Safes are high ticket items. So when I decided to buy a gun safe, I checked around to get the best deal. I'll share a few tips on how to shave off a few bucks, and how to cut through the marketing mumbo-jumbo and get closer to the truth. (If you disagree, email me and share your experience or any new tips you have and I will add them to this article and credit you.)
The best time to buy a gun safe is from October to December. This is when demand for gun safes is the highest and when manufacturers compete fiercely for your business. This is also when retailers discount for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and for holiday shopping and gun safes can also go on sale. Contrary to some websites (who shall remain unmentioned), summer is not the best time to buy gun safes. Yes, it might mean that some gun safe manufacturers offer rebates in summer but that alone is not the reason to buy. Let's look at what I found.
You should consider four factors to find the best time of the year to buy a gun safe:
When prices are their lowest.
In the period from about October to December, consumer interest is high in gun safes. In fact, Google Trend searches have spiked very predictably during this period for each of the past 5 years as shown. With this much demand, retailers and safe manufacturers compete aggressively for your dollar through discounts, rebates, and specials. You are likely to see these referred to as "Fall Specials", "Halloween Specials", "Black Friday Deals", or "BFCM Deals". Search, and ye shall find!
When weather is suitable for installation and delivery.
Most gun safes we are talking about weigh over 500 lbs. Getting the best deal but having it delivered curbside and moved into its final location through snow and ice is hazardous. Whether you move the safe yourself with a buddy, or you opt for white-glove delivery and installation, bad weather is a hassle. The good news: most of the country (except for Alaska) is unlikely to see snow in October and for most of November. (December and January are the snowiest months for most of the USA -- but who am I to comment about your weather!)
When inventory is good.
Getting the best price and scheduling delivery when weather is good, is no use if the item you want is out of stock. Gun safe manufacturers do not do large batch runs because safes are expensive and take up a lot of space. When there is less demand, as in summer and in winter, manufacturing is likely to be low and inventory could run out. With delivery of most safes at least 2-3 weeks, plan on starting early with your shopping - later September to early October if you want your choice of inventory.
When manufacturers and retailers run specials and rebates.
Manufacturer rebates are sometimes available for select models but they come with a trade-off. They are usually for high-end models, newly issued models, and not for the popular models. If you are lucky, the models with a rebate will line up with what you want. But in my opinion waiting for that long shot is not worth it. You can find rebates throughout the year, with a slightly higher number in summer.
Check these popular gun safe manufacturer pages for their latest rebates and sales.
Is the best time to buy a home safe, the same as the best time to buy a gun safe?
No. The demand for home safes is not as seasonal as the demand for gun safes. As we show below, searches for "home safes" do not show the same seasonal spike that we see for "gun safes" so one can expect fewer
Should I buy a used gun safe to save money?
No. It is tempting but there are several reasons to not buy one. See why we believe used safes are not
(If you have set your mind on a less-than-new safe, look for a good refurbished safe instead. While you might not get the exact model or brand you want, the risks are significantly lower.)
Conclusion / TL;DR
In my opinion, October through December is the best time to buy a gun safe. This is because demand is the highest; retailers discount more aggressively; inventory, especially for some models, is adequate or high; and for most parts of the country, snow is not yet an inconvenience for delivery and installation.
At USASafeAndVault, we strive to get you the best deal by shipping directly to you from the manufacturer. Our low overhead means lower prices for you. Plus we price match online retailers, and our unique year-round, free-accessory-with-order for select safes gives you added value with your buy from us. Vets get a special discount depending on the safe you order. Call us at (800) 418-1844 for more details.