11 superb sales to shop over MLK weekend

We've barely taken down our holiday lights and lugged our Christmas trees to the curb, and another shopping holiday is already upon us.

It's a time-honored retail tradition to run "white sales" with discounts on bedding and bath products throughout the month of January. Over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, retailers will launch some of the best home goods deals of the season to woo vacationing shoppers.

SEE ALSO: The best time to buy appliances

If shopping is on your agenda this holiday weekend, expect to see solid savings on a variety of bed and bath products, plus winter apparel, beauty products and more. To help you score the very best MLK deals, we've compiled a list of 11 superb sales over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

[See: 10 Money-Saving Websites to Check Before Shopping.]

1. Bloomingdale's MLK Day Sale

Dates: Jan. 12 – Jan. 16

Bloomingdale's is running a number of deals on home goods and sale items over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and throughout January. Offers include:

• Up to 75 percent off linens, small appliances and other bed, bath and kitchen products.
• An extra 50 percent off sale items.

2. Macy's MLK Day Sale

Dates: TBA

Though Macy's hasn't announced the details of its MLK Day sale, expect it to follow a similar structure to previous Macy's holiday sales: 20 percent off sitewide with free shipping on qualifying orders. Further details are expected to be announced over the weekend.

3. Gap MLK Day Sale

Dates: Jan. 5 – Jan. 16

Gap is clearing stores for spring fashions with a huge sale on winter merchandise. Noteworthy deals from Gap include:

• Up to 75 percent off apparel for women, men, kids, plus fitness and maternity.
• 40 percent off your order with promo code GOODSTART.
• An extra $25 in Gap cash for every $50 or more spent.

[See: 12 Habits of Phenomenally Frugal Families.]

4. Pottery Barn MLK Day Sale

Dates: Throughout Jan. 29

Every January, Pottery Barn hosts one of the best white sales in the business. Over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, the home goods retailer will take 20 percent off a wide array of bed and bath products. Visit Pottery Barn over the holiday to save on bath towels, loungewear, duvets and sheets.

5. Overstock MLK Day Sale

Dates: Jan. 9 – Jan. 18

Overstock began releasing deals on furniture, bedding and other home essentials in early January. Over MLK weekend, Overstock will continue its home good sale, discounting towels, fashion bedding, memory foam and other bed and bath products by up to 70 percent.

6. Loft MLK Day Sale

Dates: Jan. 11 – Jan. 16

To celebrate the long weekend, Loft is marking down winter sale styles by 60 percent. During the MLK Day sale, you can shop women's apparel, outerwear and accessories for less.

[See: 8 Big Budgeting Blunders – and How to Fix Them.]

7. Saks Fifth Avenue MLK Day Sale

Dates: Jan. 12 – Jan. 16

The Saks Fifth Avenue MLK Day sale kicks off on Thursday and runs through the long weekend. During the sale, the designer will offer bedding, bath, kitchen and home dining products at up to 30 percent off.

8. Finish Line MLK Day Sale

Dates: Ends Jan. 18

During its End of Season Sale, Finish Line is slashing shoe and apparel prices by 50 percent. Over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, you'll uncover deals on athletic clothing and footwear from designers like Nike, Adidas and The North Face.

9. Orvis MLK Day Sale

Dates: Jan. 2 – Jan. 16

To usher in the spring, Orvis is running an End of the Season sale on winter fashions. Browse the sale to find outerwear, accessories, footwear, outdoor gear and dog products for up to 60 percent off.

10. The Body Shop MLK Day Sale

Dates: Jan. 3 – Jan. 16

Up until the long weekend's end, The Body Shop is holding a sale on bath and body products. Highlights from The Body Shop sale include:

• Up to 75 percent off sale items.
• 30 percent off on non-sale items.
• Up to 50 percent off gift sets.
• $10 limited edition Body Butter ($21 value).
• $12 body scrubs ($24 value).
• Bath and body products for under $5, $10 and $20.
Free ground shipping on all orders.

11. Home Depot MLK Day Sale

Dates: Jan. 5 – Jan. 31

Like many of its fellow big-box retailers, Home Depot is hosting a white sale on home goods. Over MLK weekend, Home Depot will feature the following deals:

• Up to 25 percent off furniture.
• Up to 25 percent off wall decor.
• Up to 30 percent off home accents.

RELATED: 10 retail sales tricks that get you to spend more

10 retail sales tricks that get you to spend more
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10 retail sales tricks that get you to spend more

1. Free-shipping offers

Shopping online is so convenient, but paying for shipping is a real drag. Beyond that, it can be downright expensive at some stores.

Web retailers know that many of us have an aversion to paying shipping costs, so they often offer free-shipping deals. However, these may come with a catch: You have to spend $30, $50, $100 or some other amount to get the free shipping.

How many people have spent precious time searching for extra items to add to their order to reach the amount needed for free shipping? I’ll raise my hand and admit to spending an ungodly amount of time looking for a $15 item (that I really didn’t need) to add to my $35 purchase in order to get free shipping. In hindsight, I should have stuck with my $35 buy, paid the $5 in shipping and come out $10 ahead.

