Tips for Bargain Shopping

Tips for Bargain ShoppingNow that July 4th come and gone, summer sales are abounding.  This mid-year holiday marks the decline of summer when everything from clothes to bedding to outdoor furniture goes on sale as stores need to make room for fall items.  Now is the time to capitalize on great bargains!  We’re sharing our best tips for bargain shopping so you can get the most out of end of summer sales while paying the least.

Tip #1:  Only Shop During Sales

If a store isn’t having a sale, it’s not worth shopping there.  A true bargain shopper will never pay full price and stores rarely hesitate to let you know when you can get a discount, at least to get you in the door.  So “just say no” to stores without sales.

Tip #2:  Ask for Discounts

Sales associates often know when a bigger sale is around the corner.  Ask if you should wait or if you can get the sale price in advance.  Many sales associates also keep coupons at the register so ask if they have one that will lower your price.

Tip #3:  Go back for Price Adjustments

Nothing makes a bargain shopper madder than learning an item went on sale just days after making a purchase.  When this happens, return to the store and request the difference.  Most stores will honor the new price.

Tip #4:  Shop Mid-Week

Stores know that most people shop on the weekends so that’s not when they offer their best prices.  Mid-week sales usually yield deeper discounts and you can avoid the crowds.

Tip #5:  Take Advantage of Professional Discounts

Teachers, students, military families and nurses are sometimes eligible for special professional discounts.  Research which stores offer discounts that apply to you and shop away.

Tip #6:  Use Technology for Discounts

If you plan to shop at a certain store, look on their website for coupons in advance.  You can also get sale notifications from store, brand or general (like shopittome) e-newsletters and twitter updates.  Some shopping blogs tweet sales such as @slickdeals and @dealnews.

Tip #7: Outlets don’t mean Cheaper

Outlet and factory stores don’t necessary offer better prices. Often these retailers simply carry items that didn’t sell in regular stores.  Other times lower quality items are made specifically for the outlets.  Don’t get caught in the outlet trap.

Tip #8:  Browse Now but Buy Later

Not buying everything at first sight will help you decipher what you really “must have.”  But when you shop online and add items to a cart and then sit on it for awhile without checking out, the retailer will often send a coupon to your inbox within a day or two to entice you to complete your transaction.  Pretty sneaky!

Tip #9:  Online Sales can really Rock

Shopping online can pay off.  Retailers often have much bigger sales and better prices online.  If you’re worried about shipping costs, meet the minimum for free shipping and return items you don’t want to the nearest store.  Or go into a store to place your online order for automatic free shipping.

Tip #10:  Pay Cash

Smaller retailers and boutiques may accept 3-5% less if you pay with cash.  This way they don’t have to pay the credit card transaction fee and you can save on your purchase.

Tip #11:  Get Cash Back

Sites like retailmenot and ebates offer cash back for your purchases.  Sign up for these free services and then get paid to shop.

We hope you get some great deals with these tips for bargain shopping!  Happy Shopping!!

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