Memorial Day weekend (MDW) is just around the corner, and with it comes the promise of beach trips, the first BBQs of the season, and — for some, at least — long-awaited extra time off. For the bargain addicts among us, MDW is also an occasion for deep discounts on many items. And while some of the widely advertised clearances are really as good as they seem, that’s not the case for all of them. Retailers know that shoppers are bound to be on the prowl for great deals over the long weekend, and they’re going to do everything they can to tempt you into opening up that wallet right now… even if there are actually better shopping opportunities later in the year.
We reached out to DealNews consumer analyst Julie Ramhold for her thoughts on the real deal behind the deals (see what we did there?). Keep scrolling for the inside scoop on the items whose Memorial Day weekend sales aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be. The fact is that a better price on these items is still a few months away, so don’t ruin your holiday weekend by spending more than necessary.
1. Grills: Since MDW is widely known as the unofficial start to summer, it would seem only logical that it’s also prime time for purchasing a new outdoor grill. Right? Wrong! According to Ramhold, stores will apply only minimal discounts to their barbecues this month. Technically, you’ll save a little money if you buy one on Memorial Day, but you’re much better off waiting until September or October, when retailers are trying to clear their inventory post-summer.
2. Perennial Plants: Garden stores know all too well that green thumbs will want to fill their gardens with beautiful perennial flowers like daylilies and azaleas in the summertime… and they’re going to raise their prices to reflect that demand. If you can, wait until the end of the summer to invest in perennials.
3. Summer Apparel: Generally, Ramhold notes that Memorial Day clothing sales can save you anywhere from 20 to 80 percent, but those deep discounts might not apply to shorts, sundresses, and other summer-specific apparel. Keep your eyes open for big sales on summer swag in the months ahead. In the meantime, stick to layering pieces or cold-weather items for maximum savings during MDW.
4. School + Office Supplies: It’s hardly a hot season for pens and notebooks. The closer we get to the beginning of the new school year, the better the prices will be for school and office supplies. According to Ramhold, some states even have tax-free weeks or weekends leading up to back-to-school, which should give you extra incentive to hold out until then.
5. Laptops: “While May might offer a notable amount of laptop deals, you’ll see better — and more — if you wait until November,” Ramhold says. “Big-ticket electronic items tend to be better to purchase around the [winter] holidays.” Resist the urge to fall prey to the highly publicized Memorial Day electronics deals at your go-to big box retailer. Those sales are going to sound pretty great, but we promise that there are probably better ones coming your way.
6. Cars: The best time to buy a car is actually November, when dealers are trying to make room for new models to arrive. While waiting until the fall means that you won’t have fresh wheels to take you on your summer road trip adventures, it will allow you to take advantage of the best possible prices.
7. Apple Products: Some Apple items might be especially well-priced for MDW (in 2017, for example, Ramhold notes that there were great deals on the new iPad), but newer iPhones won’t be marked down until later in the year. In 2018, the newest iPad will probably see its best discounts later in the summer.
Are you planning on chasing down deals this Memorial Day weekend? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)