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Know which sales to skip on Labor Day

Every store has a Labor Day sale. But not every store has good Labor Day deals.

Fortunately, coupon site has a way to cut through the hype. It analyzed its historical data to find out when retailers offered the best deals in the past and when they’re likely to offer the best deals in the future. Here’s what they found.

Skip: Gas grills. Grills do go on sale on Labor Day, but it’s only the first price drop of many to come. While you may save 25 to 50 percent off on Labor Day, you’ll see prices fall lower and lower through October and November.

Instead: Buy patio furniture and accessories, above-ground swimming pools and lawn mowers. You’ll find discounts up to 75 percent off.

Skip: Autumn clothing. Retailers make their first big marketing push for cool-weather clothing on Labor Day. They will have some small discounts, from 10 percent to 30 percent, but the real bargains will come closer to November. You can get by with last year’s jeans and hoodies until then.

Instead: Buy summer clothes and shoes. Now is the time to stock up for next year. You’ll find prices slashed by 80 percent, easy. It’s also a great time to buy a bathing suit.

Watch for big sales from American Eagle, Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, and online at, Nordstrom and REI.

Skip: Televisions and general electronics. You will see sales on TVs tied to the kickoff of football season. But don’t pounce yet. The big sales won’t come until the beginning of November, and will continue through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You’ll also want to avoid nominal “sales” on cameras, smartphones, tablets, GPS devices and home theater systems.

Instead: Opt for back-to-school electronics, like lower-end laptops and calculators. Included in the back-to-school category are headphones, Bluetooth speakers and backpacks that have compartments for laptops.

Skip: Children’s toys. Once again, you will see hyped-up toy sales, but the discounts won’t be very good. And with retailers starting their holiday sales earlier and earlier, you won’t have to wait long for better prices to kick in during October.

Instead: You’ll find better prices on big kid stuff like mattresses, cars and wine.

Last year’s Labor Day mattress sales were better than any other time of year, BensBargains’ data shows. You can expect to see steep discounts from many national and local mattress retailers, and up to 60 percent off on select models from Sears and Macy’s.

As dealerships make room for 2016 vehicles, they’ll discount the 2015 models. Those discounts will begin on labor day with a roughly 10 percent drop, then increase to 20 percent or more throughout the fall. The same thing is happening at wineries, as they make room for new vintages during the harvest season.

Skip: Holiday airfare. Promotions for Thanksgiving and Christmas travel usually launch during labor day weekend, but you’ll get the best rates if you wait until early October. Tickets are usually 5 to 10 percent lower between Oct. 5 and Oct. 15, then increase in price again.

Instead: Consider a last-minute, warm-weather getaway. You’ll see good discounts on airfare and hotels for travel during early September.


You’ll see sales on TVs tied to the kickoff of football season. But don’t pounce yet.