The Best Days of the Year To Go Shopping

Date Fri, November 14 2014

I’ve noticed a trend since joining a number of affiliate programs: certain days of the year are ripe for sales. And I’m not just talking about the obvious ones; although, I will talk about those, too. I would guess that you don’t need to wait more than 6 weeks for any retailer to offer a pretty good sale or discount. I’m talking in the range of 20% to 40% — not just a BOGO 1/2 off sale. You don’t need to browse the clearance racks, and most of these sales don’t require you to leave the house or even change out of your jammies!

Black Friday graphic by Purple Slog @ Flickr

Black Friday — love it or hate it!

Black Friday

Everyone knows about Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving. Over the last few years, it’s creeped earlier in the morning. In some places, sales actually begin on Thanksgiving night. You’ll find great sales on clothes and accessories, electronics, computers, video games and toys — essentially everything you might need to prepare for gift-giving holidays.

Black Friday can be fun, but it can be a drain. People have died. The lines are crazy. It’s not for everyone. One thing that you’ll never find me doing is going to a store on Black Friday without some idea of what I want. There are a number of websites that list Black Friday ads ahead of time, so you can figure out your game plan!

Note that sales online and in-store may differ, so you might have to brave the crowds if you really want something.

Cyber Monday

You won’t have to go anywhere thanks to Cyber Monday sales. These happen the Monday after Black Friday, and sales happen entirely online. Some stores treat the two days separately while others have different sales. Walmart, for example, has different sales. It’s difficult for me to gauge whether I should buy something on Friday or wait until Monday because that could literally be a difference of hundreds of dollars, but there’s a site for Cyber Monday ads, too.

In my experience, retailers that are online only frequently participate in exclusive cyber Monday deals. These include Virgin Mobile and Tiger Direct among others. If I recall correctly, Best Buy also has different sales on Cyber Monday from Black Friday.

Cyber Monday is a more recent addition to big sale days, so new stores are joining in every year.

Day-After Sales

You know how it goes. Visit your local retailers on December 26th, and everything decor, food, gift and otherwise Christmas is suddenly slashed to 50% off. The same goes for the day after February 15th, July 5th, November 1st and the days after Easter, Thanksgiving and even New Year’s. Of course, the down side is that stock has been picked over for weeks if not months, so you might not find anything amazing.

Federal Holidays

I’m not really a fan of federal holidays. I rarely could take them off from school; although, it seems like everyone gets off for these “holidays” now. I hate days when the post office doesn’t deliver. Those always seem to be the days when I am impatiently waiting for a package, and I receive a lot of them as a reviewer and heavy online shopper, or that I need to mail something myself.

When's the best time to score deals, anyway?

When’s the best time to score deals, anyway?

But there is one perks: sales. Before the following holidays, my inbox is always flooded with messages about upcoming sales.

  • President’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Veteran’s Day

The sales vary. Often, they involve a percentage off, free shipping or specific items that might be relevant to the holiday itself being on a steep sale. For example, you can Take 40% Off at PUMA CA with code S4SPUMA14 for Veteran’s Day.

If I’m looking to make a purchase of clothing and accessories, jewelry, electronics, housewares and even cosmetics that isn’t super time sensitive, I often wait until one of those sales. Most department stores host sales on these days.

There are other times when sales might be imminent. This includes a store’s birthday or anniversary, and retailers like Victoria’s Secret are known for their semi-annual sale, where clearance items are sold for bottom-dollar prices.

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