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Are Black Friday in July Sales Worth Your Money?

black Friday sales sign on top of clothing rack
July 14, 2015

By Alissa Green

This summer, July 15th is not just a random Tuesday.

No, it’s Amazon’s new “Prime Day,” the mega-retailer’s stab at a Black Friday event in July. They’re promising better deals than you will find in November and plenty of hoopla – and they’re not alone.

In addition to Amazon’s new shopping holiday, Target’s big summer sale started last week, and Best Buy will be holding its summer inventory clearance event July 24-25. QVC, meanwhile, is promoting its Christmas in July sale, running July 17-18. Big-box giant Walmart has also jumped into the summer shopping holiday game, launching a one-week sale that starts (maybe not coincidentally) on July 15. While all this sounds exciting, especially for bargain shoppers, how big are the bargains you should expect to find?

Amazon is claiming that “Prime Day” will have more deals than Black Friday, but that comes off as standard merchandiser speak these days. First off, you’ll have to sign-up for Amazon Prime to gain access to any of their special “Prime Day” deals. If you don’t currently have Amazon Prime, the company will offer a special 30-day free trial only accessible on July 15. Typically, an Amazon Prime membership costs $99 a year while a student membership runs $49.

Why’s Amazon being so generous? There’s talk Amazon is only offering “Prime Day” to get out ahead of new retailer Jet.com, an online members-only club expected to offer steep discounts of 5-6 percent. Hmm...

Target, meanwhile, didn’t brand its summer clearance sale “Black Friday in July” until recently. There are blog posts from shoppers enjoying the company’s 90 percent off ‘summer clearance’ sale as recently in 2013. If you need the items on clearance, go to town – but don’t stock up on stuff you don’t need just because it’s on sale. Remember that the sale is as much about what products the retailer wants to offload as what you want to buy.

Summer clearance items are likely to include:

  • Back-to-School 
  • Air Conditioners
  • Grills
  • Gardening Tools
  • Home Goods/Furniture
  • Summer Apparel

One of the biggest reasons for the success of the traditional Black Friday is its Costco-like business philosophy: the more people who buy a product, the cheaper it is for everyone, retailer and customer included. Since fewer people are aware of the so-called Black Friday that is happening in the summer, one could argue that the prices can never be as good.

That said, all this Black Friday hubbub is a good reminder that we’ve just crossed over the halfway mark to the holiday seasons. It might be time to put away your credit card and take out your piggy bank.