Buy a Patio Set after Labor Day to Save Big

Experts say there is a best time to buy anything. Big screens after the Super Bowl, laptops for back-to-school, and here’s one I’ve just discovered: patio furniture and grills after Labor Day.

Which Stores Have Big Sales

A full-time patio store may have some items on clearance after Labor Day, but since patios are their year-round business, don’t look for big markdowns any time of year. Instead, check out the seasonal players.


Sears actually has pretty nice patio stuff. We’ve had our eye on a set since late June and have watched the price rise and fall. I thought it might go on sale for Labor Day, but it actually returned to full price in time for the holiday. It’s now 50% off. They need to move the patio stuff out to make room for Halloween and Christmas stuff.

Home Improvement Centers:

We were at Lowe’s before Labor Day, and they had no sales. They still don’t have great sales on some of the items, but some of their patio furniture is significantly marked down. I expect I’d find the same situation at Home Depot or OSH. Like Sears, they have to make room for the winter goods, even in always-warm Southern California. Now if you live in Hawaii, don’t expect to see markdowns anytime soon.

Department Stores:

Places like Ikea may keep some patio furniture around year-round, but they mark down much of it to make room for holiday stuff. The same goes for the major department stores like Macy’s, JC Penney’s, etc.

Discount Stores:

It’s time for Target and Costco to start moving this stuff out. They have Christmas merchandise to put in its place. You may not find deals online, where they have warehouses to store everything, but check the stores to find deals.

Outdoor Living Options

Some of the more expensive items may not be marked down because they can be returned to the manufacturer, but the low and mid-priced items are priced to sell.


Look for the basic grills to go on sale, but the $5000 mega-grills, also called outdoor kitchens, will probably keep their sky-high prices because those are home improvement projects, not summer buys.

Umbrellas, Pagodas, and Awnings:

Most people take down their shades and put them away for winter, so now is the time to buy them. Just put the whole thing in the garage or shed until next summer, confident that you saved 50%.

Dining Sets:

Mid-priced dining sets should be significantly marked down so buy them and put them in the garage or shed for winter unless you live some in a place where you can eat outside for a few more months.

Seating Collections:

I saw minor markdowns on outdoor seating collections. These outdoor “living room” sets are currently very trendy, so I wouldn’t expect them to be seriously marked down quite yet, but you should check around to see if you can snap up any bargains from desperate sellers.

I know it seems odd to be buying patio furniture at the end of summer, but it always makes sense to buy at a time when you can get a better deal than at the peak of the season. True, the selection is more limited, but there are still nice items to be found if you’re willing to visit a few stores.

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