Shopping is one of the guilty pleasures in life that many of us partake in. Whether it’s a new television, luxury clothing, or antique furniture, shopping is a way for people to de-stress and enjoy the fruits of their hard work. That said, one’s budget may not always match their tenacity for shopping. And in most cases, people’s unsustainable spending habits result in a downward spiral of debt. Here are seven ways you can bang for your buck when shopping for your favorite brands and collections:
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Coupons are perhaps the easiest way to bang for your buck when shopping. You can find a ton of them either offered by the retailer themselves or through a third-party platform that collects coupons. These promotions provide reduced rates on items, free standard or expedited shipping, or two-for-one type deals. The good thing about using the internet is there are nearly always coupons to use when shopping at your favorite stores, especially large retail or grocery store chains. When shopping online a quick Google search for coupons could save you a few extra buck when shopping before check out. Either way, to bang for your buck when shopping with a coupon code. It’s also relatively simple to use them. Present your coupon at checkout, whether online or in-store, to apply for the promotion.
Most retailer websites, especially clothing, home furnishings, electronics, and appliances, will have a “Sales” section included in their menu. This page will display any limited-time-only offers, including seasonal deals and flash sales events. Discount rates can wildly vary, from as little as 5% off to as much as 80% off. To take advantage of these offers, you simply have to click on whatever product on sale you wish to buy and add it to your online shopping cart. The discounted price should automatically be displayed at checkout. Often the best time to buy winter or summer clothing is at the end of the season, this is when most of the clothing will be on sale. There is sometimes a stigma about buying clothing on sale, however, this is where you are guaranteed to find the best deals. The “sales” section can often be the best section in the store.
Buying in larger quantities often means getting reduced per-item prices. This discount will require you to do some research on which brands are offering wholesale prices, but it’s a great strategy for anyone looking to shop for their business. For instance, if you run a clothing boutique, you may find suppliers that are selling wholesale men’s suits and women’s blazers. Even if you aren’t a business and are just shopping for your own wardrobe, you can always find reduced prices through group deals. Additionally, many big retailers will often have “outlet” stores. These stores are filled with clothes from that retailer but will be cheaper than those found in their regular stores. Nordstroms has a great outlet store, Nordstroms Rack. There are so many great finds in these stores where you can still get name brand items but a fraction of the cost.
Many retailers offer exclusive discount rates for specific groups, such as students, military members, and seniors. And in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, brands have also been offering discounts to frontliners, including healthcare workers and law enforcement officials as a gesture of appreciation for their services. If you can provide a student or work ID at checkout or sign-up, you can get at least 10% off on your purchase. Additionally, do your research. There are websites that specifically cater to student, military, or frontline discounts. Not only do retailers often offer discounts for specific groups but many restaurants do as well. A free drink or 10% off your order will help you save a little cash when dining out so it always helps to ask.
Throughout the year, you’ll find special events and promotions that feature a host of discounts. Holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, and special sales celebrations, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, can see prices on select items drop by as much as half, if not more. Holding off on your planned shopping spree until these times of the year can be an easy way to bang for your buck when shopping. As mentioned before, the end of clothing seasons will also result in the most clothes being on sale. Another trick is to look and see if your specific retailer offers discounted prices during annual or semi-annual sales. Many retails will have large sales once or twice a year so those are good things to check the next time you are eyeing something from a retailer.
Few people know when and where they can negotiate down prices. Sure, you can negotiate with property sellers and auto dealerships, but you can also haggle with retail stores if you can reach the right people and buy at the right time. If the sales clerk you speak with doesn’t have the authority to negotiate prices, ask for someone who has the power to, such as the store manager or owner. If they can’t go any lower on prices, you can ask for add-ons instead, such as an upgrade on a subscription plan or a complimentary accessory. You never will get a discount unless you ask and most of the time you will be able to get a little extra something each time you ask. Even if it is 5% or 10% off, that is a savings most people wouldn’t get.
Rewards programs are an effective strategy employed by many retail brands, like Nike and GameStop, to attract new customers and entice their existing ones to purchase more. If you intend to shop more from a certain brand in the future, check if they offer a rewards program, and join. In most cases, your first order from an online store will automatically enroll you in their rewards program. You can exchange your rewards points for exclusive coupons or upgrades. Retails will also offer credit card systems. These credit cards can be used as a normal financial card but will give you points or upgrades toward their certain store. Be sure that if you sign up for one of these cards, that you will shop at the retail store enough to justify your spending on that card. Airlines and hotels also offer these credit cards towards flights and accommodation which would help on your next trip. Do your research and find which card will give you the most benefits for your lifestyle.
Paying full price on most of your items is, nowadays, unnecessary. Use any one of the aforementioned promotions to get a better price on your next purchase. Although it may take a few extra minutes of research or intentionality, you will almost always be able to save some cash on the items you are buying. During today’s day and age, everyone should be using coupons or a rewards system to buy their products and services. As a final tip, see if you can combine multiple promotions on your order. For instance, there are situations when you can combine your rewards points with percent-off coupons.