The Best (and Worst) Things to Buy in July — Plus Tips on Amazon Prime Day

Here's how to navigate Amazon Prime Day and other sales that let you save money in July, and some tips about what not to buy -- not yet.

This post comes from partner site DealNews.

July is full of sales. Prime Day, 4th of July sales and the Steam Summer Sale are all happening this month, but smart shoppers should be selective about what they buy during these hyped-up events.

Amazon Prime Day deals

There are always lots of leaks, guesses and predictions about when that day will take place. No matter when the event occurs, you can expect the sale to be among the biggest shopping days of 2018.

Our research shows that many shoppers were unimpressed by Prime Day 2017. However, excellent bargains will be available if you’re quick enough to take advantage of the lightning deals. In fact, 25 percent of all the deals we listed from Amazon during last year’s event were Editors’ Choice-worthy — especially for electronics and home items.

Thanks to Prime Day, July will be the best time to buy an Amazon device — whether you’re upgrading your Kindle or splurging on a new Fire TV Cube. We saw 50 deals on Amazon-brand devices during last year’s Prime Day event. Do you already own an Alexa-equipped device? Plan to place a few orders through the home assistant on Prime Day, as these could be some of the best deals of the sale.

You can also expect to see Amazon Warehouse’s best sale of the year, as it knocks around 20 percent off pre-owned items. Deals that come with Amazon credit will also be plentiful; you can expect to get $5 or $10 in credit with select orders.

For more details on what you can expect from Amazon Prime Day 2018, check out our full guide here.

Summer clothing

It may seem like summer has just begun, but you can expect to see the first big discounts on summer apparel when 4th of July sales arrive early this month. Clearance and sale sections will fill up with gear that’s still in season as retailers make room for the fall back-to-school sales.

During Independence Day sales, clearance clothes can get an extra 30 to 40 percent off at shops like Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan and L.L. Bean. And outlet stores like J. Crew Factory and Gap Factory should knock as much as 50 percent off already-reduced apparel and shoes. We also expect big things from Gap — it had an Editors’ Choice-worthy 50 percent-off site-wide coupon last year.

Shoe shoppers should also consider Gap, which is likely to be selling flip-flops from as little as $2. Also, Joe’s New Balance Outlet is likely to knock between 50 percent and 60 percent off running shoes.

Outdoor gear

Budget-conscious campers, hikers and fishing fans should also plan to check out this year’s 4th of July sales.

Stores like Backcountry and REI will knock down prices as much as 50 percent on all things outdoors. Expect to score low prices at Walmart, too, as fishing kits typically get discounted to around $10 and two-person tents start at just $26.

Apple’s latest iPad

Your patience has paid off; savings on Apple iPads are finally coming. The recently upgraded 9.7-inch iPad is likely to see discounts around Prime Day. Whether Amazon discounts the model or not, you can expect iPad deals at Prime Day competitors like Best Buy and Staples.

We foresee the tablet’s price from these retailers dropping by 12 percent to 18 percent — that would put the starting price between $270 to $289. This price will continue to drop over the next few months, but we won’t see more significant savings on this model until September. If you can’t wait any longer, Prime Day is the best time to buy.

Steam games

The Steam Summer Sale has already begun, and it runs through 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 5. That means this month is still a great time to buy PC games. Expect to see the biggest discounts — up to 90 percent off! — on DLC and older games. Video games from late 2017 or early 2018 typically see more modest drops of around 30 percent to 50 percent off.

House paint

Hot summer months aren’t typically conducive to outdoor house painting, so we frequently see paint prices drop in July. We’ve previously seen a “buy one, get one free” sale on select paints at Lowe’s, and participating Sherwin-Williams stores knocked 40 percent off select collections in July.

Christmas in July sales

Christmas is likely the furthest thing from your mind as you shop sandals and sunblock. But many stores will host sales this month to mark the halfway point to the holiday festivities. Home items generally see the best discounts in these sales; you can expect to shop Christmas decor at Home Depot for as much as 75 percent off.

For those avoiding the tinsel, Lenox is likely to discount its jewelry lines by 40 percent. And holiday makers should plan to shop Editors’ Choice offers at High Sierra, where luggage and backpacks should sell at half price during that retailer’s Christmas in July event.

Last-minute travel

Feeling spontaneous? You can make use of some top-value travel deals for 4th of July holiday travel. Hotels.com knocked an extra 10 percent off hotel stays in the first few days of July last year, while Groupon discounted thousands of travel deals.

Consider heading to New York City, as prices on hotel rooms will hit some of their lowest prices of the year around the July 4th holiday. Despite its infamously high rates, prices are around $60 cheaper per night in July than in August. Trip Savvy also recommends trips to Memphis and Tucson, as hotel stays there will hit year-low prices in July — assuming you can take the heat.

Select produce

Not only are in-season fruit and vegetables tastier, but you’ll also stand to save around 50 percent compared with when these items reach their out-of-season price heights. In July, you can shop for cheaper avocados, cherries, blackberries, corn, greens, kale and mango.

But not everything is at its prime price in July. Read on for …

3 purchases to avoid …

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