Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September are the bookends of summer — and two of the biggest shopping events of the year. However, between those days are plenty of times to snag deals from retailers’ annual sales and other minor shopping holidays. Whether you’re looking for tools, fashion or tech, there’s a summer shopping day for you.
Read on for more information about each important summer shopping holiday.
Father’s Day sales. Father’s Day falls on June 16. You’ll start seeing early sales popping up right after Memorial Day and last-minute deals in stores through Father’s Day weekend itself. The sweet spot for online shoppers will be the first week of June.
Father’s Day sales tend to be heavy on tech, grills and tools. So major players are Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy and Dell. Sporting Goods stores, such as Academy Sports + Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cabela’s and Modell’s, will offer great deals for outdoor-loving dads.
The timing of Father’s Day also helps you save on new power tools, hiking gear, grills or lawnmowers and still get plenty of use out of them all summer long.
Clothing semiannual sales. Major clothing retailers that throw semiannual or twice-yearly sales generally do so during the winter (for holiday shoppers) and during the summer. June’s lineup of fashion semiannual sales typically includes Victoria’s Secret (early June last year) and Zara (mid-June last year). Another notable June semiannual sale is the Bath & Body Works summer sale, which usually kicks off in early June.
Graduation gift card specials. Thanks to Father’s Day and graduation season, restaurants offer gift card deals. Generally, when you buy a gift card of a certain value ($25 to $100), you’ll get a bonus card worth $5 to $20 for yourself or a coupon for free food. These deals usually end around Father’s Day, but the bonus cards and coupons are generally valid all summer long. The next time you’ll see this many gift card deals will be around the holidays. This year’s lineup of retailers offering gift card specials includes Fogo de Chao, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili’s, Applebee’s and more.
Fourth of July sales. Stores offer discounts on practically everything during their Fourth of July sales to attract shoppers with an extra day off work. Popular sale categories include clothing, mattresses, home decor and appliances. This year, July 4 falls on Thursday, so expect sales to run the entire long weekend.
Amazon Prime Day. Amazon’s massive mid-summer sales event, exclusively for Prime members, offers sales on tech, Amazon smart home devices, Amazon services and subscriptions and Amazon’s in-house clothing and home decor brands. In previous years, Prime Day prices on Amazon Echo and Nest products hit the same lows they do on Black Friday.
Amazon has not yet announced its date for Prime Day 2019, but it’s always been held in mid-July since its first year in 2015.
If you’re not a Prime member, you can still ride the Prime Day wave. Plenty of competitors throw competing Black Friday in July sales during the same week, or offer deals on popular items to price-match Amazon. Pay particular attention to eBay, Walmart, Macy’s and Kohl’s.
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. The high-end department store doesn’t offer discounts often, so Nordstrom fans look forward to its Anniversary Sale all year. The dates for the 2019 sale are July 19 through Aug. 4. Expect to find price drops on summer clothing, as well as new releases for fall.
Tax-free sales weekends. More than a dozen states offer tax-free shopping weekends in late July and August during which stores waive sales tax on eligible purchases. Not all states offer tax-free weekends, so check your state comptroller’s website to confirm.
Items that are eligible for waived sales tax vary by state, but may include clothing, school supplies, books, computers and educational software. The participating states’ sales tax rates range up to about 7%, which can make a sizable price difference on a big-ticket item or a cart full of clothing and back-to-school supplies. However, some states place caps on the purchase amount that’s eligible for waived taxes.
Back-to-school sales. In early August, back-to-school sales start appearing. These sales go way beyond price cuts on markers and spiral notebooks. You’ll find discounts on fashion and tech as well. Last year, for example, Apple offered free Beats headphones with eligible purchase of a Mac or iPad Pro, and Best Buy offered up to $150 off MacBook prices. Plus, whether you’re shopping for your kid or yourself, you’ll find clothing stores cutting prices on shoes and apparel all the way through Labor Day weekend.
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