Everyone should be able to enjoy shopping for the items they want. And in these unstable economic times, a savvy shopper knows you don’t have to shop less if you know how to shop smart. Being savvy about where to buy and when will help you get the buying power to purchase what you want while staying within budget. Here are some tips for any shopper who loves to get exactly what he wants for less:
1. Know What you Want
Set aside a little prep time before you go shopping or before you make a purchase. Know why something is marked down or on sale. If you buy an item that is heavily discounted because it is slightly damaged, make sure it can be easily repaired or you may regret the purchase. Know what you need and how much you have of it at home. For clothes, make a list of what you need in your closet and stick to it. Are you missing any basics? Try to buy classic pieces that work for all kinds of occasions so you can get the most use out of each item.
Also, try to stock up on items you use frequently. If there’s a sale, take advantage of it and buy in bulk.
2. Know Where to Shop
Make a list of your favorite department stores and then replace them with bargain alternatives. Local factory outlet stores often carry designer items and goods that have been discontinued or moved out of the main stores to make room for more inventory – they are bargain shopping havens. Upscale department stores also have their own outlet stores that follow the same principle. 9.9% of major department store have outlet stores.
Discount chain stores like Wal Mart and Target carry excellent basics. Target also carries specially made designer clothing the likes of Alexander McQueen’s brand made for the store. If you really love the thrill of the hunt, thrift stores can hold hidden gems. Ask a store manager when the store receives fresh shipments of merchandise so you can get the pick of the litter.
3. Know When to Shop
Check a manufacturer or the department store website for discounted fashions and sales. Know when the best time is to shop and get a bargain? Holidays such as President’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. To get even better deals, wait for post-holiday sales, though some of the best items may be out of stock by this time. Seasonal sales are also a great time to shop, and happen four times a year max.
Special sales such as liquidation sales, anniversary sales, manager sales, and closing sales are also perfect for finding a bargain. Keep an eye out for these sales by following the shops’ social media outlets, which often announce special store events.
4. Know How to Shop
If you have a favorite store, see if they have a store reward program, and use the rewards you earn in conjunction with sales or coupons. Most stores also offer special discounts and coupons to rewards customers, so signing up for these programs will not only keep you in the loop as to when sales are happening, but will also earn you extra savings. Make sure you read the fine print on these coupons, though – they may not be applicable to the items you want.
Armed with these tips, you’ll be able to get everything you need and still have money left over. Happy shopping!