Memorial Day is the new Black Friday — but that doesn’t mean it’s the best time to buy everything.
Originally a holiday devoted to mattress sales, in recent years retailers have morphed the holiday weekend into a bigger sales weekend to mark the halfway-point to Black Friday. Consequently, there are plenty of great deals to be had this weekend (and in the following week). “Memorial Day sales represent about the closest thing we’ll see for ‘across the board’ discounts until holiday season,” said Brent Shelton, an online shopping expert.
But unsuspecting shoppers can get duped by stores advertising deals that are indeed too good to be true. Here are some of the products shoppers should avoid purchasing during Memorial Day weekend.
When it comes to cars, the best time to buy is typically between July and October as dealerships look to make room for newer models, according to CarBuyingTips.com.“Holidays are decent times to get deals, but…the best time to get deals is when new products are coming in and old products are going out,” said Justin Cupler, savings expert with The Points Hound. As a result, better savings can often be found during Fourth of July and Labor Day sales events.
But that doesn’t mean consumers should avoid anything automobile-related. Memorial Day often has the year’s best sales on tires, as retailers aim to cash in on families getting ready for summer road trips, Shelton said.
The electronics items on sale during Memorial Day weekend won’t necessarily be the cream of the crop, Shelton said. “There’s going to be some sales, but it’s going to be on older, slower machines,” he said. Consumers in the market for a new Macbook AAPL, +0.23% for instance, would be better off waiting until later in the summer for back-to-school deals. Good deals on electronics can also be found on Black Friday, for those who are willing to wait longer for the best savings.
As with laptops, certain TVs will go on sale during Memorial Day, but these tend to be older models with fewer bells and whistles. Many good deals on televisions typically come up around Black Friday — there were 139 different sales on TVs reported by deal shopping website Deal News in the last two weeks of November alone. January is also a good time to buy, since retailers will be clearing shelves to make room for newer models. But according to Deal News, prices for TVs are always going down as newer models with fancier features continually come to market.
Clothing and swimwear
Retailers may advertise between 20% and 40% off clothing items during Memorial Day weekend, but those sales are nothing to call home about, said Jen Smith, personal finance expert at The Penny Hoarder. “These are common sales seen throughout the year,” Smith said. “Consumers need not splurge on clothing this holiday weekend because these very same sales will pop up again.”
As for swimwear and other summer-specific apparel, consumers are better off waiting until later in the summer to score the best deals, said Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at savings website RetailMeNot. “Shoppers are most likely to find the deepest savings towards the middle to end of summer as stores start to release their fall merchandise and need to clear the shelves,” she said.
Consumers won’t have to wait long to get the best deals on power tools, as Father’s Day is generally the best time of year to buy these items. “Although some tool deals in May offer good savings, especially for outdoor power equipment, wait until June, or right after Memorial Day sales, for a better over-all selection of savings options that can rival Black Friday tool deals,” Shelton said.
This time of year, diamonds aren’t the wallet’s best friend. For shoppers looking to score a deal on jewelry, the best time to buy is right after Valentine’s Day, when retailers put a lot of their items on clearance, Cupler said. Price reductions on rings and necklaces will also crop up in late summer, as this is usually one of the slowest times of the year for jewelers, according to CreditDonkey.
This story has been updated.