Your Independence Day is likely to include backyard barbecues and time with loved ones. But between the burgers and the fireworks, you can also shop one of summer's biggest sale events.
As a general rule, we advise against buying seasonal items when you'd want them the most. But the 4th of July is an exception! It's a great time to snag some (but not all) summer essentials as retailers begin clearing out their inventory to prep for upcoming back-to-school deals. Look for serious savings on summer clothing, swimsuits, patio furniture, and more.
Check out our full 4th of July sales rundown, so you'll know what to expect and where to find the best deals.
Stock Up on Summer Clothes
It might seem surprising, but summer clothing is almost always one of the best things to shop for over the holiday. Last year's July 4th apparel deals included saving up to 75% off at Cole Haan, netting you designer goods for less.
It also wasn't uncommon to see 60% off at retailers like Last Call, American Eagle Outfitters, Rebecca Minkoff, and Eddie Bauer. Another common discount was 50% from stores like Men's Wearhouse, Tilly's, Vera Bradley, and PacSun.
If you're shopping for new kicks, you might find a noteworthy sale. ShoeMall offered 30% off $30 leading up to July 4th, but dropped that $30 requirement to $25 on the holiday itself. Crocs also offered 30% off two or more pairs. ShoeBuy had the best savings, offering up to 75% off, as well as an extra 25% off.
That said, back-to-school season could prove to be a better time to buy in this case. Last August, Crocs had four sales, offering up to 50% or 60% off, and ShoeMall offered up to 60% off plus coupons.
Great Gear for the Great Outdoors
These holiday sales are also a great chance to find notable deals on outdoor apparel and other gear. Last year, REI took up to 82% off thousands of clearance items, and Sierra Trading Post offered up to 80% off. The House took up to 70% off gear and apparel, and included a coupon code for an extra 5% off. Many purchases there also earned free gear that could be worth up to $150.
Backcountry had a decent sale, although the one for 2015 was better. Last year, you could save up to 50% off gear and apparel. (The year before included up to 55% off sitewide, and an extra 20% off climbing gear.) Dick's Sporting Goods, Cabela's, and West Marine also offered up to 50% off, while Evo had up to 40% off.
Get a New Grill (If You Can't Wait)
Patio and garden items will likely be common in Independence Day sales, but the grill deals were somewhat lackluster last year. For example, Walmart only offered up to 30% off. Even if those deals do appear again, you'd be better off waiting until September or October for the best prices.
Tech Sales Could Be Better Later
Although tech sales will make an appearance, we say wait until August, or later, if you can. And no matter what you plan to shop for, be sure to compare prices before taking the plunge.
Last year, HP celebrated Independence Day with up to 50% off — which wasn't the highest offer, but did last for a while. Dell Refurbished had a coupon for up to 45% off $399, while Dell Home offered up to 65% off. Lenovo ran a sale for up to 36% off, but it ran off and on throughout July.
The sales around Independence Day will be decent, but there's a good chance better prices will appear in the hubbub of back-to-school. It's not a guarantee, though. HP revived it's 50% off savings from July 4th, and added coupons on top of that. Dell Refurbished took up to $350 off, while Dell Home took up to $498 off and offered an extra 10% off. Lenovo's back-to-school savings were lackluster — it only offered 34%. Yet, around Labor Day, its sale offered up to 42% off.
Best Buy will almost definitely have a big sale on tech. Last year, you could save up to 78% off on a variety of products like laptops, phones, small appliances, and video games. While it was a high percentage, it was also a wide variety of items. Be aware that this retailer tends to put more focus on large appliance deals around Independence Day.
Definitely Wait on Apple
Apple recently lowered prices on some laptops, announced iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, and new sizes of iPads. All that might make you think now's the time to score some new iDevices. But that's not the case! The software developments won't hit until the fall, so there's no hurry there. Plus, prices are bound to be better in September.
SEE ALSO: All the iPhone 8 Rumors You Need to Know
Apple July 4th sales aren't really a thing. But September announcements including new products? That's totally a thing Apple does, almost without fail. Holding out now could mean the opportunity to score previous models with added upgrades and significant price drops later.
When Will I Find the Best 4th of July Sales?
Start scoping out the sales in the next couple of weeks. Some July 4th events can start as early as mid-June. Last year, Dick's Sporting Goods started its sale on June 20. Plus, they can last awhile — through mid-July or even longer. Uniqlo's sale ended July 15 last year, but Walmart kept its sale going until July 29.
With such a wide date range for these sales, some of the best deals could pop up after the holiday itself. Retailers trying to clear out stock will often add extra discounts. Most sales are likely to run July 6, 7, and 8 at least. Just don't wait too long, or you'll miss out on the best stock.
Readers, what will you be shopping for during 4th of July sales this year? Let us know in the comments below!