5 things to avoid buying over Labor Day

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    Retailers will be putting all sorts of goods on sale over Labor Day weekend, but that doesn't mean consumers should take the bait.

    For one, this year's holiday falls late in the calendar, which means some retailers may hold off on big sales until the year-end shopping season picks up in earnest in November. Some merchants are already hitching their deals to Christmas shopping, with Walmart (WMT) starting a holiday push last week.

    Although deals abound, savvy shoppers will realize that some product categories will offer better savings than others. Some consumers may want to hold off on purchases until October or November, when pre-Black Friday sales will begin in earnest, according to Kristin Cook, the managing editor at Ben's Bargains, a deal and coupon site started in 2000 by a student at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Labor Day is "not the strongest sales period of the year," she noted. "We're close now to the early pre-holiday shopping time, so a lot of places are going to wait" on rolling out especially deep sales.

    Retail sales are expected to pick up in the second half of the year, partly due to lower energy costs but also as wages and job growth improves.

    That may tempt Americans to head for the stores this weekend. While a number of products will be on markdown, ranging from backyard equipment to clothing, not all sales will be created equal.

    Read on to learn which categories would be best to avoid, as well as which ones will offer especially good deals.