For those who prefer to hit the mall instead of the internet
10 Ways to Find Department Store Deals
by Barbara Weddle
7 Ways Retailers Know What You're About to Buy
The Subtle Psychology of Credit Cards
Many people prefer an online shopping cart to a real one. Not me. The tedious scrolling and searching annoy me. If, like me, you prefer to hit the pavement when you department-store shop, check the hints listed below on how to find department store deals.
- Sign up for online coupons from your favorite department store and take them with you when you shop.
- Check the department-store flyers sent to your home via regular mail for special shopping events, such as triple-your-rewards sales, store-credit-card-discount days, customer-appreciation-day sales, senior-citizens-day sales or cash coupons days (the customer receives perhaps $10 cash to be spent in the store for the first $50 of purchases).
- Watch for store offers of an added 10% to 20% on your immediate purchase or purchases if you open a store account the same day. The downside to this is that unless you destroy or resist using your new card, you now have an additional credit card in your purse.
- Learn to recognize sales that aren't really sales. Some stores are in the habit of inflating prices and then reducing them to give the illusion of savings off the ticketed price.
- Take advantage of free gifts (usually offered in the cosmetics department where you can receive a free gift or cosmetics valued up to $100 or more when you make another smaller cosmetics purchase). Many cosmetics departments also offer free makeovers from an expert (a great savings over a salon/spa makeover) for a small purchase or for free.
- Be proactive. Don't wait until you are desperate for an item before looking for one to replace it with, thus causing you to pay full price. For example, when the comforter on my bed began to look worn, I began looking months ahead for the new drapes and bedding to match I wanted to replace it with. After diligently browsing through several linen departments of the same store chain at different locations, I found what I was looking for, which was a mauve bedspread and matching drapes tucked away on a shelf behind so many other items that other customers had overlooked them (or not desired them). The total savings for me on these quality items was more than $200.
- Look for final clearance tables where smaller items are greatly reduced and/or furniture department backrooms where you might find a steal on an "as is" piece of furniture. Such furniture items are often sold without a warranty and are non-returnable but are well worth the purchase. I recently bought a name-brand cherry media cabinet at half its original price that I liked so well I would have willingly paid full price for because it had a couple of small scratches on one side.
- Be your own delivery person if possible. This can save you up to $50 or more.
- Always keep receipts for your purchases for several months, especially on large items such as furniture, appliances, etc.
- Stick to your shopping list and purchase only those items your need; remember that a bargain is not a bargain if you don't need it.
Take the Next Step
- If you really want to save, make sure you know these 7 ways retailers know what you're about to buy so you can avoid marketing traps.
- See why taking a credit card on your shopping trip might cause you to overspend.
- Know and practice these smart shopping strategies to see the biggest savings whenever, wherever and however you shop.
- Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!
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