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Smart Buying

Best Buys During 2015 Presidents' Day Sales

You'll find deep discounts on furniture, mattresses, winter apparel and more over the holiday weekend.

You won’t have to wait until Presidents’ Day on February 16 to take advantage of widespread sales that coincide with the holiday. Several retailers including Best Buy, Overstock.com, Sears and Walmart already have kicked off their Presidents’ Day sales. And plenty of other retailers are offering discounts for Valentine’s Day, which falls on the long weekend this year. So deals abound on a variety of products.

The weeks surrounding Presidents’ Day are a particularly good time to save on certain big-ticket items, deal experts say. To score even more savings, Slickdeals consumer expert Regina Novickis recommends buying discounted gift cards for retailers where you plan to shop. You can find gift cards for less than face value at sites such as CardCash, Cardpool, GiftCards.com and Raise (see How to Buy Discount Gift Cards for more information).

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Here’s what you can find already on sale now and what will be marked down through February 16 -- and beyond, in some cases.

Apparel. Clothing has become the go-to category for deals on Presidents’ Day, Novickis says. In fact, discounts on apparel during this holiday can be better than what you’ll find on Black Friday, she says. Winter clothing, in particular, will be marked down as retailers try to clear out cold-weather inventory to make room for spring fashions. For example, Columbia has already started its annual winter sale, with discounts of 60% or more on jackets, says Kristin Cook, managing editor of Ben’s Bargains. You’ll also see markdowns of up to 80% on winter apparel at department stores such as Kohl’s and Macy’s, says Offers.com Vice President Howard Schaffer. If you want to save serious cash on next year's winter wear for the kids, consider buying one size up now and putting the purchases away until November, he says.

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However, don’t expect to see a lot of retailers marking down shoes, Novickis says. In 2014, Slickdeals saw less than 10% of Presidents’ Day deals focused on footwear.

Appliances. Presidents’ Day weekend, like other long holiday weekends, is a good time to get deals on big appliances, Schaffer says. Best Buy already is offering up to 35% off select refrigerators, washers and dryers; up to 28% off select ovens; and up to 25% off select dishwashers. Sears has cut prices up to 30% on appliances.

Electronics. Unlike with back-to-school season when computer deals are widespread, there isn’t a common theme with electronics that go on sale on Presidents’ Day, Novickis says. Expect to see discounts on a variety of electronics at merchants such as Best Buy, Newegg and TigerDirect, she says. And Dell, Office Depot and Staples should offer deals such as $50 off entire purchases (with a minimum purchase), Cook says.

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Furniture. Look for discounts of 50% or more as retailers try to clear out inventory to make room for new 2015 collections that are hitting stores. Schaffer says you’ll also see financing deals that allow you to make interest-free payments for up to five years. You’ll see sales at department stores and big-box retailers such as Kmart, as well as at furniture stores such as Ikea, Cook says.

If you visit a brick-and-mortar retailer, furniture is a great category in which you can negotiate the price, Novickis says. When dealing with the salesperson, ask if there is anything better he or she can offer. It might not be a discount off the item, but you could get free delivery or some free pillows for the couch, she says. Also ask if there are any further savings if you purchase the floor sample.

Jewelry. You’ll find more sales on jewelry for Valentine's Day during the week leading up to Presidents' Day than during the long holiday weekend itself, according to DealNews.com. However, if you hold off until spring (when demand for jewelry wanes), you’ll find even better bargains on a larger variety of jewelry. But if you can't wait until March or April to make your purchases, try online retailers such as BlueNile.com and Jewelry.com for the deepest pre-Valentine's Day discounts, as well as big-box retailers, department stores and Amazon, according to DealNews.com.

Mattresses. You can save 50% to 80% during Presidents’ Day sales, and you could save even more on package deals and financing offers, Schaffer says. Before you buy, look for advertisements that say things such as “Free Matching Box Spring” and “Free Financing Until 2020,” he says.

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