Backpacks are a big part of back-to-school for both kids and college students. "The better brands are all on sale now in August," says Hillary Mendelsohn, author of "thepurplebook" series of shopping guides and founder of thepurplebook.com. "And it's also when you have the best selection."
Look for discounts of 15 percent to 25 percent, she says.
Athletic clothes represent another overlap from back-to-school sales. Everything from shoes for every activity to shorts to yoga clothes will be up to 25 percent off in August, says Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation.
Bicycles are on the sale rack in August, too. With cooler weather soon rolling in, retailers "realize there won't be as many people outdoors," Mendelsohn says, especially on the East Coast. Look for discounts of up to 30 percent off, Mendelsohn says.