Black Friday may get all the buzz in the winter, but Memorial Day may be its summertime counterpart when it comes to big savings.
For the next week or so, retailers will roll out some of their best deals so far this year on big-ticket items such as mattresses and home appliances. Apparel stores have also started to offer some pretty impressive online sales that are almost as good as Cyber Monday.
Here's a run-down of what kinds of sales you can expect this year.
Avoid the traps
Stores such as Wal-Mart and Target do have some deals on patio furniture and grills right now, and that's what they're pushing. But any time you see an in-season item on sale, you should realize that the markdown will be much steeper when it's out-of-season. Wait to buy such obvious summer items until August when prices are at an all-year low.
Large TVs and laptops have been the focus of many seasonal sales this year, and it's not likely to be much different during Memorial Day. Amazon is boasting 30 percent off on large, high-definition TVs and laptops, and up to 50 percent off on accessories such as headphones and flash drives.
Home appliances were a big hit during last year's Memorial Day sales, according to Dealnews.com. Sears had some of the best sales, particularly on vacuums, the article said. Kohl's also has been slashing prices on its kitchen wares this month by up to 40 percent off. If you need a new big item such as an oven or refrigerator, now may be the time to do it.
For some mysterious reason, mattresses always are on sale this time of year. Mattress Firm is ahead of the curve with firm Sealy mattresses advertised for less than $300. When shopping for mattresses in a store, be wary of gimmicks and keep in mind the price of delivery, which should hover between $75-$80, the standard rate at retailers such as Macy's and Mattress Firm.
There are apparel deals to be found both online and in-stores this Memorial Day. Last year, online boutiques such as Tobi.com and Heels.com offered site-wide deals ranging from 20 percent to 40 percent off. Urban Outfitters had site-wide deals as well, and 50 percent off sale items in stores.
It's also a good weekend to hit the outlets. Many stores in Tanger Outlet Center in North Charleston are hosting store-wide sales through the end of next week. Chico's, for example, has marked down all its inventory by 25 percent to 50 percent until May 27. Izod has polos and shorts on sale for as low as $8. Go online to http://www.tangeroutlet.com/charleston/coupons to see all the deals available this weekend.
Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.