How to Find the Best July Fourth Sales

Independence Day is one of the best times to shop for a new wardrobe.

Hanging sale tags against a U.S. flag background.

If you're in need of appliances or outdoor furniture, there are plenty of deals on July 4.

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Shoppers hoping to score July Fourth deals this weekend should get started early, before they’ve even finalized their celebration plans. Many retailers have launched their Independence Day sales already and will pull the plug on them as the fireworks are still cooling. “The sales are going to end right after July Fourth,” says Trae Bodge, senior editor for RetailMeNot and contributor to the U.S. News blog The Frugal Shopper. 

The best deals will be on apparel (especially kids items), travel and home repairs, Bodge says. Shoppers will see discounts as high as 75 percent off in each category. “This is a great weekend to shop if you’re going to be around and not on vacation and want to hit the mall,” she says. The sales will dry up until back-to-school season starts in a couple weeks, she adds, and those discounts will be focused more on school-related items than summer ones.

Shoppers already seem to associate the holiday with updating their wardrobes. A survey of 500 Americans planning to shop on July Fourth weekend released by Offers.com found that the most popular category for shoppers is clothing, followed by electronics, patio furniture and appliances. Not surprisingly, high earners plan to spend the most, with 28.6 percent of Americans earning over $150,000 reporting that they plan to shop over the weekend.

[Read: 5 Stores Where You Can Always Get Deals.]

Brad Wilson, founder of the coupon site BradsDeals.com, says the recent bad weather in much of the country means many people have delayed buying their home improvement and outdoor furniture items until now, which will make this weekend a bonanza for retailers featuring those items. While online and in-store deals are often the same, Wilson encourages shoppers on the hunt for appliances to go online, because they'll find better deals. He adds that shoppers should read online reviews carefully to help with their buying decision.

Erica Bell, co-founder of Hukkster, an online tool and app that lets shoppers track discounts on specific items, says anyone who spots deals on summer items should grab them now. “The average discount on swimwear jumps to 38 percent in July and 44 percent in August, but [if you] wait too long, you run the risk of your size selling out,” she says. 

Research by Hukkster found that while Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer the biggest sales of the year, July Fourth rivals Memorial Day as the second best time to buy. The largest number of deals last year started on July 2, which was 20 percent more than the sales on the actual holiday two days later, according to Hukkster. On average, shoppers will see 30 percent off across various categories through the holiday, with summer items getting the deepest discounts.

[Read: 5 Ways to Save on Outdoor Toys This Summer.]

Here’s an overview of the July Fourth sales that have already started, as reported by RetailMeNot and the retailers’ websites:

1. Target: Shoppers can get patio, garden and grilling supplies for up to 20 percent off through July 5.

2. Pottery Barn: Outdoor lounge furniture and umbrellas are marked down by as much as 60 percent off through July 6. Pottery Barn Kids is also offering similar discounts across many of its categories, from bedding to beach towels.

3. Home Depot: Patio furniture and gazebos are half-price through the weekend, and some grills are 10 percent off (plus free shipping for online shoppers). Known as the “Red, White & Blue” sale, the store will also feature 30 percent off major appliances.

4. Sears: Shoppers have more time to score the deals on big-ticket items at Sears, which is offering $25 off purchases of $250 or more on lawn and garden items through July 8 and $60 off $400 or more on patio furniture, grills and outdoor décor.

5. Lowe’s: Shoppers can get 10 to 30 percent off major appliances of $399 or more through July 8.

[See: 12 Ways to Save Money at Home.]

6. Amazon: The online megastore is featuring deep discounts on all sorts of summer items, from sunglasses to outdoor sports equipment to televisions (so you can watch the fireworks from the comfort of your air-conditioned living room).

7. Bloomingdale's: Featuring 20 to 65 percent off everything from clothes to jewelry to home items, this sale lasts through the weekend.

8. Macy’s: Furniture and mattresses are marked down for the holiday, with the store promising some of the lowest prices of the season, as well as a 15 percent off shopping coupon that expires Friday night.  

With all those clothing discounts, it will be easy to watch the fireworks in a new outfit.