Retailers beset by dwindling confidence in the economy are rolling out back to school sales earlier than they might have in the past.

I was in Target last week and noticed giant pencils pointing to back to school deals throughout the store. Then while in Wal-Mart, I could hardly walk down the aisle because of all the back to school supplies!

Retailers at the discount end are kind of desperate at this time. The recent loss of confidence in the economy means the registers have stopped ringing. Back to school stuff is a deal right now since the season has been pushed forward several weeks. Meanwhile, summer stuff is on deep clearance if you can still find what you want.

All of this means that delaying your back to school purchasing will lead to better deals. The markdowns are likely to happen before kids go back to school, particularly if you live in an area of the country where that's not until after Labor Day.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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