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13 October 2020

Kitchen sales: expert shopping tips

Read our insider tips to help you navigate the kitchen sales and find your dream kitchen at the right price.
Sale signs_kitchen advice 482806
Liz Ransome-Croker

Sales can be a great way to save hundreds on your new kitchen. But are attractive deals too good to be true? And is there a best time of year to buy a new kitchen? We've done the research to arm you with the knowledge you need to get a cheap kitchen.

You might assume that the traditional peak sales periods – post-Christmas, around Easter and during the summer months – are good times to buy a kitchen. However, we've found that some stores eke out sales for months at a time and tinker with their prices almost constantly, meaning there isn't a single best time to buy.

We've collected kitchen quotes and scrutinised price variations and promotional messages from well-known kitchen brands, such as Wren Kitchens, Wickes, Magnet and Ikea, and have identified key tactics to side-step kitchen shops' ploys and put the buying power back in your hands.

What's more, following our assessments of kitchen units in the lab, we explain why materials and unit thickness can really make a difference to whether a kitchen is good value for money. 

Which? members can log in to see all of our expert advice on this page. If you're not a member, you can join Which? now to gain access to this, as well as our fitted kitchen reviews to find out which kitchen brands are really valued by their customers. 

Kitchen sales: what we discovered

We examined prices and promotional messages from the big kitchen companies for a whole year, and found that there is really no 'best' time to buy a kitchen. Here are the key things to watch out for:

  • Standard kitchen prices often fluctuated throughout the year, although significant changes tended to happen just before a sale - which meant that the 'sale' price was often the same as the standard price had been before the price change.
  • Many kitchen companies ran almost constant offers, with a number having some sort of deal running on as many as 365 days of the year.
  • Companies often ran multiple interlinked offers simultaneously, which made it nigh on impossible to work out whether a saving could be made, or whether it was worth it.
  • Attention-grabbing headlines were used to pull buyers in, particularly for multi-buys that offered 50% or 60% off a kitchen if customers purchased five or more units.
  • Countdown clocks weren't always clear about when their promotions were going to end, especially if there were two offers running at once and the countdown only applied to one of the offers.

Inconsistent kitchen quotes

To add a further layer of confusion for anyone trying to get a good kitchen deal, when we sent mystery shoppers to get a quote for a mid-range kitchen and fixed layout, we found that the way staff priced up the same kitchen and applied discounts varied widely. We found differences of up to 21% between the cheapest and most expensive kitchen quote based on the same customer request. 

Find out the average prices for each of the brands by visiting our kitchen costs page.

You can also read our full stories on kitchen price changes and bathroom and kitchen sales. Plus, find out why our Which? complaint against Wickes kitchens was upheld by the ASA.

What to watch out for in the kitchen sales

To help you potentially shave hundreds, or even thousands, off the cost of your kitchen, log in to see all of our insider tips on:

  • What to watch out for in the kitchen sales
  • Getting the cheapest kitchen quote
  • How getting the right kitchen quality can cut costs.

If you're not a member, you can join Which? now to gain access to all of this, as well as all our kitchen brand ratings and appliance reviews. Plus, discover which three well-known kitchen brands scored highly enough to get a Best Buy.

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