Mauled at the Mall

Same Quality, Lower Price?

Does anyone have any ideas on how to save money at the mall? The merchandise is of better quality, but the prices are often much higher. But I don't like to spend money on items that will need to be replaced in a year, as do many things from Wal-Mart or the dollar store. Other than waiting for sales, does anyone have any ideas?

Check Out the Back

I have found that if you go to the back of the stores that is where the clearance racks are. Try shopping off-season and hit those racks for the best deals! I never pay full price!

Be On the List

Many stores in our local mall will put you on a list to receive advance notices of sales and often send coupons or allow an extra discount. Also when they are closing out various lines it could save you a bit and you don't have to go to the mall to keep track of the sales.

Be In the Know

Working at the mall myself, I have found that just asking sales associates when their annual sales, blowout sales and the like will take place. Usually right after and up to three weeks after a holiday such as Christmas, you will find many sales. This can be used to plan for next year's gifts, etc.

Also, ask to be on mailing lists or coupon circulars in the malls department stores, etc. This may generate more junk mail, but simply toss out what you don't want and look for the coupons and reminders of sales that you do want.

My final suggestion is to look for your mall's help desk or service desk. Often, since the mall wants to generate as much business for their tenants as possible (because that helps them stay in business!), they often have benefits programs, such as showing mall receipts to earn gift certificates to mall stores, drawings for shopping sprees, etc. I cannot emphasize enough to ask questions to the sales clerks. They usually know or can find out when the next sales will be.

Helpful Shopping Suggestions

I have four suggestions for you:

  1. Try to shop on Wednesdays & Saturdays. Almost any purchase can wait half a week, and those are the most frequent sale days.
  2. Always check the clearance rack. Often when there is one 1 or 2 left of an item in stock, even if it's a great item, it will be marked to clearance because there's no good way to merchandise it. Also, ask when they usually put out new clearance. This is when you'll find the best selection. Check if there's a certain time of month they put the clearance on sale for even cheaper. The floor manager will probably be the best person to ask.
  3. I have found great brands at thrift stores, although it does take some looking. For example, I've got some great Dockers stretch khakis and a ribbed T-shirt from the Gap that cost me only a few dollars each.
  4. Consignment stores! Take some clothes that are classic or still in style, clean, and don't fit you any more, and take them to a consignment store. They may not accept all of them, but you may be able to make a little money toward your clothes budget that way, and shop while you're there! I found some great black wool Ellen Tracy slacks for $17 last time I was at the consignment store.

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