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Don't fall for these 3 Labor Day 'deals'

Marketers would like you to think you're getting awesome deals over the Labor Day weekend, but better deals are to be had if you can hold out until after Thanksgiving.

By MSN Smart Spending editor Aug 26, 2013 4:15PM

This post comes from Jennifer Calonia at partner site U.S. News & World Report.

USN logoLabor Day weekend, which signals the last days of barbecues and summer festivities, also marks one of the biggest retail sales events of the year. With Black Friday the next major shopping holiday a few months away, deal hunters will want to act over the long Labor Day weekend to snag some of 2013's best deals.

Woman looking at mannequins in boutique, smiling © Michael Hitoshi/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesBut don't be fooled by big neon signs boasting 30% off merchandise. Not all store items are discounted to hyper-competitive prices this holiday, and steering clear of sales can be hard if shoppers aren't aware of what not to buy on Labor Day.

To maximize your spending budget and avoid wasting money on lackluster deals, here are the top three things to leave on retail shelves this Labor Day weekend.

1. Electronics

Retailers such as Best Buy, Fry's Electronics and have already advertised 30% to 65% off select electronics in celebration of Labor Day. However, experienced electronics enthusiasts know the best discounts on gadgets occur on the infamous Black Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving.

Sure, 65% isn't anything to scoff at, but with a greater variety of goods marked down as low as 80% off during the November holiday frenzy, exercising control for a couple more months will lead to greater savings on the most sought after electronics.

2. Winter clothes

Department stores such as Macy's, Nordstrom, and Kohl's will debut their cold weather frocks over Labor Day weekend with sale signs sprawled throughout stores.

What some shoppers fail to realize is that winter wear purchases can burn a hole in their wallet fast, as this kind of inventory is often fresh off the delivery truck.

"Warm clothing is not a smart purchase to make over Labor Day weekend. These items just recently arrived in stores, so the prices have not been reduced yet," says Jon Lal founder, of He suggests waiting to buy winter clothes when they go on sale -- "after they've been on the shelves for awhile."

So just how long should you wait in order to take advantage of fall and winter attire? Well, the next biggest sales event isn't until Thanksgiving weekend when annual discounts and deals are at their peak, giving you sufficient time to pad your savings.

3. Holiday airfare

Labor Day weekend is the precursor to the shopping season that takes place November through December. Similarly, it's an indication to holiday travelers that they'll need to soon scope out deals on airfare for winter celebrations.

However, you shouldn't shop for your plane ticket just yet. September isn't the best time to buy a Thanksgiving weekend flight across the country. Rather, some of the lowest prices on flights during the holidays are offered in October, according to DealNews. Holding off on booking your holiday flight can mean hundreds of dollars shaved off your traveling costs.

Julie Sturgeon, president of Indianapolis on the Cheap, also warns against booking a cruise over Labor Day weekend and suggests waiting until the following month. "Marketing pushes are all scheduled for October, so at the very least you could get on-board credits that the cruise lines won't pass out if you buy before their sales," she says.

The bottom line: While Labor Day weekend is rising as a leading holiday sale contender, certain items are not priced low enough to merit a purchase on Sept. 2.

More from U.S. News & World Report:

Sep 2, 2013 3:18AM
1. So you can save 65% now or 80% later. But with that 80% comes waiting in line in the cold for hours on end and fighting a couple hundred other people and if you lose that fight, then you have nothing and have wasted your time. Or you can pay 15% now, use it for a couple months and be satisfied that you don't have to fight others.

2. Why would winter clothes go on sale much right before or during winter? That's high season so I don't see why stores would discount them much in November. Again, you have to fight traffic and crowds in hopes of getting what you want.

3. I can understand this, but you also risk flying later than you want or sold out tickets to big cities. I'm sure there are "always" tickets, but airlines overbook and if you're bumped then you get to wait at the airport a few more hours. Or you could buy your ticket now and have a guaranteed seat at the flight time you want.

Aug 26, 2013 9:03PM
Amazon for everything.........................
Sep 2, 2013 3:21PM
I buy electronics when I want/need to. Winter clothes, I get at Thrift Town or Goodwill. And airfare? You gotta be kidding. I haven't flown since 2003, and refuse to do so ever again.
Aug 27, 2013 5:34AM
Best Buy is still in business?? LOL I get my "best buys" from Amazon.

Why does the headline say to not fall for these "deals"? You are implying that they aren't, in fact, deals.


I'll take 65% off now and do the shopping while the weather is nice rather than fighting five times the crowd and cold weather to save an extra 15%. And yes, that's still a deal. No need for the quotes.

Oct 29, 2013 7:10PM
Buy what you can afford/need rather than what you want. Pay cash or put on a credit card and pay in full when the bill comes due.
Aug 27, 2013 11:31AM

Amazon for everything, unless that is:


1.  They're more expensive

2.  They bait you to use their prime membership and punish you if you don't by making you wait 2 weeks for a simple delivery.

3.  They wait until you put a product in your shopping cart so they can tack on $5 to the price 5 minutes later (happens constantly).

4.  And my personal favorite, they claim a product is out of stock and cancel your legitimate purchase, and then magically it appears the next day on their website with the corrected pricing, and there's just 1 in stock!!!

Sep 2, 2013 2:11PM
For the Vets out there. Home Depot offers a 10% discount for labor day. Don't fall for it and here are two reasons why.

1. Years ago I went to H.D. and bought and item and recieved my 10% discount and walk out of there all proud and crap, well two later I realize I had purchase the wrong item and went back to H.D. just to exchange it for the correct one. The person said fine just go back there and pick the right out bring it here and we will exchange it. Well I went there and off the shelve I pick up the correct one, then I notice something the price, they were 10% higher now, I mention this to the person at the counter and I got well I'm new here so I don't know about those things. Long story short H.D. marks up their prices by 10% its a rip off, plus for all the vets out there if you are retired you get 10% off ALL the time, Holidays is a no go time unless you really have to. I don't know about Lowes but they to offer a retire vet 10% all the time so I would assume they mark them up as well...that was number 2 also.

Oct 9, 2013 3:56PM
Aug 27, 2013 9:23AM
Best buy can't even keep an appointment for a computer problem, in Fredericksburg, that is. Girl to dumb to go from the phone to the computer. Wouldn't go to" beast buy for anything".
Sep 2, 2013 10:40AM
Hi more great labor day deals are available here:   --- it searches over all other deal sites. 

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