It doesn't have nearly the hype of Black Friday, but Memorial Day weekend boasts some of the biggest sales and steepest discounts of the years. This is especially true if you're buying big-ticket items like mattresses or major appliances.
Memorial Day has something else in common with Black Friday — its sales start well before the actual holiday.
When and where to shop Memorial Day sales
As of May 20, six major stores are already in the full swing of Memorial Day Sales. We've got more detail on that here, but here's a quick recap.
- Lowe's: Major appliances, lighting and bathroom fixtures are on sale now through 5/27. Check out Lowe's Early Memorial Day savings.
- Sears: Mattresses, patio furniture, grills and more are on sale now through the end of the month. See Sears' sale here.
- Best Buy: Best Buy has great deals on laptops right now. These sales change day-by-day, so check their site often to see when the model you're looking for is on sale. Also, you can take 30 percent off all major appliances through 6/2.
- Dick's Sporting Goods: Outdoor gear and golf clubs are currently on sale at Dick's. Select drivers are 50 percent off, and select running shoes are up to 30 percent off.
- P.C. Richard and Son: They're currently running a major appliance sale that's highlighted by AC units.
- eBay: Sales on various items are currently open, including apparel and outdoor goods. Check out eBay's sale here.
What to buy at Memorial Day sales
There's conventional wisdom that says it's best to buy items during their off-season — for example, buy a gas grill during the winter when demand is lower. Such wisdom is generally true, but if you're in need of a grill or patio furniture for this summer and don't feel like waiting, Memorial Day's deals are still worthy of your consideration.
Patio Furniture: Patio sets tend to be cheapest at the end of summer, but some sets, like this 5-piece Hampton Bay set from Home Depot is currently on sale for $321 with free in-store pickup. This item is likely a Memorial Day-specific model, but $321, it's a good deal regardless of time of year. While it (or a similar set) may go on sale for closer to $300 in October, you'll need to ask yourself — is saving $20 worth five months of waiting?
Grills: Like patio furniture, this may not be the best time of year to buy a grill, but it's close. This Char Broil 4-Burner from Amazon is $160 with free shipping, which is very competitive for a name-brand grill at ANY time of year.
Cold weather apparel: Memorial Day sales are a great time to buy cold weather apparel at a steep discount. This North Face women's parka from Backcountry.com is on sale for $88. We typically see this jacket retail for over $110 during fall and winter. Backcountry also has 20 percent off all Ray-Ban sunglasses with use of the promo code SUMMER20. Select models of name-brand sunglasses will go for cheaper throughout the year, but 20 percent off is a nice blanket discount.
Electronics: For high-def enthusiasts, there's good news: 4K TVs are really starting to come down in price. This 120Hz Samsung model is just $600, which is one of the lowest prices we've ever seen on a 4K TV this size.
Apple fans will have to wait a few months to get discounts on MacBooks. Generally, the best MacBook sale of the year has been on Black Friday morning at Best Buy, with back-to-school student discounts in July coming in second. Those looking to buy an iPad over Memorial Day weekend are in luck, though. Best Buy is selling the iPad Mini (first generation) for $199, which is $25 less than we've seen it elsewhere.
The bottom line
Memorial Day isn't the absolute best time to buy outdoor summer items, but it's far from the worst. If you skip the Memorial Day sales and wait until, say, mid-June to buy patio furniture and a grill, you'll find yourself paying a premium. If you can afford to wait until October you'll save money, but not an overwhelming amount.
When shopping Memorial Day sales, be sure to price match. Amazon is incredibly quick to drop their prices to match competitors, so it helps to check their site before ringing up a big-ticket item at the register.
This article first appeared on Brad's Deals.