While the Fourth of July holiday marked the beginning of summer for many, for others, it signaled the beginning of sale season. As retailers move their summer inventory out, it's your chance to move in on clothing, swimwear, air conditioners, patio furniture, and select jewelry.
We've rounded up some of the best deals below, and included some tips from retail experts.
Summery Clothes and Swimsuits
"While summer apparel continues to see discounts as the season winds down, early July is a great time to snatch up garments when inventory and selection are still high," said Kendal Perez, savings expert for CouponSherpa.
Courtney Jespersen, retail expert at NerdWallet, points to summer clothing sales at Old Navy and Target, as well as Abercrombie & Fitch, where she said you can nab savings of 50 to 70 percent off clearance items. Buckle is pushing a 75 percent off online-only sale, and American Eagle is touting 40 percent off its summer collection.
Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot, noted that last year consumers saw great mid-summer swimsuit deals from "Macy's, Victoria Secret, Tilly's, PacSun, and Roxy ranging from 20-70 percent off" -- and we're seeing similar sales roll in this year. Right now, Nordstrom Rack is offering up to 60 percent off kids' swim styles, and Macy's is offering up to 50 percent off select swimwear.
"Items that keep us cool go on sale during Fourth of July sales and the most efficient, top-rated models sell out quickly," said Brent Shelton, online shopping expert at FatWallet. "Waiting later in July can be a task to find good value, unless you're willing to settle for a lesser, and possibly more expensive AC model."
Staples has the Nest 3rd Gen Learning Thermostat for $199 (was $249) with free shipping. Check out Walmart's Igloo 48-qt. Island Breeze Ice Chest Cooler for $15.88 (was $30) with free in-store pickup, while Sears has the Coleman 62-qt. Xtreme Wheeled Cooler for $39.99, down from $54.99, with free in-store pickup.
"Patio furniture will see deeper discounts at the end of the season; however, shoppers in the market for these items right now will benefit from sale prices in July," said Perez.
For example, Big Lots is offering up to 25 percent off Outdoor Clearance through July 9, while Home Decorators Collection has a variety of items under $99, plus free shipping on pillows and lighting. Pier 1 Imports is offering up to 50% off all outdoor items through July 23, and World Market is offering up to 50 percent off all outdoor furniture through July 16 and up to 50 percent off umbrella canopies and frames through July 10, said Perez.
What's a cute summer outfit without some matching bling?
Macy's spokesperson Tracy Davis said that on July 8-9, the department store will be selling assorted fine jewelry at rock bottom prices. Find select styles of diamond rings for $99, slashed from $400; freshwater pearl necklaces also for $99 down from $425, and the 10k gold polished hinged bangle for $159, dramatically marked down from $750, Davis confirmed. She added that shoppers can also expect to save 50 percent off boxed fashion jewelry from a variety of brands including CBC and Charter Club, along with items from TruMiracle.
From July 5 through August 1 at Kmart, you can find up to 75 percent off select jewelry, a spokesperson for the brand confirmed. The Diamond accent earring will drop to $17.99, down from $119.99, and all Eternal Treasures diamond jewelry will be 75 percent off, as well as all men's jewelry.
Amazon Prime Day
Amazon is bringing back Prime Day for the second consecutive year, on July 12.
"If anything like last year, Amazon's big summer garage sale offers some hidden savings, if you're patient, and smart," said Shelton. "Some of the standout savings come from health and beauty items, media, and collectibles."
If you're on the fence about signing up for the $99 annual cost of Prime, consider initiating a 30-day free trial.
"Prime Day is limited to Prime members, but new subscribers can take advantage of a 30-day free trial before paying the annual fee," said Jespersen, adding that Amazon will start reducing prices in a series of countdown sales in a few days. "This year, Amazon will be offering countdown deals from July 5 through 11 on items like back-to-school supplies, movies and travel products, but if you're looking to make a larger purchase, it may be worth holding off until Amazon shows its cards on Prime Day itself."