The Ultimate Sales Calendar: When Everything Goes On Sale
Have you ever paid full-price for something, only to catch it on sale a week later?
To help prevent this heartbreak, we’ve combined all the major clearances and sales dates throughout the year. We hope this will be a tool that can save you money all year round.
Below is the infographic that shows everything in an overview. Below that we go through each month and explain exactly what you can expect to be on sale – and why. Some of the tips are self-explanatory (like seasonal clearance sales). For those that aren’t, we’ve linked to a reputable source.
Here are our key takeaways:
- Clearance sales happen around 2 months into any season. For example, spring roughly starts in March, so expect spring clearances in May.
- Gadgets, appliances, and other big-ticket products go on sale at the same time every year. This is guided by new models getting announced or released – and stores clearing out the older versions. These unique sales are what inspired this calendar.
- We can’t predict all the sales! While the above two rules apply all year, some sales are knee-jerk reactions to huge amounts of stock, the market, or simply how the store is doing.
Clearance & Sales: Month by Month
New Years Sales | Fitness, Motorbikes, Baby Clothes, 2nd-Hand Goods, Linen&Towels
Fitness Gear: Fitness gear is huge in January. Can you guess why? Three words: New Year’s Resolutions! Every store is trying to make sure they’re the place to go for anyone starting their year with a health kick.
2nd-Hand Furniture/Goods: Look out for used furniture and second-hand goods. Thrift stores and eBay see a massive spike in popularity as everyone clears things out to start the new year (or sells unwanted gifts!). You can also get carpeting for a lot cheaper, as many people get new carpets in the run-up to the holidays. [TheSpruce]
Linen & Towels: January sees many ‘White Sales’ of Towers & Linen put on by stores like Macy’s, Kohls, & Pottery Barn. [Money.com]
Baby Clothes: According to MyFrugalAdventures, Target has huge baby department clearance sales throughout January. [MFA]
Motorbikes: Motorbikes start to go for a lot cheaper due January being post-Christmas, in the peak of the off-season, and in anticipation of new releases. Retailers want to clear space for the new models being sought by the fair-weather riders when they swarm shop floors in spring. [MotorbikeWriter]
Superbowl (2nd) | Televisions, Phones, Cameras, Jewellery, Chocolate
Televisions: The major event for sales in February is, of course, the Superbowl. The influence of this one sports event is so far-reaching that stores cover it everywhere. As the most-watched television event of the year – electronics stores will be having a discount war to be the one that everyone buys their new TV from. [TomsGuide]
Phones / Cameras: For smaller electronics- everything from cameras to mobile phones – new models are often released in early/mid-spring. Which means February is the time for price drops on the older models. If your phone’s been getting annoyingly slow, February is a great time to start looking for an upgrade. [CameraConsumer]
Jewelry/ Chocolate: If you’re looking to pick up Jewelry, the days following Valentine’s Day will see plenty of quick clearance sales as stores try to cycle out their stock. Same goes with chocolate – as long as you don’t mind it being heart-shaped!
Sometimes stores will even offer 2-for-1 or buy-1-get-1-50%-off deals on phones for Valentine’s Day!
St Paddy’s Day (17th) | Winter Clothing, Ski-Gear, Luggage, Frozen Food
Winter Sales/Ski-Gear: March sees winter goods closing in on their final clearance sales. It’s probably the cheapest you’ll ever pay for a nice winter coat. Pay particular attention to ski-gear (everything from snowboards to ski-jackets) as the slopes start to close in most places around the country.
Luggage: Luggage also tends to have a lot of promotional deals during March. This is a combination of being too late for winter vacations and in anticipation of the summer season; which picks up in April & May. [LifeHacker]
Frozen Food: Believe it or not, March is frozen food month. Yes… really! It’s a genuine thing organized by the ‘National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association’. I can’t believe I’m writing this – but keep an eye out in stores everywhere for great deals on all frozen food. [NFRA]
Paddy’s Day Goods: As you might expect, the run-up to Paddy’s Day sees sales on everything related to the day-long party. Alcohol is where you’ll save the most money, but look out for discounts on brewery/whiskey factory tours, shirts, and just about anything green.
Tax Day (15th) | Office Equipment, Tires, Sneakers, Chocolate, Beauty
Tax Day: April is a bit of a lull in major events, but Tax Day has its own promotions for tax software and organization tools.
Office Equipment: A lot of people start businesses once the new fiscal year starts. Look for great deals on office software, desks, and stationary, and even computers as stores try to get new business owners in the door.
