Memorial Day sales: What to buy, what to wait on

Memorial Day features some of the best deals of the year, but there are some things you might want to wait to buy.
Posted at 7:33 AM, May 19, 2023

If you need something for yourself or your home, it has been tough to find significant sales events recently during what has been termed a "deal drought." But that is finally changing with Memorial Day just around the corner.

Mark Schlotterbeck manages an outdoor furniture store, the midwestern chain Watson's. He says their Memorial Day deals are some of the best of the year.

"Memorial Day is a huge event for us here," he said, walking along a row of sale signs on outdoor furniture. "We are super busy."

And he says there is plenty in stock, unlike the last two years, which means big markdowns.

"Spas are in stock. We can get them to you next week," he said. "We also have scratch and dent, we have floor models, and everybody likes that. Everybody likes a deal."

By browsing a few retail websites, you'll see Memorial Day sales being advertised everywhere. It's a big change from the peak of the pandemic when stores couldn't keep up with demand, and sales were limited.

Shopping expert Trae Bodge said the sweet spot for deals is typically the Friday before the holiday.

"However," she cautioned, "because it's such a competitive landscape, we might see retailers offering early deals this year."

A shopper carries bags past a sale sign in the window of a clothing store.

How to find discounts during the spring 'deal drought'

If you know what to buy, you can still save a lot of money.


What to buy, what to hold off on

Bodge says Memorial Day is always reliable for sales on bigger-ticket items, including:

- Large and small appliances

- Beds and mattresses

- Furniture, both indoor and outdoor

But she recommends you hold off on buying new electronics.

"We have Amazon Prime Day coming up and Black Friday in July sales, and that's when I'm expecting to see more exciting discounts in the tech category," she said.

In addition, laptops see big markdowns during back-to-school sales in July and August.

In the meantime, if you see a great deal on something you often use, like cleaning products or makeup, Bodge suggests you stock up during the sale. And make sure you're shopping with the credit card that offers the most rewards or cash back.

Michael and Suzanne Kosla were buying a hot tub and told us the Memorial Day deals can't be beaten.

"They are amazing," she said. "We are going to get something for sure."

So take some time from enjoying the outdoors to grab a markdown on the items you need.