Ah, Labor Day is upon us: On the one hand, it means a three-day weekend to savor, on the other, a melancholy marker of summer's end.
And either way you look at it, you might be planning to chase away those no-more-lazy-days blues with some retail therapy.
If so, here's a rundown of some of the best deals to be had during this holiday weekend, as well as some clever shopping tips, from the savings gurus at FatWallet.com, ShopItToMe.com,BradsDeals.com and DealDecor.com.
What to Buy to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck
According to Brad Wilson, CEO of coupon and savings site BradsDeals.com, here's what you should be buying this holiday weekend to reap the best bargains:
• Summer clothes: Get great deals on dresses, shorts and sandals now, stash them away for next year.
• Appliances: This is when retailers line their floors with new models, so they're eager to unload last year's refrigerators, washers and dryers. "There are generally only small upgrades from model to model, so investing in last year's model is a great way to get a larger appliance at a low price," Wilson says.
• Mattresses: Holiday weekends are generally the best times to score a deal on a mattress.
• Cars: Like appliances, new cars debut at the end of the summer. "Try and haggle a great price on last year's car so you get it out of their showroom," he says.
• Grills and grill accessories, patio furniture and lawn supplies: Same as with summer clothes -- buy now, stash them away for next year, and save.
How to Make Digital Tools Work for You
• Get extra juice from your smartphone: There's nothing wrong with "showrooming" -- checking out products in person to see what you like, then hunting online for the best price -- so don't try to hide it. In fact, you actually should do it in front of a salesperson, says Gregory Lok, CEO of DealDecor.com, an online retailer of factory-direct furniture. If you're in an independent store, for example, "you can share your price comparisons and research immediately with the salesperson, and this will provide ample leverage for consumers to get a great price on the spot."
• Tap social media: Post a picture of the product you're looking for on Facebook or Twitter to get input from your social network. "Someone else in your network might have been shopping for the same item," says Lok. "Referrals are some of the best ways to find great deals, since your friends have done all the legwork for you."
• For baby and kid's clothes, check out Carter'sstorewide Labor Day sale, which includes an extra 25% off a $40 purchase. The sale ends Sept. 4.
• Outdoor apparel and gear retailer REI is offering up to 50% off your purchase during its holiday sale. Sweeten the savings with FatWallet's 3% cash back offer.
• Want to scratch that end-of-summer travel itch on the cheap? Save up to 30% off your trip on Hotels.com, and earn 4% cash back. But you'll have to book by Sept. 3 and travel by Sept. 5.
• Sears' (SHLD) annual Labor Day sale boasts "thousands" of sale items and free shipping. Earn triple FatWallet cash-back rewards on your purchase.
• Also, check out FatWallet's Labor Day Deals page for more cash-back offer from retailers such as Amazon.com (AMZN), Home Depot (HD), Radioshack (RSH) and even Groupon (GRPN).
• Shop in the mornings for the best sales. Most retailers do their markdowns in the wee hours, says Tamra Feldman, vice president of marketing at "online personal shopper" ShopItToMe.
• ShopItToMe is corralling its Labor Day bargains here, with the inside scoop on deals from Nautica, Steve Madden, Diane Von Furstenberg, LastCall, Club Monoco, and others.
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