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Now that the school season is about to go on winter break, we’ve stopped updating this post with sales and can’t promise the ones below are still available. Check back later for updated deals.
Whether you’re shopping for crayons, extra-long sheets for a dorm bed, or chic home office staples, back-to-school shopping offers some of the best sales of the year. But before there’s even a hint of fall in the air, back-to-school deals hit shelves IRL and virtually, giving you the opportunity to score big. “Shopping now is a good idea because the shelves are still relatively well-stocked, and supply will only dwindle as August wears on,” says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert, and editor at RetailMeNot.
Best of all, back-to-school sales go beyond what goes in backpacks. Deals can be found on more than just pencils and notebooks. Think clothing, dorm decor, and electronics, per McGrath. Plus, you don't need to be a student to enjoy these discounts.
Read on to help you make the most of this year's back-to-school sales.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond has dorm room shopping locked down—select your college from the dropdown and find the closest store to it, then add everything you need to your cart. Choose from pre-built starter packs, or create your own. Plus, sign up for the College Savings Pass and get 20 percent off every purchase with unlimited use through September 30.
Looking to upgrade your apartment for the upcoming school year? Now through September 12, save big on Burrow. You'll save anywhere from 10 percent to $500 off your order depending on how much you spend. Plus, Burrow's newest arrivals—like this super chic standing desk—are also included in the sale.
When Do Back-to-School Sales Start in 2021?
While back-to-school season typically differs throughout the country, expect to see sales popping up now through late summer. “Back to school sales start as early as mid-July and on into September,” McGrath says. Plus, any extra essentials left on shelves approaching Labor Day will also see slashed prices. However, keep in mind waiting this long can be risky, as what you need might no longer be in stock.
How Long Do Back-to-School Sales Last?
Deals usually run for about a month. “Back-to-school sales generally start in July and run right up until Labor Day, at which point most families have completed their back-to-school shopping,” McGrath says. Keep in mind there may be shipping delays on items such as furniture and electronics, so it's best to check the estimated ship date beforehand and shop on the earlier side to guarantee they arrive in time.
"If you are comfortable with taking a risk, wait until right before school is back in session to snap up any remaining notebooks, lunchboxes, dorm items, and other common items on students’ shopping lists."
What Stores Have the Best Back-to-School Sales?
Expect to find retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Apple, and more offering large-scale discounts on items like notebooks, school supplies, electronics, and furniture. McGrath notes that Amazon has great bulk deals on school supplies. “That means you'll have to buy more notebooks or pens than you need, but you'll often save on the per-item cost."
You'll also find great decor, bedding, and furniture deals from smaller brands like Brooklinen, The Container Store, Urban Outfitters, and Minted, to help you decorate your dorm or home at a fraction of the cost.
Some retailers like Apple and Best Buy for example offer exclusive discounts for students that sign up through their school emails. You'll just need to provide your student information to get the deals.