What to Buy (and Not to Buy) This Labor Day Weekend

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It’s Labor Day here in the US… time to take off your corporate “purchaser” hat and play “consumer”. So let’s have some fun with this quick retail buying guide to the best deals found over the  weekend as we close the book on the summer of 2018.

The last hallmark “three-day weekend” of 2018 is upon us—Labor Day. I can’t think of a better way to ‘spend’ it than grabbing some great retail deals. From end-of-season summer inventory to big-ticket items, there are some great deep discounts to be had. Before you head to the store or online, we did a little research on what to buy (and not to buy) this Labor Day weekend.

Many brick and mortar retail shops are offering serious discounts to lure consumers into their stores, due to increasing pressure from online giants like Amazon and eBay. While product ‘leaders’ are a great way to get people in to spend money, retailers are banking on the impulse buys of other items not found on the discount list.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to Labor Day shopping is to avoid purchasing anything fall or holiday related. As you might have already guessed, summer-related products are a good buy this time of year, since stores are eager to sweep their shelves to make room for the up-coming season and holiday inventory.

What to Buy Now

Any end-of-season items such as grills, outdoor furniture, summer clothing are going to be advertised with the deepest discounts. Some retailers are offering discounts as much as 80 percent off these items. The cornerstone three-day holidays are the best times to buy a mattress, and Labor Day is no exception. Department stores and mattress retailers tend to discount their inventory by up to 60 percent around this time of year. Likewise, many retailers discount last years’ models on major appliances during Labor Day, with some marking down their inventory as much as 70 percent.

Top 3 best discounted items:

  1. Summer clothes, grills, and outdoor furniture: 80 percent off
  2. Major appliances: 70 percent off
  3. Mattresses: 60 percent off

Purchases to Avoid

Although many retailers are touting discounts on TVs, it’s best to wait until late November where you’ll see even deeper discounts. Surprisingly, outdoor items like tents and camping gear are not good buys over Labor Day either, as many are still enjoying the warm weather for a few more months. The best time to snag deals on these items is late October, where you’ll find discounts as much as 60. Electronics, phones, laptops and toy purchases should also be avoided during the Labor Day weekend, as the best deals will come on these items just before Christmas.

Top 3 items to wait for:

  1. Fall clothes and outdoor equipment items: late October
  2. TVs: late November
  3. Electronics, phones, laptops and toys: late December

Any retail supply chain professional can tell you, seasonality is one of the biggest factors in pricing. Put your procurement knowledge to use to take advantage of those end-of-season deals!


Sources: Thanks to BestBlackFriday.com and CBSnews.com for these shopping tips.

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