Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4 Sales You Can't Afford to Miss

  • On Wednesday July 1, 2009, 10:37 am EDT

Before hitting the beach, firing up the grill, and watching the fireworks, you might want to consider stocking up on supplies--or a new wardrobe--at one of the many July 4 sales this weekend. As long as you're in the market for clothes and home-related gear, you're in luck. "The sales so far are heavy on clothing and accessories and light on computers and gadgets," says Dealnews.com's Dan de Grandpre. But he adds that electronics-heavy stores such as Buy.com and Best Buy will very likely be offering some big deals before the weekend ends.

High-end stores are also making some offers that customers might find just as tempting as red, white, and blue angel food cake. "I'm seeing more and larger sales and price cuts from the likes of Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, and Bloomingdale's," says Brad Wilson of Bradsdeals.com. He adds that such atypical trends are a symptom of the sluggish economy and the tight spot retailers are finding themselves in. Another hot category is restaurant coupons; Bradsdeals.com offers links to TGI Friday's coupons as well as discounts on gift certificates at Restaurant.com.

For some categories, it pays to be patient: If you have your heart set on an American flag-theme T-shirt to match other patriotic paraphernalia, you might be better off waiting until stores such as Wal-Mart and Old Navy put those items on clearance next week and then saving them for next year, de Grandpre adds.

You can stay updated on new sales throughout the weekend by checking in with websites like Dealnews.com and Bradsdeals.com. At Bradsdeals.com, for example, you can find discounts on Weber gas grills, Crocs, and Vera Bradley bags. Also, be sure to check out price-comparison websites, such as PriceGrabber.com, before visiting stores, which can save you time and gas money. Before making any online purchases, do a Web search for your retailer and the words "free shipping" or "coupon," which will often turn up additional savings. And if you arrive at a store and realize you saw a lower price for the same product elsewhere or online, don't hesitate to ask a manager to match the lowest price. He will often say yes.

[Check out these 8 money-saving websites.]

Here are some of the best July 4 deals:

The Gap. Throughout the weekend, customers can take an extra 30 percent off four or more sale items through July 6. At sister store Old Navy, capris are going for just $9 through July 4, and at Banana Republic, some T-shirts will sell for $15, and certain items, including women's clothes and shoes and men's pants and sweaters, will be marked down an additional 30 percent through July 5. If you're near an outlet, Banana Republic Factory Store shoppers will receive 40 percent off their entire purchase through July 6. Gap Outlets will offer up to 70 percent off through July 9.

Macy's. Want to sleep a little more soundly? Macy's July 4 mattress sale features 35 to 50 percent off mattress sets and, in some cases, even bigger discounts. A queen-size Sealy Posturepedic Hollybridge firm mattress set, for example, is marked down to $397 from $1,029. Jewelry, clothes and other items are also marked down until the end of the day Friday. For online shoppers, Macy's is also offering free shipping with the promotion code "fireworks" until the end of the weekend.

Home Depot. Not only has Home Depot lowered some of its prices on landscape supplies, but the store will also show you how to spruce up your garden this summer, with videos and online step-by-step explanations of how to make a flower bed, patch a balding lawn, and create a garden path.

Target. July 4 sales, which end on Saturday, feature everything you need for your barbecue, including meats, charcoal, and soda, as well as tools for some summer cleaning. Closet organizers and storage boxes are marked down, along with air conditioners and fans. You can buy a portable charcoal grill for $19 and a foldable banquet table for $42. To satisfy your sweet tooth, Target is featuring ice cream and slushie makers for $17.99. Sleeping bags, tents, and bathing suits are also on sale. (Some sale items vary by location; check your local sales by entering your ZIP code at Target.com.)

Pottery Barn. This lush home d├ęcor store is offering up to 50 percent off in its ongoing summer sale. Discounted items include outdoor furniture, bedding, and bath accessories. A normally $849 9-by-12-foot rug, for example, is now selling for $679.

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