Beauty Products: Any fashionistas will be quick to tell you April is also when the spring beauty product lines are released, meaning a lot of promotional sales and drop-down prices on old products. [NerdWallet]
Sneakers: Sneaker companies love to take advantage of the spring weather to try and get people running again. Especially check out running-specialist stores, and look out for bundle promotions to grab other gear too. [TIME]
Tires: With summer around the corner you’ll start to find replacing your tires gets a bit cheaper. Discounts start popping up to grab the attention of everyone preparing for a summer road trip. Pay particular attention to grabbing a rebate (up to $100!) from a manufacturer. (Did you know: April is also National Car Care Month!). [KrazyCouponLady]
Chocolate: Post-Easter is one of the best times of the whole year if you’re a chocolate lover. Stock up on as much Easter Chocolate as you can for next-to-nothing.
Memorial Day Weekend | Spring Clothing, Mattresses, Large Appliances, Camping Gear
Memorial Day: May’s main shopping events are the big discount sales around Memorial Day Weekend. Particularly on spring clothing and mattresses – but also on camping equipment, as the initial spring rush comes to a close.
Spring Clothing: As the heat arrives, stores will be getting rid of all spring related clothing. Look for great deals on jeans, boots, jackets, and more.
Outdoor & Camping Gear: Memorial Day being right before summer makes it a great excuse for many families to go camping for the first time that year. Every good outdoors store will be pushing tents, rucksacks, and camping gear hoping to make the most of the rush.
Mattresses: Mattress companies tend to push out their new mattresses in June, with a big focus on promoting them for the next month or two. Before this starts old stock needs clearing – pronto! Making May, by far, the best month to pick up a new mattress and get some better sleep. [DealNews]
Large Appliances: Another category that gets pushed around Memorial Day is large appliances. Everything from washers and dryers to fridges gets discounted. Similar to mattresses, new models come out in the summer – so May is the time for stock clearances. (This is especially true for refrigerators.) [Money Crashers]
Father’s Day (21st) | Gyms & Equipment, Lingerie, Men’s Clothing, Tools, BBQ’s
Lingerie: While June is a quieter month for sales, one big event is Victoria Secret’s main summer sale. Since they’re the lingerie producer, almost all of their competition get in on the action too. [RetailMeNot]
Men’s Clothing, Tools, Grills: With Father’s Day in the middle of the month, a lot of men’s clothing and ‘manly’ gifts also see a lot of promoting. Look for stereotypical things like DIY toolsets, BBQ sets, and beer/whiskey.
Gym Subscriptions, Gear: Summer is quite a down-season for gyms. Why hit the gym when the weather’s lovely and you can exercise outdoors? To counter this, many gyms offer discounted subscription packages, off-peak deals, and fitness gear to try and get people back in through the door.
Amazon Prime Day (13th/14th) | Amazon Goods, Back to School Warm-Up, Video Games
Amazon Prime Day: While typically a quiet month for deals, Amazon has brightened up July by placing their own site-wide sale right in the middle. As the world’s #1 online marketplace – this isn’t to be underestimated. The sale is expected to last for 48 hours, and in 2019 Prime members saved over a billion dollars throughout the two-day sale. It even included its own concert, headlined by Taylor Swift! Electronics are a huge focus, as well as luxury beauty products, toys, and household goods. [TechRadar]
Video Games: Those who prefer bright screens to sunlight will tell you that mid-summer is a great time for gamers. Steam, the largest gaming retailer, has a whopping discount sale (this can start from the end of June, running into July). [PCGamer]
Back to School: July’s a little early for the kids to be dreading the return of school, but towards the end of the month are when sales start to appear on Rucksacks, Stationary, and Electronics.
Back to School | Back to School, Laptops/Tablets, Wine, Tax-Free Days, Swimwear
Back to School Main: The main back to school build-up covers a huge range of discounts, extending far beyond stationery and school bags. Laptops, tablets, and dorm room accessories also enjoy major deals aimed at college students.
Tax-Free Weekends: To ease the burden on parents, many states throughout the US hold tax-free sales days in August. These are where the states waive tax on goods – usually clothes and school supplies – for a few days or a weekend.
Wine: Late summer also means the year’s harvest of wine will be getting collected. This huge spike in supply means there’s a lot of clearance sales on great bottles of wine as shelf-space needs to be found for the new production. [RetailMeNot]
Swimwear: As the heat begins to fade, swim and beachwear start to get discounted in a major clear-out. If you’re forward-thinking enough and have the cupboard space, you can get fantastic deals on swimwear and beach goods.
