Editor's note: This blog was originally published in December 2016, and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Once you have made the decision to add a pool to your outdoor landscape, the next logical question (and quite frankly, one of the most frequent questions we hear) is ‘When is the best time to buy an above ground pool’? A lot of this is truly personal preference, however, if you are looking for the best deal, or want to ensure you have your pool ready for a big Memorial Day weekend celebration, we have compiled some information below to help you buy at the right time.
WINTER: DECEMBER - FEBRUARY
I know, I know - these are typically the coldest months in Oklahoma. The months where getting out of the house seems like a terrible idea and you just want to stay in your cozy sweatshirt under a blanket on the couch. Believe me, I'm totally that person! However, if you are planning to buy an above ground pool in the near future, these cold months can actually be the BEST time to purchase.
Most pool retailers are generally warm weather people and don’t particularly care for winter! They are so ready to get the season off the ground, there will be incentives for those ‘early planners’ that purchase in December/January/February, and are ready to install when those random 60+ degree days pop up, as they do in Oklahoma!
Most retailers start receiving their pool orders for the season in January, which means you will have all sizes/models to choose from. Once you've made your purchase, request to be on the list for an early install. If you've lived in Oklahoma long, you know how springtime weather works. It can rain for 20 days straight, be warm and windy, or we can face snow and ice in April. Taking advantage of any day that is warm and getting your pool installed early is the best bet to guarantee you are ready for summer.
With the night time temperatures still being relatively cold, you will not have to worry about algae growth or adding chemicals. And, having your pool installed this early on will ensure the bottom has time to fully compact and harden before your kiddos are bugging you about jumping in. It also allows time for the water to begin warming up as the outside temps begin to rise throughout the spring.
Winter tip - some retailers may even have inventory remaining from the prior season. If they do, ask if there is an additional discount. Most of the time they want to make room as the new inventory is arriving, and you can get discounted pricing on last year's stock!
SPRING: MARCH - MAY
The typical ‘pool season’ starts to kick off around Spring break (mid-March). During the spring months, you will typically see standard above ground pool pricing. Generally there will be an added incentive thrown in with the pool, based on the month or promotion schedule of the retailer. In-store credit, discounted install rates, and special 0% financing are some of the more popular offers during these months.
If you purchase your pool in the spring months, make sure you are ready to take install asap. As we mentioned above, the climate in Oklahoma in the spring is tempermental at best. Once a good day for install pops up, and the installer calls you - take the install immediately! You will regret it if you wind up waiting and then it begins to rain with no end in sight! If you do find yourself waiting through the rainy season for your install, the silver lining is during 2017, the swim season lasted well into October, and we didn’t see people begin closing their pools until Daylight Savings time ended—so you will have plenty of time to enjoy your pool!
Spring tip - as retailers are cleaning, organzing and making room for new inventory, they tend to find pool kits where the boxes didn't hold up over the winter. They will generally package these up as 'out of box pool kits', and will mark them down. The spring months are the best time to come across these offers. If you find one on a pool you like - grab it while you can - who really cares about the box?!!
SUMMER: JUNE - AUGUST
If you don't make the decision to buy a new pool until summer rolls around, don't fret! There are still deals to be had and benefits of waiting. Once we hit June, the rain tends to stop and Oklahoma gets hot and dry - and the days are LONG. This weather and added daylight allows for installers to get 2, sometimes 3, pools installed in a single day. This means you shouldn't be waiting too long for your install, and you won't be at the mercy of the weather.
With the temps heating up for the summmer, your pool water will warm up quickly, and by the time your sand bottom is compacted and your pool is ready for swimmers, the water will be at an enjoyable temperature. I know this doesn't mean much for kids - they will jump into 60 degree water I've realized. But for me, I need that water to be at least 80 degrees before I'm getting in! I had a pool installed last July, and the water was a comfortable 82 degrees by the 4th day post-install.
As for deals on pricing, you won't generally see discounts on install, but you will see offers for in-store credit, and occassionally special financing. You may also see discounts on select models and/or sizes. Retailers 'guess' at the right mix of pool models and sizes when they are making their initial orders over the winter. By about June, they will have an idea if they are going to be over-stocked on particular pools and will begin discounting them during the summer to minimize the inventory that is carried into the fall. If you aren't super picky about the model or size, this may be a great option to explore for the best price.
Summer tip - If it's almost August and you haven't made it to the pool store yet, you are probably thinking to yourself, 'Oh well, let's just wait until next year. We'll get around quicker and have it ready for next summer.' My tip for you - DON'T WAIT! With back to school on everyone's mind, pool stores typically see a small dip in traffic during the first weeks of August. Most have started discounting remaining inventory and installers are caught up. What does that mean for you? Good deals and potentially next day install!!
FALL: SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER
Most pool retailers have a pretty good feel for the market demand and order what they are going to need for the season. In most cases, by the end of September, they're out of stock and have already placed their order for the next season. However, there are years where the weather doesn't cooperate, and they have pool inventory left over going into fall and early winter. Or, maybe they just simply over-ordered! This is not ideal for a pool retailer - their ideal scenario is hitting November with ZERO pools remaining.
If this is the case at the pool store you are shopping at, and you are a price only shopper, the prices will generally never get better than this time of year. You could expect to see up to 40% off in-season pricing (including install). There is a small down side to this discount though; you will be buying from what they have in stock and not all models or sizes will be available.
Fall Tip - With Oklahoma's climate tending to shift, we have recently noticed temperatures staying warm well into October. A pool is a great investment for after school exercise, a way to cool off from extra curricular sports practices, and a way to simply unwind after the back to school routine. Getting back into the fall routine is HARD to say the least - what better way to hang on to summer for a few more months! Plus, there are generally great discounts around the State Fair in September!
Ready to take the next step? Schedule a time to meet with us either in the showroom or the comfort of your own home! We would love to help you find the right pool at the right time.