Labor Day sales to avoid

Outlet Stores(Photo: Courtesy of premiumoutlets.com)Hold off on buying this stuff—you can get a better deal later.

Labor Day is just around the corner! Which means sales, tons of sales! But not every discount is necessarily a steal. Some markdowns will get even deeper—if you can wait a while.


Outlet Stores

Every outlet store in the country—from Gap to Michael Kors to Vanity Fair—is talking up its Labor Day blowout sale, with additional discounts on top of the 25% to 65% off you’re already saving.

Our advice: Wait for Columbus Day weekend. Outlets all over the country will be holding yet another sale October 5-8, and they’ll be even more eager to clear out all that summer merchandise. (So if it’s 50% over Labor day, it’s more likely to be 80% off over Columbus Day).

Fall Merchandise Pre-Sales(Photo: Fairchild Archive)
Fall Merchandise Pre-Sales

Department stores—mostly the pricier ones, like Saks and Neiman Marcus—will occasionally offer a pre-discount on their new fall merchandise. While it’s nice to be able to get something in-season AND on-sale, if you can wait until November, you’ll definitely get more for your money. Pre-sales are usually only 15-20% off, while end-of-season discounts can be as much as 75-85%.




Electronics(Photo: CN Digital Studio) Electronics

Black Friday comes but once a year! Which means, that yes, you SHOULD wait to buy electronics until that hotly anticipated/mostly dreaded day.

Not only will you get the deepest discounts on TVs, computers, and dishwashers the day after Thanksgiving, you’ll also get the most current models. (Many electronics brands don’t release new products until late fall.) Stores like Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Sears will be ready and waiting for you come midnight on November 23, 2012.

(See also: The best months to shop for deals)




SwimwearSwimwear

It’s tempting to buy a bathing suit when it’s on sale AND still hot, but trust us: if you want until December, those markdowns will be even deeper (think 90% off on last summer’s styles).

If you hold out on this one, you can buy more than one new swimsuit for 2013.














Outdoor Furniture(Photo: CN Digital Studio)Outdoor Furniture

Again, it feels like common sense to buy seasonal stuff at the end of the season, but waiting until NEXT summer to buy patio furniture might be your best bet.

Design Within Reach holds its big warehouse sale at the end of June. And ABC Carpet and Home does its sale in March. While you might not score in-season merchandise, you will find discounts up to 75% off original retail prices.











Books(Photo courtesy of Amazon.com)Books

The best time to buy big ol’ coffee table books—as well as best-sellers, calendars, and stationery—is after January 1.

Barnes and Noble, Joseph-Beth and even indie booksellers do big discounts early in the year (sometimes more than 50% off) to make up for a lag after the holiday season rush. It’s also a great time to get a crazy-head-start on the coming year’s holiday shopping.










Winter Coats(Photo courtesy of Calvin Klein)Winter Coats

Sure, there are some wild discounts on winter coats right now. (We found a wool boucle Calvin Klein option for just $80, marked down from $429.50.) But when it comes to choice, the space is fairly barren. (That CK style is currently only available in sized 8, 10 and 14.)

Instead, aim to score for a super-cheap winter coat over President’s Day weekend, when there’s still plenty of winter stock—and tons of sales.












The caveat: waiting for bigger savings means that what you want right now might not be available by the time these sales roll around. So if that must-have item is discounted, you can afford it, and you gotta have it—pounce!






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