Shopping Tips from a SALE QUEEN

I get asked all the time by people, “How do you find all of these sales?!” or “How did you get that for so cheap?!” First and foremost, I don’t like it unless it’s on sale. (Ooookkkk) Don’t get me wrong, I like to splurge on some items that I want like the next person but, in this economy things seems to be getting more and more expensive but the quality well…lets just say is not what it use to be. Yes, some of your favorite “expensive” brands are being frugal too when it comes to producing their products (the economy has an impact on them as well so don’t be fooled). I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg at your favorite brands or for items you have on your wish list (well if you don’t want to). I want to share with you how I shop sales and get the best bargains on just about anything! *WARNING* Being a “SALE QUEEN” takes patience and perseverance. It’s a jungle out there and you have to be ready to swing from vine to vine (store to store) to scoop up stuff for great prices. Ok, I was being a little dramatic there (LOL). Just keep reading and I will have you prepared for your next shopping trip with money to spare.

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photo 1(1)You know those annoying pop-up windows that show up when you visit your favorite shopping sites asking you to sign up for emails…yeah those….DO IT! Even if you don’t want to receive a bunch of emails in your inbox, a lot of sites give you the option to personalize your email settings. You can choose to receive emails twice a week, once a month etc. I actually created an email account specifically for receiving these types of emails. This way my personal email is not overflowing with temptation ::ahem:: marketing emails from stores (hehee). Plus, all of my coupons and promotions are in one spot and easier to search for. Signing up for emails keeps you in the know for upcoming sales, new merchandise and coupons. A lot of times companies reward you for signing up for their email listing. That’s an easy 10-15% off a purchase! Every little bit counts.

photo 2(1)I know I know, you’re saying you don’t want another card in your wallet. And I’m saying thank goodness for the advancement in technology you don’t have to. Reward cards, especially from stores you frequent often, pay off in the short and long run. A lot of places still provide you with a card (for people who still keep it old school) but so many retailers have apps now so that you can keep track of your reward points, coupons and transactions by logging into your account online or on your smartphone. I have tons of reward cards: Sephora, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Michael’s, Barnes and Noble and the list goes on. Some companies charge a yearly fee (like Barnes and Noble) but a lot of them are FREE! The more you shop, the more points you accumulate and the more rewards you get. This is especially easy if you shop at certain stores A LOT! Companies like to reward they loyal customers so why not take advantage.

Speaking of loyalty, a lot of companies provide their customers with surveys to complete and just for doing the survey they provide you with a freebie or discount off merchandise! Those surveys only take a few minutes to do. Sometimes you can complete them right there in the store on your phone and use them right away.

photo(2)I mentioned in the beginning how much I love sales. But there is nothing I love more than an extra % or $ off of stuff! Almost everything goes on sales (eventually). So if you can be patient, it’s best to wait for when it does unless you absolutely have to have it or need it for an occassion. If you can’t wait for it to go on sale, check the price adjustment policy of the store. Some retailers let you adjust the price up to 14 days after you’ve purchased it. So be sure to hang on to that receipt and if you have to, put a reminder in your phone. Saving an EXTRA something off of already reduced items is a REAL sale to me. Personally, I don’t get TOO excited about the “Save an additional 10 or 15% Off” promos. Honestly, saving an additional 20% off rarely excites me either and it depends on what it is. I’m talking about the extra 40-50% off! Now that’s what I’m talking about! Let’s take a moment to do some “Sale Calculations” shall we. photo(1)Make sure you have your phone calculator on standby so you can make sure you are getting a good deal. Don’t forget to add in the sales tax. Also, if shopping online don’t forget shipping. (I will get to saving on shipping charges in just a moment) I have saved a lot of money shopping sales with additional something off of the sale price. Lately (since I am a Recessionista like most of us are nowadays) I like to frequent Outlet malls. Some people think a brands outlet store is lesser quality. FALSE. You can get really nice quality and affordable items from Outlet stores. My favorites are J. Crew and Banana Republic. The J.Crew outlet will go up to 60..YES..60% off of already reduced items! WOW! I purchased a blazer which was $178 regular price, on sale for $99 and then got 60% off of that. Yup, do the math. I was winning that day!

photo 4(1)I’m aware we are a generation that need instant gratification and have a “Now Now Now” mentality. I’m telling you, when it comes to shopping, wait it out if you can. Don’t act on impulse. If you really pay attention, a lot of places are selling the same things and for different prices. There have been plenty of times where I liked something in Banana Republic and then would go into H&M and see almost the same exact thing for way cheaper. Of course I love the quality of Banana Republic, but if I can get a trendy piece that will last a season or two, I will just go buy the cheaper one. This is called shopping for the “look for less”. Even with all the trendy boutiques popping up all over the place, they too are selling the same items for different prices. Don’t spend more than you have to because you are impatient. You will be upset with yourself later if your find out you spent, for example, $50 more than you had to for something. With the internet you have a wider search range to find the items you want. Saves you on gas too because you’re not driving around all over the place trying to find something.

photo 5(1)I love shopping online. A lot of people don’t because they don’t get to try things on. I mostly shop online at places I know my exact size and can return in store if need be. The best part of shopping online is the use of promo codes! I do not hit “proceed to checkout” until I have have done a FBI type search for a promo code. Yes it’s that serious (lol). My favorites codes to search for are for free shipping. You can have $10 worth of stuff in your cart and next thing you now shipping bumps you up to 15-20 dollars! I’m exaggerating a bit but you catch my drift. Thank goodness for retailers like ASOS and Nordstrom that have free shipping no matter how much you spend. To search for promo codes, simply head on over to Google and type in for example “H&M promo codes” and voila, the search provides you with websites that may have a possible (active) code for you. Retailmenot.com is really good with having active promo codes.

Some other tips on becoming a Sale Queen:

*The best times to shop during the summer are holiday weekends. Retailers are trying to move out old product to bring in new stuff. And if it gets marked down after the holiday, don’t forget about those price adjustments I told you about.

*I don’t shop sales until AFTER New Years. I know, people still think they catch sales the day after Christmas. NOPE. I have worked in retail basically all my life, the real sales are after the New Year. Trust me

*”Black Friday” is only useful when buying electronic not clothes. Sometimes if you aren’t paying attention (and more than likely you aren’t because society put all this excitement in holiday shopping to blur your consciousness) the prices of a lot of stuff if Jacked up for the holiday and then they put a “Sale” ticket on it when in actuality you aren’t saving a thing.

*Thus, PAY ATTENTION to prices of things you are eyeing BEFORE the holidays come along. Make sure you are getting the REAL DEAL.

Happy Shopping!

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