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What to buy in the Memorial Day sales: A beginner’s guide

Memorial Day sales are coming soon, but not every deal is worth your attention and hard-earned money. Early planning for the Memorial Day 2021 sales event can help you find the best bargains on the products you want and save both your time and money by avoiding the deals that fall short. By watching today’s sales trends, weighing current market factors, and looking back at previous years Digital Trends can give you the information and guidance to make your Memorial Day sales hunt for the best deals suitably, um, memorable.

When are the Memorial Day sales?

Memorial Day 2021 is on May 31, but the sales will start earlier. Because Memorial Day is always the last Monday of May, retailers have traditionally run their Memorial Day sales events starting the previous Friday. So, if everyone stayed strictly faithful to tradition, this year you’d want to be on the deals hunt from Friday, May 28 to Monday, May 31. But, as you may have noticed during last year’s pandemic-delayed mid-October Prime Day sale and around Black Friday’s annual bargain blowout in 2019 and 2020, some major retailers jump the calendar and start a week or two early. Some sales linger on a few days after the official event dates, but it’s more common to see early budget-worthy sales during the lead-up. We have any inside information about retailer plans to start Memorial Day 2021 sales early, but it could happen.

What Memorial Day deals can we expect?

Three factors are in heavy play for 2021’s Memorial Day sales: seasonality, tradition, and the pandemic effect.

  • Seasonality: As a general rule you’ll save more by buying seasonal goods from the previous season than from the upcoming or new season. For many people, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer and the end of Spring. So while you will see sales on summer products like swimwear, air conditioners, and grills in Memorial Day sales, you’ll save even more if you wait to buy those products in mid-August or September. Examples of seasonal spring items likely to have the deepest discounts during Memorial Day sales are fishing gear, bicycles, hiking and camping gear, golf clubs and bags, garden supplies, and other product categories that attract avid shoppers as soon as the snow melts. Many people like to shop for camera deals in the spring, also, but if you can hang in the very best buys for cameras are during Black Friday.
  • Tradition: If you look back to previous Memorial Day sales you’ll see the great buys on mattresses, major appliances, and outdoor tools and equipment for the yard or garden. Furniture sales are also often big draws during Memorial Day but halt during the hot and hazy days of summer. This year you’re sure to have magnificent opportunities to save on mattresses from brands like Tuft & Needle, Casper, and Nectar and appliances, tools, and outdoor equipment from Lowe’s, The Home Depot, and Wayfair.
  • The Pandemic Effect: During 2020 many of us stayed home. All the time. We worked, cooked, and sought entertainment at home because they weren’t possible, convenient, or even allowed in some cases outside the home. Working from home meant we needed faster and better electronic equipment. High-quality desks, office chairs, and task lighting also suddenly more important for our homes than ever before and sales in all of those product categories took off. Home gym equipment became harder to find than hand sanitizer by mid-2020 and the popularity of video communications drove sales of high-quality webcams. When manufacturing lines began to function again in the second half of 2020, the unfulfilled demand for products for work, working out, cooking, and entertainment in the home led to huge production goals. We’re still focused on improving our homes to make them more comfortable, fun, and safe and because products that meet those needs often overlap with traditional Memorial Day sales categories, we fully expect to see bargains galore. Watch for productivity and entertainment deals on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Microsoft, Dell, and more.

Should I shop for bargains during Memorial Day Sales?

You can absolutely count on Memorial Day sales at both ends of the spectrum. There will be jaw-dropping bargains and rock-solid great deals that you’ll wish you jumped on if you miss them. There will also be plenty of deals that were only so-so and some that we’d label no-no. The more prepared you are for shopping Memorial Day sales the more likely you are to score the jaw-droppers and to avoid the no-nos.

The best strategy for Memorial Day sales and any other highly anticipated sales event is to plan ahead. List what you’re looking for, prioritize if possible, and determine ahead of time the price points that will make you jump, think twice, yawn, or run away. Some savvy buyers make two lists: Needs and Wants. When they shop the sales they don’t allow themselves to buy anything on the Wants list until they’ve checked off all the Needs. Be that kind of buyer. And let us help. We’ll monitor good deals on key product categories and from major brands and continue to provide the latest info to help you win big during the Memorial Day sales.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
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