What to Buy at Memorial Day Sales

Poster with message 'Sale up to 50% off' in shop window, passerby silhouette in foreground
Michele Constantini/PhotoAlto/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

The Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the summer season for retailers and shoppers alike. The holiday weekend also happens to be one of the major sales events of the year. Furniture is traditionally on sale during Memorial Day, but so are lots of summer-related items, like summer clothing and outdoor equipment. Just because it's a big sale time doesn't mean it's the best sale time for every item.

Here's a quick look at some of the popular sale items on Memorial Day and what might be lower at another time of the year.

Popular Sale Items During Memorial Day Weekend

While all kinds of home furnishings, home accessories, and all-things summer tend to go on sale around Memorial Day, this is an especially good time to buy the following items:

  • Mattresses: You can expect discounts of 50 to 60 percent over Memorial Day weekend. Bedding and related linens also tend to be greatly reduced. Bedroom furniture may be discounted at many stores and promoted with a mattress sale.
  • Spring clothing: While summer clothes are only moderately reduced around Memorial Day, spring clothes often are drastically reduced to make way for the peak of summer shopping.
  • Home appliances: Following the trend of bedding and furniture, major appliance retailers (including the big home improvement stores) often slash prices for Memorial Day.
  • Sports equipment: Sporting goods retailers are ramping up for summer (and capitalizing on spring fever) by lowering prices on boats, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, camping gear, and outdoor apparel and accessories.

Mediocre Deals on Memorial Day

These items tend to be on sale over Memorial Day, but they're typically discounted even more at other times of the year:

  • Outdoor furniture: Fall is usually the best time to buy patio furniture. Of course, Memorial Day weekend is a popular time to buy since it's considered the start of summer.  Given the cost of quality outdoor furniture, it can be worth it to wait to purchase until the end of the summer season. If you do wait, make sure you have room to store your new furniture since it won't be used until the following summer. 
  • Tools: Tools are often on sale over Memorial Day, but they're usually reduced even more for Father's Day, just a few weeks later.
  • Lawn/Yard equipment: Lawnmowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, etc. are cheapest after the summer season. If you're making a major purchase, it's probably worth the wait.
  • Summer clothes: While fashionistas must outfit themselves before each season, if you can wait until June (or so), you'll save big on swimsuits and summer clothing. You'll save even more at the end of summer.

Tips for Memorial Day Shopping

If you do choose to shop during the Memorial Day weekend, follow these tips for extra savings: 

  • If you are buying in a store, talk to a salesperson to ask about special discounts and savings. Some are able to offer better prices and it never hurts to ask.
  • Many retailers can offer special financing on furniture and major appliances, like one year without interest payments. 
  • When shopping online, many retailers offer free shipping or special rates at a certain dollar value. Others offer for free home delivery or the option to pick up your online purchase at your nearest store. Choose the option that works best for you and saves you the most money.