Back to School Sales for 2023 Are Live! Here Are the Top Deals

Savvy shoppers should be able to get clothing, standard supplies, and other items at up to 85% off.
Updated
The words Back to School are written on chalkboard.

Summer is nearing its end, and it's already time to think about Back to School shopping. Whether your kids are in middle school or are college students heading to the dorm, they'll need to be ready with basic school supplies, new clothes, and laptops for the coming school year.

With everything you have to buy for school, sending your kids back to class can be expensive. That's why you want to look for the best Back to School sales you can find. We go over what you need to know to save on your Back to School shopping list in 2023. Once you're done reading, learn about more ways to save with our articles on the best school supplies to buy and the best places to buy school supplies this year.

Top Back to School Sales You Can Shop Right Now

Amazon: The online retailer has several Back to School and Off to College deals available, with discounts as high as 81% off. Get significant savings on writing utensils, headphones, 3-ring binders, hand sanitizer, furniture, and other items.

Apple: Students can take advantage of education pricing on select Macs and iPads, but they'll also receive a gift card worth up to $150 and 20% off AppleCare+, among other perks. If you live in a state with a tax free event, check out the Apple tax holiday page, too. It features the tax free dates in different states, plus qualifying products you can shop, like iPad and Mac products under $3,000 in New Jersey.

Best Buy: The retailer is offering discounts like up to $350 off select laptops and up to 50% off select Sony headphones. Plus, if you want to shop other categories, Best Buy also has an area for college, a hub for K-12 students and parents, and even a student checklist to make the process easier and ensure you don't forget anything.

Carter's: While this sale may be for the smaller kids, that doesn't mean you can't find big savings! The Back to School event takes at least 40% off everything, so now's the time to stock up.

Dick's Sporting Goods: Shop big brands like Nike, The North Face, adidas, Under Armour, and others in the retailer's Back to School sale. Discounts of up to 50% off are available and cover clothing and shoes, as well as some accessories and even summery goods like swimwear.

eBay: Shop the online retailer and score up to 60% off eligible items, including refurbished tech and a variety of dorm-friendly products.

Microsoft: Shop the retailer's Back to School Sale, with select deals running through September 10. That gives you plenty of time pick up new tech! For instance, take up to $400 off the Surface Laptop 5, up to $200 off the Surface Laptop Go 2, and much more, including discounts on accessories for your new Surface device.

Office Depot and OfficeMax: Take up to 60% off the retailer's "best-selling" school supplies, which includes offers like coloring items starting at 50 cents, markers and highlighters from $2.99, and pocket folders from 25 cents.

Reebok: Shop a variety of Back to School picks and get 40% off full-price gear, as well as 50% off sale items. Use the code "BACKTOSCHOOL" to take advantage of these offers before the sale ends.

Staples: Shop a variety of standard school supplies, including notebooks, glue, crayons, pencils, rulers, folders, binders, and others, with prices starting at just 29 cents. Note that some items may have to be picked up in-store to snag the best discounts. You can also narrow your focus and shop by grade to make the process easier. What's more, you'll get a $10 Staples gift card when you spend at least $50 on select Back to School supplies.

Target: Shop deals reaching up to 50% off for Back to School, including supplies starting at just 25 cents, up to 50% off select backpacks, and 40% off Cat & Jack kids' uniforms. Need items for college? Target has a College Deals section for those, too, with offers such as up to 35% off headphones and speakers, and 30% off graphic tees and tanks. Lots of college necessities are available, and college students can save 20% on one qualifying storewide purchase through August 26 when they join Target Circle.

Walmart: The retailer makes it easy to browse by categories like preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school, but also has items for students headed off to college. Prices start as low as $2 on dorm essentials, while standard school supplies start at just 15 cents.

NOTE: The information below was compiled before the Back to School sales went into full swing. Please refer to the info above before making any shopping plans.

When Do Back to School Sales Start?

Expect Back to School sales to start in early July and run until late August in 2023. A handful of sales will likely last into September, in case you wind up needing a few extra things you didn't account for.

Here's when we saw sales start and end for some of the biggest Back to School retailers last year:

  • Amazon Back to School sales started on July 6, with new deals appearing weekly until September. The last deal ran through September 26. This was the first big Back to School sale of the year, and Amazon is likely to start sales early and run them late this year, too.
  • Best Buy Back to School sales started on July 8, with new items joining the sale about every two weeks. These events wrapped up in late August.
  • Target Back to School sales started on July 14 and ended on August 11. That should be a good period of time for most shoppers, but those who want to shop particularly early or late may miss Target's savings.

Back to school shoppers should also look to Amazon Prime Day, which will be July 11-12 in 2023. While this sale event isn't focused on Back to School necessarily, you could find some real bargains, particularly if a Kindle or Echo device is on your shopping list — Amazon-brand products typically see some of their best prices of the year on Prime Day. That said, Amazon has a section on their Prime Day page with school and college deals, and is offering up shopping guides for Back to School and Off to College, as well.

SEE ALSO: The 5 Best Places to Buy School Supplies in 2023

Wherever you shop, look for sales to be live in mid-July. Some retailers may launch all of their deals at the same time, but others will rotate deals week-to-week, so you may see slightly different sales depending on when you shop.

