Personal Finance

What to Know About Labor Day Sales

Labor Day usually offers people that last chance to get away before the school year starts and fall activities kick into high gear. The three-day weekend also is a time when retailers have sales to clear out summer merchandise. Here's what you can expect to see marked down.

Clothing. Expect numerous sales on summer apparel that can be worn to transition into fall, says Lindsay Sakraida of . Don't expect to find deals on fall clothing, though. Prices will be at least 10% higher this fall because of increased cotton and labor prices earlier in the year, according to

Appliances and outdoor items. New models of big appliances roll into showrooms in September and October, making Labor Day weekend and early fall a good time to get a deal as stores clear out the old to make room for the new. Home Depot is offering 10% off all appliances $397 or more. Lowe's is taking 15% off Energy Star appliances $397 or more and marking down other major appliances by 10%. It also has grills and patio furniture on clearance. Sears is marking down select Kenmore appliances and Craftsman power lawn and garden tools by 25% over the weekend.

Bed and bath. expects to see a repeat of last year's good discounts on bedding, towels and similar items from stores such as Walmart, Kohl's and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Sears is offering 50% to 60% off on mattresses (plus an additional 10% off on purchases more than $499).

Cars. Shop now for an end-of-the-model-year car deal. You'll get a good combination of price and selection as dealers clear inventory for the new models. Bargains will vary by car model and dealer, but it's not uncommon to haggle your way down to the invoice price, or within a few hundred dollars of it. Take our quiz to find out how to get the best deal on a new car .

Find your own best deal

Start by checking out the lists of Labor Day sales and coupons in the 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 and .

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. Labor Day coupons usually offer 15% to 25% off, Sakraida says. You can find coupon codes and printable coupons at sites such as , 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. JCPenney has free shipping on orders of $49 or more, and Lands' End is offering free shipping with purchases of $50 or more.

Follow me on Twitter

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

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

Other Topics


Latest Personal Finance Videos


    Kiplinger is a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, available in print and online. Get trusted advice on investing, retirement, taxes, saving, real estate, cars, college, insurance.

    Learn More