10 things you should never buy at full price
Keep your eyes out for sales on these products.
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Fun fact: I basically online shop for a living. Yes, it really is the dream. Each and every day, I look for deals on the great products that we’ve tested in our lab in Cambridge, so readers like you can get a good price on a quality product. In all honesty, it even helps me scratch my shopping itch without hitting the buy button (unless it’s something I really, really want at a great price).
Here at Reviewed, we round up and share the best deals and sales each and every day, featuring the best deals we can find on our favorite and well-tested products. Checking out the day's top sales and offers is a great place to start when you're in the market for a new Instant Pot, headphones, vacuums, or anything else you'd consider a bigger investment.
But if you have something specific in mind, we recommend tracking Amazon products on the site CamelCamelCamel. You simply choose the product, choose the sale price you want it at, and wait for it to notify you of the sale. It even shows you price histories so you can see what the item usually goes on sale for, and how often the price changes. For products that aren’t on Amazon, I would install the browser extension Honey, which will automatically look for and apply codes and discounts to save you a few bucks on thousands of ecommerce sites.
After deal hunting and price tracking top products for over a year, I've learned there a quite a few products you should only buy when they’re on sale. It’s not that these products aren’t worth it, per se, it’s just that they’re not worth it at full price because they go on sale often enough that it's better to wait. That’s why it’s important to track and look out for sales on niche kitchen items, tech products, and more.
Here are 10 products we absolutely love that you should never buy at full price.
1. The most popular pressure cooker
I love the Instant Pot. It’s completely changed how I cook thanks to its pressure cooking setting that allows me to quickly make soups, steam veggies, and free up my stovetop by cooking grains. But the most popular model usually costs $100, and I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t find it on sale for under $60 on Black Friday. Instant Pot has been the most popular pressure cooker brand for years, so it doesn’t have that "new" factor that warrants buying it at full price, but thankfully it goes on sale at least once a month and that’s when you should take advantage of its magic.
Or, if you don't want to wait to try pressure cooking, you could go for our favorite affordable multi-cooker—the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker, which is usually priced at $69 but also goes on sale for $45-$55.
2. A really good hair dryer
We’ve tested a bunch of hair dryers and our top picks are, unfortunately for our wallets, some of the more expensive models. I'm talking hundreds of dollars expensive, which isn’t ideal for most of us. The Harry Josh Pro Dryer is the best we've ever tested for its ability to deliver a salon-quality blowout in no time, and I’m not saying that it’s not worth splurging on. But with a price tag of $250, I would only recommend buying when it's under $200. Thankfully, we see Dermstore discount it a handful of times a year, especially around major shopping holidays like Black Friday and even Prime Day.
3. Echoes and smart speakers
Smart speakers have been on the market for a while now, and although having a virtual smart assistant is not completely necessary to live your life, they are a heck of a lot of fun and can make life a little easier. I do love my Echo Dot, but even though it's already the most affordable model Amazon offers, I wouldn’t pay full price for one. Amazon discounts its devices pretty regularly, so you can often find the Dot for sale. They typically take $20 off the regular $50 price tag for the newest model, and you can even find the older second-gen. model on sale for $19.99.
4. Robot vacuums
Let’s be honest: Most of us want a robot vacuum. I mean, who wouldn’t want something to clean their floors every single day so they don't have to? Thankfully, some robot vacuums are pretty affordable, but that doesn't mean you can't save even more when you buy one, whether you want a high-end Roomba or a less expensive model. For instance, our favorite affordable robot vacuum, the Eufy Robovac 11S, costs $230, which is a decent price compared to some of the $500-$900 models out there, but still isn’t that affordable. But if you keep an eye out for coupon codes and deals, you can find it fairly often for under $200.
5. DNA testing kits
DNA tests honestly make great gifts. Everyone loves learning more about themselves, and what better way to do so than to give someone more insight into their heritage? These testing kits—like AncestryDNA—typically start at around $100 and can go even higher if you want more information like health and genetics. But these companies are also aware of how popular these products are around the holidays, and you can find popular testing kits for anywhere from 30-50% off if you're patient.
6. Immersion circulators for sous vide
Sous vide is a cooking technique that's slowly gaining popularity among home chefs. If you're unfamiliar, sous vide involves cooking food slowly in a controlled-temperature water bath—and to do so at home, you’re going to want a device called an immersion circulator. When you cook sous vide, you're able to make meats, veggies, and desserts to the exact perfect temperature with no way to over- or undercook things. It's science! And it's fairly fool-proof.
If you want to learn a new cooking technique, or just stop overcooking your steaks, we think sous vide is totally worth trying. But you don't need to spend a ton on an immersion circulator. Anova makes our favorite immersion circulator, which used to cost almost $200. These days, however, you can find it for around $12, which is definitely better, but if you're patient, you can find it on sale for under $100 both on Amazon and from Anova directly.
7. High-end cookware
All-Clad has some of the best pots, pans, and cookware money can buy. But this stuff is expensive, which is a downer for those of who want to elevate our cooking while still staying on a budget. If getting the best cookware is your prerogative, then good for you, but if you don’t mind a few scratches or dents (which will probably show up eventually anyway), then we recommend checking out factory seconds sales. They offer the same great products with a few imperfections, but up to 80 perfect off.
8. True wireless earbuds
Apple AirPods were a coveted Christmas gift this year and now every elitist has them dangling from their ears on the street, at the gym, or on their morning commute. To be fair, they are actually great. In fact, they’re the best true wireless earbuds we’ve ever tested. But at $160, I still wouldn’t recommend you pay full price for them. I know Apple products rarely go on sale and when they do it’s typically not that big of a discount. But Amazon actually sold them for $145 for a while last year, and that price dipped down to $139 around Black Friday too.
9. OLED TVs
TVs keep getting better and better. Right now, our favorite TV is the LG C8 OLED TV. It has life-changing picture quality, a 4K resolution, high-end processing, and more. Oh, did I mention it also costs nearly $3,000? That's pretty much way over-budget for most of us, making these TVs more of a luxury than a necessity. Last year, we stumbled upon a site called Massdrop, which periodically offers discounts of anywhere from $300 to $500 on different sizes of this amazing TV, as well as sales on other top models from LG and Samsung. Massdrop takes a bit longer to ship because they bulk order products after people commit to buying (it's how they get such huge discounts). But if you want the best TV for a better price, sign up for Massdrop and wait for your opportunity.
10. Dyson vacuums
We love Dyson products, and we've tested a lot of them in our labs. In fact, we've found that they consistently make some of the best handheld and cordless vacuums out there. However, they cost as much as $500, which seems kind of outrageous for someone who just wants clean floors. But if you really want the best of the best, you can often find deals on Dyson vacuums or refurbished models that can shave a couple of dollars off and make the purchase more worthwhile.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.