The best and worst buys for Labor Day

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Amber Rupinta shows you what you should and should not buy this Labor Day weekend (WTVD)

Labor Day is almost here and there are some great deals to be had. To help shoppers avoid the "fake" deals, the experts at Bensbargains.com dove into historical deal data to help shoppers skip right to this year's best sales.

Here are a few items to skip and what to buy instead according to researchers at Bensbargains.com:

1. Don't Buy Gas Grills. While there are solid sales on gas grills on Labor Day (usually 25 percent to 50 percent off), this is only the start. Prices will continue to drop into October and November, offering an additional 25 percent off the Labor Day price.

What to buy instead? Patio furniture/Outdoor Living Gear / Lawnmowers. Labor Day is generally the big push to get rid of outdoor furniture, above-ground temporary pools, lawnmowers and any other outdoor items. Look for discounts up to 75 percent off regular prices.

2. Don't buy Fall apparel. Labor Day weekend is typically when retailers start heavily advertising cool-weather apparel. However, don't be fooled by small discounts (10 percent to 30 percent) during Labor Day when you will start to see 50 percent discounts and higher as we move into November.

What to buy instead? Summer apparel/footwear. Retailers will discount summer items as much as 80 percent off since they need the room for cool-weather clothing. Look for solid summer apparel sales at REI, American Eagle, Nordstrom, 6pm, Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. This is also a great holiday to purchase swimwear.

3. Don't buy Televisions/General Electronics. While you will definitely see Labor Day sales on televisions likely related to the start of football season, the most significant discounts won't actually happen until the start of November through Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Also avoid home theater systems, digital cameras, smartphones, tablets, GPS navigators, and more.

What to buy instead? Back-to-School Electronics. The back-to-school shopping push unofficially comes to a close around Labor Day. This means retailers will be pushing out anything marketed as a back-to-school item more aggressively. Look for traditional school supplies, inexpensive laptops, calculators, headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and backpacks with laptop slots.

4. Don't buy Fun Toys for the Kids. Similar to general electronics, toy sales are fairly dismal during Labor Day. However, sales on toys for the holiday shopping season have been starting earlier and earlier, generally around late October. Stores like Toys R Us will start heavily promoting sales starting then throughout mid-December. Other retailers that will promote sales during that time frame include Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

What to buy instead? Fun "Toys" for Adults; Mattresses, Cars and Wine.


Mattress: During 2014, Labor Day mattress sales were better than any other time of the year. Look to Sears for an extremely aggressive sale of 50 percent to 60 percent off select models. Macy's, Sleepy's and smaller mattress retailers will also offer similar discounts.
Cars: Dealerships are making room for 2016 models, 2015 models are being discounted a bit. Look for discounts around 10 percent on Labor Day with the potential for increasing discounts (20 percent and up) as we move into late September/early October. Of course, inventory will also dwindle.
Wine: If you are a wine drinker, many wineries are starting to push out older stock in favor of new vintages that will come from the ongoing harvest season. This results in heavier discounts (which vary significantly by winery) on current year wine.

5. Don't buy Holiday Airfare. While you will see holiday travel deal promotions on Labor Day weekend, the best time to book your holiday travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually early October (between Oct. 5 and Oct. 15). Ticket prices are roughly 5 to 10 percent lower during that time period, then will shoot back up after mid-October.

What to buy instead? Last-minute summer destinations. Leading up to Labor Day as well as the holiday itself, it's a great time to snag a deal on a trip to a warm destination. As summer comes to a close, you will see travel deals that offer 30 to 50 percent off Labor Day getaways as well as discounts that take specific dollar amounts off your hotel stay.

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