Labor Day Weekend | Appliances, Outdoor Goods, Car Seats, Bicycles
Labor Day Weekend: September kicks off with Labor Day weekend, which has its own assortment of sales and promotions. With the weekend traditionally marking the end of summer, look for weekend-centered deals on furniture, clothing, and electronics.
Outdoor Goods: With summer coming to a close, outdoor goods start going quick and fast. Everything from garden furniture to lawnmowers can be covered in large clearance sales. September’s a perfect time to purchase anything outdoorsy if you don’t mind an exercise in delayed gratitude to wait out the winter.
Appliances: This is another great time to shop for new appliances. October is when many new models of home appliances are released in the run-up to Christmas, meaning that the price drop down on older models starts here. [TheSpruce]
Car Seats: September is when Target has its famed car-seat trade-in event. You can get 20% discounts when you trade in any old car-seat and pick up a new one from them. Not only is this a great money-saver, but it’s also a fantastic encouragement to keep the kids safe with modern, high-standard seats. [Target]
Bicycles: Similar to cars, bicycles have their newest models come out towards the end of the season. No store wants to be stuck with last-years stock, so they’ll typically hold major clearances to get rid of the old and bring in the new. [Rd]
Lawnmowers & Garden: Lawn and Garden categories also come alive with a lot of promotions with the season coming to an end. Everything from patio furniture to barbeques will be getting pushed by their manufacturers.
Halloween | Back to School Clearances, Appliances, Cars, iPhones
Back To School Clearances: Those back to school lines from July & August are closing down around this October, and every square inch of shelve space is going to be needed for Christmas. Meaning there’s some great clearance sales to be taken advantage of for stationary, backpacks, and electronics.
Appliances: With new appliances breaking onto the scene, deals and promotions on both new and old models continue from September into October. [DealNews]
Cars: New models of cars are also typically released in October, dropping the price of older models. This tends toy happen after the cars are released, unlike with appliances and gadgets which drop earlier. [Forbes]
iPhones: There’s many things that change from iPhone to iPhone, but one thing remains constant – they all tend to get announced in September, and ship in November. This means that October is prime time for anyone looking to pick up a bargain on last year’s model. [HuffPost]
Black Friday! (29th) | Electronics, Gadgets, Watches, Jewellery, Pretty much everything…
Black Friday needs no introduction. It’s taken America by storm in the past decade, becoming its own vortex of crazy sales deals.
Covering just about everything, but with a focus on electronics and accessories (watches/jewellery) it’s a whirlwind of shopping frenzy. Our top tips are to focus on shopping online – Amazon are fantastic at managing the Black Friday chaos – and take advantage of the pre-sales that typically pop up in the week or two before.
Cyber Monday: Black Friday’s little brother is also a fantastic opportunity to pick-up high-tech gadgets and software. Perfect if you’re a tech fan, or have a few teenagers on your Christmas shopping list.
Halloween Clearances: Before we get into the main event, the first thing going on sale in November is always Halloween candy and party costume clearances.
Target Toy Clearance: Target tend to hold a small toy clearance in November, with great price drops running throughout most of the month. [MFA]
Christmas | Everything… Free Shipping, Video Games, Champagne
Everything! In terms of shopping sales, December is a massive free-for-all in the run-up to Christmas. Every category is swept up in sales and promotions as everyone gets ready for Santa’s big day.
Free Shipping: One event that any savvy shopper should be aware of is December 15th – quickly becoming known as free shipping day. Online retailers nationwide are starting to get on board, so hold off on any last minute purchases to save on shipping costs.
Video Games: Any keen gamer will tell you that Steam’s Christmas sale is the #1 event on their calendar. For some, even ahead of Christmas itself! The largest gaming platform has it’s best discounts of the year, often rivalled by other retailers who are trying to keep up. [PCGamer]
Champagne: Finally, the huge supply of champagne supplied for new year’s eve parties results in plenty of big promotions that can be taken advantage of. It’s one of the nice occasions where stores get so over-stocked they’re desperate to be the ones supplying your party on New Year’s Eve. [GuestofaGuest]
Found that a recent purchase might be about to go on sale? If you paid using a credit card you may be able to get the difference refunded. Google your credit card and ‘price rewind’. You may just get lucky.
I hope this guide’s been (and will be) helpful when you’re making your next purchase.
Remember that not all clearance deals are the same. Make sure to shop around and compare prices to be certain that you’re getting the best deal.
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