— -- Happy birthday America! While it's not our classic view of patriotism and celebrating, holiday weekends have become shopping weekends, so big retail chains are discounting merchandise to earn your business.
Big ticket items like appliances and even cars may see discounts over the coming five days. Amazon Prime day is now Prime week -- it starts now and goes into frenzy mode July 10 at 9 p.m. ET. And finally, it's an unusual opportunity to get some price reductions on the in-season items you need now.
Below are some of the discounts and insider tips (some from our friends at dealnews.com) to capitalize on mid-summer sales opportunities.
Blanket discounts on sites and stores:
Calvin Klein: 50 percent off storewide and sitewideRalph Lauren: 30 percent storewide and sitewidePerry Ellis: 40 percent off sitewideGap Factory: A big sale plus an extra 15 percent off sitewideCrocs: 35 percent off sitewideCarter's: Extra 30 percent off clearance itemsSears: an extra 10 percent off storewide and sitewide
Deals for and benefiting veterans:
Walgreens has a 20 percent off deal on the entire store available for veterans, active-duty military and their immediate family members. In-store only, July 4th only.Macy's has a deal benefiting the charity "Got Your 6" that helps veterans find valuable jobs when they return to civilian life. Give $3 online or in store and get a 25 percent off coupon on almost their entire inventory.
Discounts on Summer items:
Kmart is offering up to 40 percent off on swimwear and 50 percent off on patio furniture.Lowes has charbroil gas barbecues 30 percent off and is offering a two pack of charcoal for 50 percent off.Dick's Sporting goods has two entry level fishing poles on sale 50 percent off for $30. They also have a buy one get one free deal on Life vests. REI has select tents at 30 percent off. Dick's sporting goods has a 10 person pop-up tent for just $50. That's 50 percent off. Walgreens has a buy one get one 50 percent off deal on Coppertone and Ban De Soleil sunscreen. My other favorite Walgreens summer sale item -- Oscar Meyer wieners 50 percent off.
Cruthfield.com has an up to 40 percent off sale this holiday weekend and Best Buy has a slew of electronics on sale, including 25 percent off 4K TVs and a rare sale on Apple products -- a rough guide is $200 off iPhones purchased on carrier plans and $200 off some MacBook computers.
Amazon Prime Week
Amazon will hold its third annual mid-summer sale for subscribing Prime members. Last year they had an estimated 100,000 items discounted and while these are not always the lowest prices you'll see in a year (those generally come around Black Friday) it is a good mid-year opportunity to score a bargain.
It's Prime week, not just Prime Day now. While the lion's share of the deals will go live July 10 at 9 p.m. ET and end July 12th at 3 a.m. ET, the company will be offering discounts in the days leading up to the big event, many of them are live now.
Amazon describes the deals in its press release like this: "Amazon Music Unlimited – Prime members who haven't yet tried Amazon Music Unlimited can get the best deal in Amazon Music history –- four months of the full catalog on-demand service with access to tens of millions of songs, for just $0.99.
"Prime Video –- Get $10 to shop on Amazon.com anytime on or before Prime Day when you stream a video included in Prime for the first time on your TV. Restrictions apply. Stream award-winning and critically acclaimed Amazon Original Series and Movies as well as thousands of other popular titles included with your Prime membership.
"Kindle Unlimited –- Prime members can save up to 40 percent on a Kindle Unlimited membership. Enjoy unlimited reading from over one million titles on any device.
"Audible –- Enjoy the world’s largest library of audiobooks plus original audio programming from Audible for 40 percent off your first 6 months (just $8.95/month for 6 months).
"Everyday Essentials -– Prime members can save up to 35 percent off with onsite coupons on select food and household items in Prime Pantry."
Amazon Prime Day Tricks and Tips
You do have to be a Prime member to get deals, but you can sign up for a 30 free trial and take advantage of the savings -- just make a calendar notification for a month from now to cancel and you won't have to pay the $99 annual fee.
If you want to price-compare to see if a Prime Day price is really a good deal, go to Camelcamelcamel.com. They track the price history of almost every item on Amazon. Cut and paste the URL (web address) of a particular Amazon item into the Camelcamelcamel search engine and they will tell you what's the lowest price the item has ever sold at. If it's significantly lower than the deal being offered on Prime Day, maybe it's not such a good deal.
A lot of the best discounts will come in the form of lightning deals, these are the flash sales Amazon offers for a limited time, often without notice. One trick is that the amazon app for your phone does highlight upcoming deals so you can do some research and planning. In the app, click on "today's deals" and it will show you sales that are currently live and upcoming deals. You can create a notification on an upcoming product and your phone will ping you when the deal price goes live.
Final tip -- Walmart and Target feel a lot of pressure to compete on Prime Day, so be sure to check their sites for deals, too.