Playsets aren’t exactly the cheapest things in the world. Depending on the size and brand, they can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. So it’s perfectly understandable to want to hold out for some sort of deal. The trouble is, it’s not always easy to tell if there’s a deal on the horizon. And if you’ve searched for sales during the spring or summer, it may seem like there are no deals to be had – but this isn’t the case.
Many dealers do offer sales and discounts on playsets and swing sets on some holidays and during certain times of the year. Spring and summer are the busy seasons for outdoor toy dealers, so prices are usually higher. The best deals tend to be found in the off-season when dealers are eager to unload their inventory, but even then, certain months and holidays offer better prices than others.
When Is the Best Time To Buy a Playset?
Though it may seem counterintuitive, the best time to buy a playset is generally in the fall and early winter – November and December in particular. This is because demand goes down in the colder months, resulting in lower prices and faster delivery times. Even lower prices can usually be found during certain sales events and holiday deals.
To better understand why fall and winter are the best times to buy a playset, let’s look at the main factors that contribute to this.
Availability & Delivery Time
During the spring and summer, playset sales go through the roof – understandably so, since the warm weather means more time spent playing outdoors. Most parents are also eager to give their kids a fun, safe way to stay active and happy during the summer break from school.
As a consequence of this increased demand, it can take several weeks for a playset to arrive after purchase. Even if you aim to pick it up from a physical store, it can still take weeks for the store itself to receive it. In some regions, playsets go out of stock for many dealers as early as March, and you’d be lucky to find certain models again (or have them delivered) until summer is nearly over.
This is also an issue with custom-made playsets – due to the high demand, manufacturing and delivery slow to a crawl, and delivery times get extended by weeks.
Around the start of fall, however, dealers typically have a surplus of playsets that they’re itching to get rid of. Many dealers offer end-of-season sales and lower their playset prices in general in the off-season, but they tend to save the biggest price drops until the holiday season.
While increased availability and lower demand in the off-season are key factors, the main thing that makes November and December the best months to buy a playset is the abundance of holiday deals.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales often feature massive deals on playsets, swing sets, and other outdoor toys and equipment, particularly if they can be marketed as gifts.
If you miss those late-November sales events, playsets are often included in the “last-minute” sales that many dealers and online marketplaces offer in the days leading up to Christmas.
And finally, New Year’s or End-of-the-Year sales often include great discounts on playsets. But these are likely your last chance to get much of a deal until next fall – many materials suppliers tend to raise their prices in January, which means playset manufacturers and dealers will have to raise their prices as well.
What About the Weather?
Depending on the climate you live in, you may be thinking that a playset won’t do you or your kids much good in the late fall and early winter. After all, who wants to go outside and play when it’s freezing cold? But you might be surprised what the excitement and novelty of a brand-new playset can do to awaken the playful spirit in a young kid. I know I never let a little snow stop me from getting bundled up and venturing out to play.
It may even be just the ticket for getting the kids outdoors and active instead of being glued to one screen or another all winter!
Of course, you may be the one who has to spend an afternoon or two out in the backyard to set it up, so you’ll probably want to wait for a fairly sunny and pleasant day to install your new playset.
Other Times To Find Deals On Playsets
If you’ve missed the prime buying season of November-December and you don’t want to wait until it comes around again, you’re not completely without options.
Even if playset prices do rise a little at the beginning of the year as a result of increased manufacturing costs, most dealers will still try to keep their prices lower during the winter to drive sales before the busy season. You may also be able to find a great deal during a President’s Day sale.
Other big holiday weekends throughout the year tend to feature discounts on playsets and outdoor equipment – primarily Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. But since these are in the middle of the peak season for playset sales, inventory will go fast and delivery will likely take longer.
After Labor Day, some dealers may also throw End-of-Summer sales events, but that’s usually the last of the deals until Black Friday comes around again.
If you want to find a great deal on a playset (without skimping on quality), your best bet is to buy one in November or December, preferably during a holiday sales event. But even throughout the rest of the year, the deals are there if you know where (rather, when) to look.
Installing a playset in the fall or winter may not seem ideal in some regions, but the cooler weather isn’t necessarily an obstacle to fun (except, of course, in extreme cases) – the crisp autumn afternoons and frozen wintry weekends can be wondrous backdrops for the imagination and adventurousness of your little ones.
Of course, the best time to buy a playset is more about what works for you than anything else – sale or no sale. At the end of the day, the decision is all about your personal preference and what you think is best for your children.