Some Christmas in July sales – like grills and school supplies – are duds in disguise
Don’t buy into all of the July 4th hype.
Independence Day sales are likely filling up your inbox this week, but many of these markdowns are all flash, no cash.
“Summer is typically not as popular for retail, since it’s not really a holiday season, and many people are on vacation,” NerdWallet’s Courtney Jespersen told Moneyish. “So any excuse retailers have for a sale – [like July 4th and Amazon Prime Day] – they’ll jump on it and take advantage.”
So Christmas in July really only counts for star-spangled clothes and summer flights, since stores are holding out their deepest discounts for Labor Day, Back-to-School and the winter holiday shopping blitz. And shoppers who pick up some electronics and office supplies this month could get burned.
Here’s which sales to pass on around July 4th, and which ones you can’t pass up.
Back to School. Do procrastinate with buying back to school supplies, which have already started lining store shelves. They will get cheaper the closer you get to the first day of school in September. NerdWallet reports that in August 2016, Best Buy offered up to $100 off Dell computers, and Wayfair dropped dorm supply prices by as much as 70%.
Laptops and Electronics. Notebook computers will also be cheaper closer to the first day of school. DealNews told Moneyish that in past summers, laptop prices dropped up to an 25% off in August and early September. “You could see some electronics sales happening right now that look good, but there will be better deals coming,” said Jespersen.
Grills and Patio Furniture. Everyone is BBQing outside, so grills, patio sets and lawnmowers are still in high demand. You may see some sales this weekend, but bide your time. “Prices will keep doing down the later it gets in the summer, because you’ll have less time to use it,” said Jespersen. DealNews told Moneyish that patio furniture will be priced lowest in August and September, when Target and Sears will have discounts of around 40% off. They anticipate grills costing 40% less in August, as well.
Black Friday in July. Thanks to Prime Day (July 11), retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy have hopped on the midsummer sales bandwagon. “There are opportunities for good deals, but Black Friday is still generally your best bet,” said Jespersen, who compared Black Friday and Prime Day prices last year, and found the November deals were best – with one exception. The Amazon Echo was $129.99 on Prime Day, and $139.99 on Black Friday.
Mattresses. The best deals on beds already happened over Memorial Day weekend, when mattress companies were clearing floor space to roll out new inventory. You could get another $100 off if you wait for Labor Day, though, Jespersen noted.
Star-Spangled Everything. Especially on July 4th itself and the days after, retailers throw red, white and blue blowouts with sales on party supplies, American flag t-shirts and other patriotic products that won’t be en vogue again until next summer.
Summer clothes. Since retailers rolled out their summer wear in spring, t-shirts, shorts, sandals and swimsuits have been on the racks for months already. The longer merch is out, the lower prices get. “Places like Old Navy [entire store is up to 60%, and the $8 dress sale returns] and Macy’s [up to 65% off apparel, jewelry and more] have good midsummer deals right now,” said Jespersen, “and Nordstrom’s annual anniversary sale is coming up.”
Last-minute Flights. Booking a flight now for an August getaway will be 7% cheaper than buying one for July, according travel site CheapAir.com. You’ll also land the lowest prices by traveling on Tuesdays and Wednesdays – flying on Tuesday is $65 cheaper on average than jetting on Sunday.
House Paint. No one wants to paint or do heavy home remodeling when it’s pushing 100 degrees out. Home Depot’s got $10 to $40 rebates on interior paints through July 5. And DealNews reported 40% off paint at Sherwin-Williams retailers last July. Plus, since paint can last for 10 years unopened, you can but now, but hold off picking up a brush until the temperatures drop.
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