You’ve decided to mark up some new merchandise—but when should you make let the shoppers know? Soster, Gershoff and Bearden (2014) say: at the beginning of the month. The reason why is pretty straightforward: according to their research, you are more likely to buy something when you can afford it (strange, huh?). The same logic, applied a different way, will also say that the best time to offer discounts is at the end of the month, when the consumer perceives less of a “blow” to their expense budget.
Sporting Goods wants to offload some of their old merchandise. In a few weeks the latex on those racquets is going to peel off—but wait! It’s the 28th of March! The manager scratches his goatee—a bolt of lightning strikes. Why not just cut the price in half, slap a bright red sticker DISCOUNT sticker on it, and see if they can still make money off those suckers by selling them at the new price?
Beat the timing. When shopping for something you don’t need urgently, wait it out—there’s a chance that in 30 days, it will be on sale. If you find yourself contemplating purchasing something you didn’t need before you walked into the store, remember: just because it’s a good deal, doesn’t mean you have to buy it, especially if your purse is tight this month.