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What to Buy in September: Clothes, iPhones... and Your Next Vacation?

Autumn is only a few weeks away, but the fall sales are already here: Check out some of the bargains and get insight from retail experts.
Shoppers crowd the walkways on opening day of the Westfield Stratford City in east London
Shoppers crowd the walkways at a mall. REUTERS/Suzanne PlunkettREUTERS

Fall may be a few weeks away, but autumn sales are already blossoming.

Shoppers can find great deals on seasonal apparel, lawn tools, grills, iPhones, and even travel as airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies start to target holiday jet-setters. If you can wait until after Labor Day weekend sales, you stand a chance at getting sale items at an even cheaper price as retailers look to push remaining inventory.

Shoppers crowd the walkways at a mall. REUTERS/Suzanne PlunkettREUTERS

We've rounded up a list of some of the best sales opportunities, along with some insights from retail experts.


"September is prime 'shoulder season,' when overall traveling is less active, so travel deals come down in price as much as 50 percent less than summer travel," said Brent Shelton, online shopping expert at FatWallet. "That means booking holiday travel this month, when prices are low and more options are available, can save you hundreds of dollars. This includes airfare, hotels and car rentals."

Through September 7, you can save up to 50 percent off, plus an extra 10 percent off hotel packages from via FatWallet. At RetailMeNot you can nab a variety of coupons for including up to 60 percent off car rentals, up to 40 percent off flights, and up to $570 off flight and hotel packages. Additionally, CheapOair is touting $30 off flights with the promo code FLIGHT30.

Courtney Jespersen, retail expert at NerdWallet, points out that Orbitz is ushering in weekly deals throughout the month, and that on Expedia, you can get $25 off your first app hotel booking with a private coupon code.

Waiting until after Labor Day weekend to book travel may yield the biggest savings. “Airline ticket sales are common after Labor Day weekend, so keep that in mind and take advantage of the discounts as you plan upcoming winter and spring getaways,” said Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert for savings at RetailMeNot.


"Apple's release of the iPhone 7 is expected September 7, which means previous-generation iPhones will see price drops of up to $100 from third-party retailers like Best Buy and Walmart," said Kendal Perez, savings expert for CouponSherpa.

BestBuy is selling the Apple iPhone 6s 64GB Space Gray (Verizon Wireless) and the 6s 64GB Rose Gold (Verizon Wireless) with a 2-year contract for $199.99, down from $299.99. Walmart has the Straight Talk Apple iPhone 6 16GB 4G LTE Prepaid Smartphone priced at $399, down from $549, and the Straight Talk Apple iPhone 5S 16GB 4G LTE Refurbished Prepaid Smartphone with Bonus $45 Service Plan for $189, down from $249.

Jespersen adds that if you want to trade in your old phone for a new one, "consider the Apple Trade-Up program, where you’ll get a credit for turning in your eligible used smartphone.”

Fall Apparel

"Labor Day sales and summer clearance are created to make room for new fall outdoor wear," said Shelton. "Wait for late in September for the deepest discounts on jackets, hoodies, long-sleeved tops, work boots and especially denim clothing at half price. Also be on the lookout for 20 to 30 percent off outdoor sports apparel. College and professional teams merchandising and hiking and hunting apparel see big sales all month."

But even now you can find reasonable sales. Target is offering $5 off any $25 spent on select kids' clothing and a 50 percent off BOGO sale on clothing from its Exhilaration brand. At Macy's, prices are slashed on a wide array of women's apparel including items from INC, The North Face, and Charter Club, with discounts ranging from 40 to 70 percent off. Menswear is seeing discounts in the 25 to 60 percent off range, featuring brands like Levi's, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger.

While Back-to-School shopping has mostly ended, shoppers should also be on the lookout for deals on kids' clothes. With much of their inventory for the event cleared out, retailers are ushering in "even bigger deals come September when it's imperative they have space on their shelves for winter offerings," said Skirboll.

Lawn Tools

"Lawn Tools and Equipment clearances excel following Labor Day weekend, offering the year’s best discounts on push mowers, riding mowers and lawn tools," says Shelton. "Shoppers can expect $50 to 150 off regular prices on most mowers, including cordless lithium powered push mowers from brands like Kobalt, Greenworks, and Worx. The need to go cordless extends to yard tools (trimmers, edgers, hedgers) with discounting upwards of 50 percent. Look for your biggest value in bundled sets of 40 Volt Lithium Powered Lawn Tools allowing you to use the same batteries across tool changes," said Shelton.

Via RetailMeNot, shoppers can save up to 45 percent off Select Lawn and Garden Tools from Craftsman, while Home Depot is featuring items like the Toro TimeCutter SW5000 50 in. 24.5 HP V-Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower with Smart Park for $2,949, down from $3,199, and the 40-Volt Electric Cordless Straight Shaft String Trimmer for $129, down from $149.

You may also want to check out Lowe’s and Sears, which Shelton says are offering an extra 5 percent off, or alternatively financing deals for shoppers with a store card.


“For the best deals on grills, shop after Labor Day," Skirboll says. "Stores plan to make room for all their winter inventory, which means summer staples like grills will be on sale.”

Retailers are already boasting some significant savings opportunities. At Sears, you can get the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Performance 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner and Storage Cabinet - Dual Fuel Capable for as low as $237.50, down from $499.99, and the Kenmore Elite 600 Series 4 Burner Dual Fuel Carbon Grey Metallic Gas Grill for $593.75, down from $1,249.99. Target is selling the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gas Patio Bistro Tabletop Grill for $95.99, reduced from $119.99.


National Coffee Day falls on Sept. 29, which if history is any indication, should have coffee retailers rolling out special offers for the occasion.

"Consumers can score free coffee and other goodies in some cases from Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, LaMar's Donuts and more," said CouponSherpa's Perez. "While Starbucks doesn't typically offer a coffee freebie, they [usually] kick off a charitable giving opportunity on National Coffee Day. Last year they donated one fungus-resistant coffee tree to struggling farmers for every bag of coffee purchase."