(Paul Bradbury via Getty Images)

2. Multiple purchase pricing

My go-to grocery store loves to run a 10-for-$10 promotion. Not only are the sale items a mere dollar each, you also get the 11th item free. There are often at least a dozen products included in the sale, and you can mix and match items! How cool is that?

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It’s awesomely cool for the grocery store when we load up on 11 items we don’t need. It’s even better when those items regularly sell for $1.09 anyway.

I’m not saying multiple purchase pricing is always bad. It’s just that when we see four-for-$5 sales, we tend to buy four items even if we only need one.

(fStop Images - Patrick Strattner via Getty Images)

3. BOGO, B1G2 and B2G1 deals

BOGOs — buy-one-get-one-free sales — work similarly to multiple purchase pricing. They entice you to buy more than you normally would.

Now, if you’re already planning to make a purchase and a second one is free, by all means, take the freebie. But if you find yourself suddenly justifying the purchase of unneeded new shoes because of a BOGO ad, the marketers can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

B1G2 and B2G1 deals involve, respectively, buying one item and getting two free, or buying two items and getting one free. There is also another common variation that involves buying one item and getting the second for half off.

(Getty Images)

4. Bundled purchases

Another silly way retailers persuade us to buy more is by bundling purchases. So as part of a special sales bundle, for example, you might get a printer and office software along with a laptop. If you need a printer and software, this could be a cheaper option than buying all three separately.

However, you might have a perfectly good printer at home, and maybe you only plan to use the laptop for Facebook and World of Warcraft. I could be wrong, but I don’t think you need Microsoft Excel for either of those things.

Why wouldn’t you want to buy $1,200 worth of computer gear for only $900? Because if all you need is a $700 laptop, you’re $200 poorer for no good reason.

(Pieter Bollen via Getty Images)

5. Coupon savings

I love coupons, so I can’t advise you never to use them. That said, coupons have a sneaky way of making you buy items you would never purchase at full price, or even sale price.

Bottom line: Coupons make it feel like you’re getting a deal even if you aren’t. Double-check and make sure the after-coupon price is in fact a bargain.

If you’re looking for a break on a specific item, check out sites like Coupons.com. Again, just be clear-headed about whether the deal on the coupon is really a bargain.

(Jill Fromer via Getty Images)

6. Sales events

The fact that a store declares a sale to be phenomenal does not necessarily mean that it is a great deal. In fact, you could walk into a store that has announced sale prices “as much as 70 percent off” and find everything minus one lonely rack is only 20 percent off.

It’s not false advertising either; the ad clearly includes the qualifier “as much as.”

Remain skeptical of sale claims and don’t get caught up in the hype of a supposed once-in-a-lifetime deal. Trust me, there will always be another deal.

(Paper Boat Creative via Getty Images)

7. Rewards programs and loyalty cards

Rewards programs are how retailers get you to keep coming back to their store when you have other options.

Maybe there is a better sale at Kohl’s, but you have a Shop Your Way rewards card so you don’t even bother checking Kohl’s. You head straight for Sears instead.

It works the same way if you have a loyalty card for a gas station, grocery store, coffee shop or hotel chain. You stop comparison shopping and simply go to the business offering the rewards. That’s good for them, but it could be costly for you.

(andresr via Getty Images)

8. Psychological pricing

You would think by now we would be savvy enough not to be tricked by seeing the number 9 at the end of a price. And yet, we continue to think something priced $19.99 is a better deal than an item priced $20.

Known as charm pricing, ending sales tags with a “9” is only one way businesses use psychological pricing to their advantage. They may also trick you into spending more by dropping the dollar sign, putting a per-customer limit on sales and using a small font.

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Who knew we could be so easily manipulated by a price tag?

(Tetra Images via Getty Images)

9. Upselling everything

Whenever you’re asked whether you want an extra shot of espresso with your coffee or a bucket rather than a bag of popcorn at the theater, you’re being upsold.

In fact, even the language they use is finely tuned to maximize your chances of saying yes. When I worked as a mystery shopper, one specific chain required its workers not to ask, “Do you want anything else?” Instead, they were told specifically to ask, “What else would you like?”

By using those words, they created the expectation that you would in fact buy more.

10. Point-of-sale add-ons

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The final seemingly silly sales tactic that drains our wallets is the point-of-sale add-on. These are all the gum and candy displays by the register and the nice sales clerk who asks if we’d like to save 25 percent by opening a store credit card.

At a gas station in my town, the sales clerks are rather shameless about promoting the monthly candy deal, informing customers that they are competing for who can sell the most. That tidbit is followed by an appeal to help the worker out by making a purchase.

The only thing missing is some slight whimpering and big puppy dog eyes. I’m sure some heartless folks can say no to this plea for help, but it gets me every time.

Did we cover them all? Do you find yourself falling for one tactic over and over again? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.


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