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Labor Day sales: What you should and shouldn't buy

Labor Day brings some of the biggest sales between Memorial Day and Black Friday. But there are some things not to buy this weekend.
Posted at 8:27 AM, Aug 30, 2023

Labor Day weekend is known for huge sales, especially on summer items and appliances. But what should you stock up on now? Not everything is a great deal right now.

At Lowe's, store manager Andrew Clark said this is a great weekend to grab refrigerators, washers and dryers.

"Customers get an additional $100 off," Clark said, showing a washer-dryer combo.

He also says his store has great deals on grills and smokers.

"Right now for Labor Day, we've got a Charbroil for $249 (down from $299), so they're absolutely a bargain for our customers."

And he said if you need outdoor furniture, now is the time to buy.

"Our patio collections right now are up to 75% off," Clark said.

All the major retailers are advertising deals to draw you in, from Ashley Furniture to Mattress Firm, to Best Buy and Home Depot, along with Lowe's.

Amazon shoppers without Prime must now spend $35 for free shipping
Packages on a conveyor belt at an Amazon fulfillment center.

Amazon shoppers without Prime must now spend $35 for free shipping

The change doesn't impact Prime members who pay $14.99 per month, or $139 a year, for free shipping and other perks.


Where to find the biggest deals

Julie Ramhold of says it'll be an interesting sales weekend as retailers may try new ways to one-up the competition.

"You should find different sort of perks added on, like extra discounts or even better free shipping thresholds," she said.

Ramhold says the categories with the best deals will largely be:

- Grills

- Major appliances

- Mattresses

- Patio furniture

- Summer clothing

"And for athletic or casual shoes, it'll be a really good time for those," Ramhold said.

And yes, some people will be shopping with the holidays in mind.

"We may see some consumers taking advantage of these Labor Day sales to actually buy gifts for the winter holidays," she said.

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Barbie dolls line the shelves at a toy store in Torrance, Calif.

The hot 2023 holiday toys you should start buying now

It may still be hot outside, but hot toys are already selling to parents who don't want to be shut out in December.


What to buy and not buy

For outdoor gear, appliances and summer items, DealNews says now is the time to buy.

For tech, TVs, toys and fall clothing, the biggest sales typically come a bit later, with Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days in October and Black Friday in November.  So, you may want to hold off a bit on that big-screen TV or gaming console.

Dale Bundick was scouring the shelves at Lowe's, preparing to grab some deals.

"Oh, I know I'm going to do a little bit of shopping," she said. "They have some good prices."