What to Expect from Back to School Sales in 2023

During Back to School shopping season, you can find deep discounts on the new school year's must-have items, with up to 85% off select products. However, don't expect everything to have such deep price cuts. For a good deal, look for 30% to 50% off on average.

Read on to learn about the types of discounts you can expect to see in different categories when shopping Back to School 2023.

Back to School Sales on Clothing and Shoes

It's time to get growing kids ready for the new school year with kid-friendly clothing, athletic wear, and shoes that will (hopefully) last through the year. Whether you have young children who are constantly outgrowing their wardrobe or fashion-forward college kids, Back to School clothing sales will help you get them ready for the academic year. Kids' clothing deals are particularly good during Back to School sales, and we expect to see many retailers offering half off or better.

Look for Back to School clothing deals to offer as much as 80% off, and for average discounts to be up to 50% off at least.

Look for clothing deals from a variety of brands, including discounts from the following retailers:

Target and Walmart are also great places to shop, with individual pieces starting around $10. If you're a regular Kohl's shopper, know that Back to School deals can also include Kohl's Cash, which can add up to extra savings as long as you spend it.

For activewear, sports gear, and sneakers, check for discounts from these retailers:

Last year, Finish Line also offered hundreds of styles of shoes for under $50.

Back to School Sales on Backpacks and Lunch Boxes

A quality backpack is a must to carry all of those Back to School supplies, but they can vary greatly in price. Last year, we saw basic backpacks starting at $10 from Walmart, while Target bundled backpacks with lunch boxes, water bottles, pencil cases, and more for just $20. Overall, you'll find a wide range of styles and features in backpacks. For sportier or potentially more durable packs, check Academy Sports & Outdoors or Columbia. You'll usually be able to find basic accessories like lunch boxes and pencil cases at the same stores.

If you're willing to hold out for better deals, you may see larger discounts on backpacks in late September, after kids have gone back to school. If your child has an acceptable backpack at the moment, it may be worth holding off and checking for price cuts after Back to School sales have wound down.

Back to School Sales on Laptops and Tablets

Practically every student needs a computer for the school year, and you can score great deals on desktops, laptops, and tablets during Back to School sales. Expect to find major-brand laptops and tablets for a few hundred dollars off. And refurbished models — which can be just as good as new — may see more drastic cuts.

Last year HP offered particularly impressive Back to School deals, taking up to 77% off plus an extra 5% off select products over $599 and an extra 10% off select products over $1,099. But most major manufacturers offered their own deals, with up to 68% off Lenovo devices and up to 50% off Dell refurbished computers. Also look to sales at major electronics retailers, like Best Buy (up to $200 off), B&H Photo Video (up to $500 off), and Newegg (up to 75% off).

Apple products are always a hot buy, but don't expect to find the best deals from Apple, which typically offers discounts in the form of gift cards with purchases. Last year, Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo Video offered solid discounts on iPads and MacBooks, with up to $300 off.

You may also need software to go with that new computer, but fortunately, education discounts and freebies are common for software. Eligible students can get great education discounts, including 60% off Adobe Creative Cloud and free Office 365.

Back to School Sales on School Supplies

What about pens, notebooks, and other basic school supplies? Back to School season is the time to stock up, because you can find everyday school supplies at up to 85% off.

Expect Target to offer up to 85% off standard school supplies, including notebooks, pens and pencils, and other items.

Look to these retailers for discounts:

You can get many Back to School basics for under $1 each, like a 10-pack of pens or a composition notebook. If you find a great price on these items, jump on it!

Back to School Sales for the Dorm Room

If your college-age kid is moving into the dorms this fall, you may find they need bedding, furniture, and accessories for their new living space. Costs can really add up when you're furnishing a dorm room, so you'll want to be on the lookout for sales.

Last year we saw sales at JCPenney (up to 65% off), Kohl's (up to 25% off), and Target (up to 30% off) on home goods like bedding, cookware, and more items that were perfect for outfitting a new dorm room.

How to Save Money With Tax Free Holidays

Some states offer tax holidays during the Back to School shopping season. They can give you extra savings for stocking up on the year's must-have academic accessories. While dates for these holidays vary, states tend to offer them in July or August.

Only certain items are eligible for tax free shopping, but in most states, they include clothes, shoes, and school supplies, with some states also offering a tax break on computers and peripherals. Many states also have a maximum cost they'll offer these tax breaks on, so you'll need to plan your shopping carefully based on local rules.

SEE ALSO: The 7 Best School Supplies to Buy in 2023 (Plus What to Skip)

You can take advantage of tax free weekends for online shopping, too — just make sure you're purchasing eligible items. Typically, you'll get the tax break automatically as long as you buy something that's in stock and ships immediately. If something is out of stock or back-ordered, you may not be able to take advantage of tax free promotions.

Check with your state to get the details on tax free savings you can make the most of when Back to School shopping.

Ready to shop? Check out all the Back to School deals available now, and follow us on Facebook to see more ways to save.


Elizabeth Harper
Contributing Writer

Originally working in IT, Elizabeth now writes on tech, gaming, and general consumer issues. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, Time, AOL, PriceGrabber, and more. She has been one of DealNews' most regular contributors since 2013, researching everything from vacuums to renters insurance to help consumers.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).

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