Save money. That is any American’s goal in the modern economic situation. Most Americans like to dress a certain way or express themselves through clothing, but when the paycheck comes and bills are paid there is often little left. Here are a few tips to find great clothes while avoiding full retail prices. Knowing when and where to shop are the hard driven goals of the bargain shopper.
Multiple times a year there are sales throughout major retail stores nationwide, but certain sales are far greater than others. There are usually advertisements for small sales like 15%, 20%, or 30% off. When saving money is a goal these sales are generally meaningless. Even sales at 50% off might still be a hefty sum at certain retailers. The most efficient way to shop is to not become distracted by these small savings, but to head straight for the clearance racks. Clearance sales are often 50% off or higher savings. Instead of an outfit of $250 boots, a $30 shirt, a $60 pair of jeans, and an $80 purse totaling $420 it could be $210 or less. These items will typically be from the last two seasons. Seasonal sales are the most effective way of saving money.
Many stores will have clearance racks, but the largest sales for the entire store occur two times a year. The first largest sale begins as soon as Christmas ends. Retailers try to persuade individuals to come back in and shop after the holidays. These larger discounts continue into January and sometimes February. January marks the end of the winter retail season and these stores will try get rid of any leftover merchandise to clear the racks for spring. Sometimes these items could be marked down to 80% off or more. Here there might be few items left over from last summer, like shorts and t-shirts and many more winter items such as scarves, sweaters, boots, and coats.
After knowing when these sales happen, one must get out of the habit of shopping for seasons while they occur. The cheapest way to shop is before the season even begins. Shop for winter when it is summer, and shop for summer when it is winter. This may be more difficult to find something in one’s size or preference but it is one of the cheapest ways to shop in regular retail stores. If something is a great bargain, but not the right size or in stock, shopping online or going to the outlets are other options.
Outlets are great places to shop for those who do not have time to search for a discount but still want to save money. These places will have sale items, discontinued items, and regular priced merchandise. Most outlets are set up similar to malls with a large variety of outlet stores, a few regular priced stores, and a food court or food stands. For navigation there are directories everywhere showing what stores are where. Philadelphia Premium Outlets and VF Outlets are wonderful examples of nearby locations. Even the outlets are affected by the seasonal sales and they are a wonderful place for an after Christmas spree.
Discount stores are similar to outlets but contain many items from different companies and can be found in many mall strips. Typically these stores will have items from the last retail season for a lower cost. These stores, as well, have clearance and seasonal sales to move the products. These places have a variety of clothing and items. Some large, well known stores include: TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, and Foreman Mills.
In this modern age of technology major retailers like Macy’s, American Eagle, Express, and New York and Co. have online stores that are also affected by these seasonal sales. In fact, sometimes their websites carry items the physical stores do not. Here there might be more items on sale but on the downside the items cannot be tried on until they are bought and shipped.
With the increasing accessibility of the internet and the poor economy, various auction and thrift sites have popped up, increasing the chances of finding a deal. Besides shopping from the regular retailer, one can search low cost listings from individuals on sites like ebay.com, etsy.com, and style.ly. These items could be brand new or used; the down falls to this are that one must read each listing and description or bid in a timed auction. One must also check the sellers rating and pay a higher shipping cost. However, these sites offer items that may now be difficult to find, like clothing from thirty years ago that may have been favored over current styles: aka vintage.
For those who do not fear items that are used, thrift stores are places for everyday bargains. Places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or individual thrift stores offer a wide variety of clothing and items. Pants typically will run from $4 to $10, shirts $1 to $8, and jackets usually stay between $5 and $30. Many people who are aware of how these places operate will have flocked in and picked most of the nicer items by the afternoon. Though there are many items, few will look tempting and so the best pickings can be had right as the store opens in the morning. There are many stores around and they are not difficult to find, simply search thrift stores in the yellow pages and check nearby shops.
When looking in outlet’s, or any store’s clearance racks, give items a good look over to make certain the item isn’t damaged in some way. Sometimes items make it to clearance only because they are stained, have holes, or are missing buttons. These items could have been returns or even damaged in the store from rough customers. Be careful with holes and ripped seams because it could also mean that it was a poorly crafted article of clothing. When shopping in thrift stores, remember to always check the zippers and pockets, many of these shops are “all sales final” and frequently miss flaws like a stain or crusty cough drops in a pocket. Pockets are the most frequently overlooked and can be rather disgusting with dirt, makeup, ect. stuck inside.
There is a hunt for a cheap deal but this is information to live by when searching for bargains. The information on outlets, stores, sales, and online shops is essential for a bargain budget and very useful for saving money in general. There will always be places to purchase items lower than retail value, sale or no sale. Do not spend more than is necessary when opportunities like this are out in the open waiting to be used.
SPEAKING OF SALES! LilMissTrendyPants is having a sale for all of you wonderful blog readers and is giving you a 25% off coupon on your entire purchase.
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