October falls between the back-to-school and Christmas shopping seasons. It’s the beginning of fall, holiday deals have not started, but don’t overlook October entirely! There are a handful of items that are actually better to buy this month, and our October buying guide focuses on the things that you should buy now, while offering some notes about the things that are better left to Black Friday. Knowing what to buy this month, if you know what to look for, can save you a lot of money in October.
Plants, Trees and Shrubs. Early October will still give you plenty of time to plant most outdoor varieties. In Michigan, I have planted several trees and shrubs in October and even early November and all have survived. Remember, that Silver Maple tree you saw in September for $35? Well, its now $5 dollars! Lowes wants to move these remaining plants quickly, but you have to shop at the right time. Visit the store late Friday just before the weekend to check it out or shop early Monday after the weekend as they mark them down some more.
Lawn Mowers and Power Equipment. Always be on the look out for power equipment deals. Just don’t buy anything “as is”. That means you will not have a warranty. Get a great deal on a lawn mower in October or look for early season deals on snowblowers.
Windows, Doors and Installation Services. As colder weather sets in, this is your last chance to replace windows, roofs, garage doors and openers, patio doors and entry doors. The best deals will not be when you buy stock items from the store. Why? Because Lowes carries doors and windows all year long so there is no need to discount them. The deals will be when you special order a door or window and combine that with an installation. Here is how to save money by using the special order system at Lowes:
Do you like that entry door or window in the store? Special order it with a different style trim or different color. Same with patio doors and windows. The price may be slightly higher, but in most cases its the same price. At this point, just let Lowes know that you are thinking about having an installer do the job. Next, an installer will need to come out to your house to measure for the correct size. They will come out to your home anyway if you are having an installation or if you are installing it yourself. They want to make sure that the size you are ordering is correct and will fit. The installer will take the measurements and submit his quote to Lowes for the item and installation. It will take about 7-10 days to get your item to the store.
You will then get a call from your sales associate at Lowes. They will most certainly quote you a price for the item and installation. Make sure you get a separate quote for the item and one for the item with installation. Then let them know you will have to think about it. This is the negotiation part. Contractors know that winter is ahead and they will be doing very little work for the next 3 months. Now, they are not going to give away the installation, but most will be willing to come down on installation prices at this time of the year. My suggestion: Get your quote from Lowes, call back in a week and ask for a 15% discount. Don’t go overboard and ask for 30%-50% off, it will not happen. Don’t expect an immediate answer. Your sales associate will take your request to the store manager or the installation services manager and ask for approval. On most orders this will mean a savings of $200-$300 and this modest 15% discount has a very good chance of getting approved.
Looking ahead to November. There will be many more deals in November and for Black Friday at Lowes. Wait for major purchases like appliances, power tools and hand tools, kitchen cabinets, carpet and flooring, vacuum cleaners and small appliances.
By Victoria Stone