It’s officially the Holiday Season and one of the biggest days of the year is coming up. No, I’m not talking about Christmas or New Years Eve. I’m talking about Black Friday. Black Friday has become so huge that it has made its way back in time and now actually starts Thursday evening. But if you’re not willing to give up your time with family just to score some deals or you simply don’t find waiting in long lines and pushing through riled crowds appealing, there are some ways to save big without having to deal with the craziness that has become Black Friday.
Large chain stores always have a clearance section stocked full of goodies. I suggest checking through this stock throughout the year for the best finds. Toys R Us also has unbelievable clearance deals, often with prices cut up to 90%. Stores don’t always advertise these deals so it’s kind of hit or miss. Following bargain bloggers is also a great way to stay in the know when it comes to clearance finds.
A store’s online clearance may have more of a selection than their in-store clearance section, but online stock tends to sell out fast. There are several reasons for this. One, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for through the search feature online. Convenient for you? Yes. But also convenient for everyone else as well. Two, people tend to share the deals they get right after they buy. This is great if you see the deal shortly after they share, but if it becomes somewhat viral, stock will sell out. So, sometimes searching through the clearance sections in the store is your best bet. Many times people are less likely to dig to find goodies. You may even find some deals marked down lower than the online price.
Reward Programs are a great way to save money on your purchases. Companies like Stride Rite and Gymboree offer reward members money off of their next purchase once they’ve hit a certain total dollar amount. Stride Rite also offers its members free online shipping on any purchase. Reward programs are also one of the best ways to stay in the know. Since these brands know you like to purchase from them, they will often send sale information to their members before the general public.
Shopkick is a nifty app that helps you earn gift cards simply by walking into stores. Yep. You heard that right. Of course, you do get even more points for purchasing from the store. But if you’re someone who runs tons of errands this app could end up earning you tons in gift cards.
Ebates is still one of the most reliable ways to earn cash back when shopping. Simply sign in to your Ebates account and shop through the stores featured on their site (there are tons.) At the end of the month, Ebates will send you a check in the mail totaling your cash back for the month.
Now, I know. This is another crazy shopping holiday where people get up early or stay up late to grab steals before they sell out. However, you can do this all from the comfort of your own home since Cyber Monday is completely online. Simply wake up (or stay up) and travel on over to your computer to shop. Very easy and still a pretty relaxed way to get those holiday gifts for less.
Joining a store’s email list now comes with many perks. Most stores offer a discount code just for signing up. You’ll also be notified of sales, receive discounts throughout the year, and receive news on new products or special shopping events. You can always ask your friends which stores they like and you may get some good ideas about new stores to sign up to.
Amazon Warehouse has been a well kept secret by savvy shoppers for quite some time now. But word is now slowly starting to spread on this awesome Amazon feature. When shopping on Amazon, there is often an “Other Sellers” option on product pages. Under this option you may see purchasing options for “New,” “Used,” or “Open Box.” If you click “Open Box” you will see lower prices for items that may still be in their original packaging. Here’s how it works. Someone buys a product new, Amazon ships it to them, the buyer opens the box, decides they no longer want the product, and then sends the product back to Amazon. If the product’s original packaging was even a little bit damaged, Amazon will then sell the product for a discounted price under the “open box” deals. You can also search through all “open box” inventory by going to the Amazon Warehouse site.
Yes, I mean a snail mail mailing list. Sometimes you can receive even better deals by allowing a store to send mail to your home. Coupons for online and in store purchases are often part of the deal. You may also receive notices of events or sales going on in your local store.
This can be a tricky one to navigate. Resale Groups are some of the best ways to shop online and still purchase products at yard sale prices. Yard sales are great, but there are many downsides. You have to get up early, it’s often hit or miss, and it takes a lot of time and driving. Resale groups are like garage sales online. You can easily search and buy whenever you have time. Just make sure you find a long standing group with trustworthy members. There are a lot of scammers out there trying to take advantage of buyers (and sellers) in these groups. A group with active admins and a list of rules (that are enforced) is what you want to look for. If you are new to this way of purchasing, I suggest joining a group and watch the posts and interactions in the group for a little bit before buying.
Zulily is a discount site aimed at mainly moms, babies, and kids. You have to be a member to shop, but all that entails is creating a username and password. No membership fee. Here you will find diaper bags, women’s clothing and accessories, children’s clothing (though they do seem to favor little girl clothing), and toys at huge discounts. The sales are for a limited time, however, (usually a few days) and new brands and products are added daily.
Hautelook is another discount site with free membership. Members will find products for women, men, kids, and the home at discounted prices. Hautelook usually has a great beauty selection with brands like theBalm and Laura Gellar appearing often. Hautelook is also a great place to find designer jewelry, watches, handbags, and shoes at low prices.
Rue La La is very similar to Hautelook but tends to carry slightly higher end brands. Rue La La also sets itself apart from other member discount sites by offering a travel section. Here members will find discounts on hotel stays, travel packages, and luxury all inclusive stays. They also have a separate “Gifts” section which is also a great go-to for those looking for a great gift to give in a hurry.
When all else fails, the good ol’ Outlet Stores are always a great option. Yes, you may still have to deal with crowds, but you can still get some of the best deals around by shopping at a store’s outlet. It’s like an entire store filled with clearance items. Also, if you time it correctly, you may just beat the crowd.