going out of business sale.  I'm down to one pair in the back of the closet upstairs now, but haven't regretted the purchase at all.
- I bought thirty sets of my favorite guitar strings when they went on sale at the music store about five years ago, and have been working my through them ever since.
- We've always got a pile of toilet paper, soap, toothbrushes, etc. kicking around in the basement storage area.

There's kinda a balance to be had though.  We moved into our house five years ago and I nearly bought a water heater that went on sale (the water heater in our house is more than twenty years old), but decided it was going to be too much hassle to store (and what happens if I installed it after the warranty expired and there was a problem?).  Five years later, that seems to have been a wise decision as the ancient water heater is still going strong.  Same story with our refrigerator.



Don't buy a bike because it goes on sale.  Besides being large and difficult to store, bike components change every few years (usually newer stuff ends up being better), and bikes go on sale pretty regularly.  You might even find that the type of bike you're attracted to changes over time.

Cranky

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2016, 05:23:53 AM »
I prefer to replace appliances like water heaters and refrigerators before they fail, so yeah - if my water heater is 15 years old and I see a great deal, I go ahead and replace the water heater. I wouldn't store the new one until the old one failed, though. A failed water heater is (often) a mess and a big nuisance.

I buy a new pair of athletic shoes every summer, so in May I start watching for good sales.

But really - stuff goes on sale all the time. Most things, you can find a great deal pretty fast.

dcheesi

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2016, 05:39:33 AM »
Yeah, for appliances I wouldn't wait; go ahead and replace it when you buy the new one. For one thing, you may find that the newer models are more efficient. Second, you can schedule a time for the replacement, rather than having the appliance fail on you at the worst possible moment and then scrambling to replace it on short notice.

And if this seems like you're wasting a significant amount of useful life left in the current appliance, then maybe that's an indication that a replacement isn't really needed yet?

Linea_Norway

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2016, 05:49:51 AM »
I support the other suggestions here. There is always stuff on sale. You can't just fill up your house with good deals that might some day come in handy. This sounds like a spending hobby that might become expensive in the end. For consumer goods like running shoes, yes. But refrigerators: no.

My DH and I both need to watch out. Every year the sports shops have a lot of outdoor clothes on sale, like 25% of the normal price. But it is still limited how many of those GTX jackets one needs. And when you want to replace your current, you can just wait for the sale and buy one then with 50% discount.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2016, 09:44:02 AM »
Personally I just put the money that I would have spent into a high interest account. I find it easier to store the cash than a bunch of stuff.

cincystache

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Re: Buying stuff on sale or wait until stuff needs replacing?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2016, 11:05:53 AM »
Thanks for the replies. It sounds like there are cases where it makes sense and cases where it doesn't. I like the food, toilet paper, paper towels, guitar strings. It sounds like appliances are best to wait or replace before failure. I agree that bikes are probably on sale frequently enough to not justify buying one and storing it.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that toils with this.