Guide to 2012 Labor Day Sales

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If you don't have travel plans this weekend, you might consider doing a little shopping because you'll find great deals on certain items. In particular, you'll see major markdowns on summer merchandise and back-to-school gear. Here's what you can expect to find on sale, according to dealnews.com , which analyzes deals from past years to predict what will be discounted this year.

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Back-to-school supplies. Expect to see final markdowns of the season on school supplies, according to dealnews.com. Retailers will be eager to clear their shelves because back-to-school spending has been weak this year, and the National Retail Federation reports that many families have yet to complete their shopping. Dealnews.com cautions that pickings will be slim, though, despite slow sales.

Clothing. You'll see steep discounts on summer apparel (50% to 75% off at Macy's, for example, according to dealnews.com). However, you won't see major markdowns on fall clothing until October and November. Considering how hot it is across most of the U.S., you probably won't need those fall clothes until then anyway.

Electronics. Look for savings of up to 80% and free shipping on electronics during newegg.com's Labor Day sale. Best Buy, Fry's, h.h. gregg, Target, Sears and Walmart are among the stores that also will have sales on electronics.

Grills and patio furniture. Prices on these items, along with gardening supplies, will plummet as retailers try to clear out their supplies of this seaonal merchandise.

Home goods and appliances. Expect to see markdowns on bedding, mattresses, small and large appliances, and other home goods. For example, Sears is slashing prices on major appliances by as much as 30%.

Sporting goods. Stores such as REI, Backcountry, Cabelas, Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops are having sales on sporting goods, camping gear, and hunting and fishing equipment. Discounts will range from 30% to 60%, according to dealnews.com.

Find your own best deal

Start by checking out the lists of Labor Day sales and coupons in the DaddyoDeals.com forums . You might also want to visit some of our favorite deal sites to look for Labor Day discounts.

To find out if your favorite store is having a Labor Day sale, sign up for its e-mail alerts , or follow it on Facebook or Twitter. If you have a smart phone and are out shopping, download the foursquare app to "check in" at stores and unlock discounts or get freebies.

If you're buying a big-ticket item, such as an appliance, go online to research the average price before hitting the stores for Labor Day sales. Our favorite price-comparison sites are Amazon.com and Pricegrabber.com .

Use coupons to lower the price on marked down items even more. And look for coupons to score even deeper discounts on already marked-down items. You can find coupon codes and printable coupons at sites such as CouponCabin.com , Coupons.com and Coupon Sherpa , which has a free iPhone app you can use to get coupons while you're in stores.

Shop online to avoid the crowds and save on gas costs. Many retailers are offering free shipping, and some will have special markdowns only online. For example, Macy's is taking 25% off clearance items online. You can get an extra 40% off clearance items online at Abercrombie & Fitch. Sears is offering free shipping on qualified orders of $49 or more, and JCPenney and Lands' End have free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Insurance

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