Written by Spotloan

July 4th isn’t just about fireworks and picnics. Many retailers offer 4th of July sales, so it’s also a great time to shop.

The savings aren’t limited to the holiday weekend, either. In the past few years, some retailers have promoted “Black Friday in July” sales, often in mid July.

“July is typically a down time in retail,” according to Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as quoted in USA Today. “Back-to-school hasn’t happened yet, and people are on vacation. So they need something to drive consumers to the stores.”

Amazon kicked off the “Black Friday in July” trend in 2015, with its first Prime Day shopping event. (TechRadar says this year’s Prime Day is expected to be held July 11). Since then, other retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy have offered Black Friday in July sales to compete with Amazon.

What to shop for in July

* Summer clothes, especially swimwear, often go on sale in stores this time of year. Retailers need to make room for fall clothes, which typically begin arriving in July or early August. You might find the best clothing deals at outlets this time of year, Consumer Reports says.

JCPenney, Kohl’s and other retailers have offered up to 80 percent off warm-weather clothes during the July 4th holiday, DealNews reports.

* Consumer electronics. NerdWallet says you can expect discounts in July “in nearly every product category” of technology. Mid-late July can be a good time to buy consumer electronics, thanks to Amazon’s Prime Day and retailers that match its prices.

If you’re looking for the best laptop deal, though, wait until the back-to-school sales season in August/September, USA Today recommends. ABC News adds that laptops can cost 25 percent less in August, thanks to back-to-school sales.

For more tips, see the Spotloan blog post “How to save money on electronics.”

* Furniture often goes on sale in July in stores, because new pieces typically arrive in August. Like clothes, brick-and-mortar retailers need to make room for new products.

* Jewelry can be another hot sales item during July. “Valentine’s Day is long gone, and there are no gift-giving holidays around the corner to boost (jewelry) stores’ sales,” notes CNBC. “Capitalize on the lull. You could even knock out a few Christmas gifts and have one less thing to worry about when the hectic holiday season rolls around.”

* Home goods such as air conditioners, interior/exterior paint, sliding, decking, and wood stains typically get discounted in July, too.

Ask for discounts

See something you like in a store and it’s not on sale? Ask a sales associate if any store discounts might apply, regardless of the season.

For example, some large retailers frequently offer (but don’t always advertise) ‘Friends and Family’ discounts. AAA members can get discounts any time of year at retailers including Eddie Bauer, Payless Shoe Source, Samsonite, and Adidas Outlet Stores. AAA.com offers a search tool to help you find discounts at nearby stores.

Before you shop, check out these resources

“What to Buy Every Month of the Year in 2017” (NerdWallet)

The Best Time to Buy Anything During the Year” (Lifehacker)

“Best Time to Buy Things” (Consumer Reports)

“The best time of the year to buy everything” (CNBC)

“A Month-by-Month Guide to the Best Time to Buy Everything” (Money magazine)

“Best Times of the Year to Buy Clothing and Fashion Accessories” (About.com)

“7 Things to Buy in July (and 5 Things You Should Definitely Skip)” (DealNews)