Hey everyone, it had never occurred to me to write about how to get a discount at stores, since it sort of second nature to me at this point. But since some of you have not grown up with a super strict budget and very great case of sartorial lust, I thought I would share with you some of my great tips and tricks. Just a warning: You have to be rather shameless, and very very very polite, but firm. I have faith in you, everyone.
5 Tips for Scoring a Discount at Your Favorite Shop:
Something is not marked? You’re not sure of the price? You want to know if it is on sale? Ask the cashier. Do as them “Do you know the price of this item, it wasn’t marked but I really want it.” If they say “$xx” and that is not quite in the range you wanted, wait a few seconds and just look at them…then if they don’t say anything ask “I really want to take it and it’s the last one, but is there any way you can do $xx.” This often works, this is called bartering, do not be afraid to barter for an item that has not been marked correctly, is on clearance or is the last of a bunch. Full priced, new items are not as easy to gamble with, so use discretion. Do not ask them if there is a long line behind you, that’s just plain rude. You want this person to really work with you, and being nice and human is key to that. Thank them when you leave. They don’t have to go above and beyond, they’re probably only getting paid like $8 an hour, which isn’t encouraging.
2) Coupon Scavenge:
A lot of stores have coupons if you are willing to look around. Before you shop, take a look online to see if your store has a deal online (like a Daily Deal, a “sign-up” deal or a deal for liking them or following them on Facebook or Twitter). Side note: all the sign up newsletters can really add up. I use a service called “Unroll.me” to manage store subscriptions. If nothing gives on the internet, use some old fashioned sneakiness and check around the register to see if there are any coupons just lingering around you can snap up (Looking at you Bath and Body Works and Urban Outfitters). A third resort is to subscribe to magazines. You get all the fun of reading some trashy rag and you also get the sweet store coupons that are inside. Limited, Express and Loft are all running these sort of coupons right now. New York and Company offers this sort of coupon via mail.
3) Watch their sale pattern:
This is where the savvy consumer has to actually pay attention to the way things work. Goodwill usually runs on a “every x Saturday model” they have certain colors of tags on sale, so obviously go on that Saturday. Watch for sales from your favorite stores by following them on Facebook, you’ll be alerted and you can share it easily with friends who might want to tag along. Don’t mess around with trying to decide when a store will mark their stuff down…honestly sometimes they don’t even know. Instead, if you are “stalking” an item, keep on checking back, unless it is the last item in your size. If it is the last item, just go ahead and buy it already if it is on clearance, chances are it won’t be there when you come back. Additionally, late January and early February most clothing stores are trying to get rid of everything at cut-rate deals to make room for Spring stuff, so now is a really good time to shop for things like coats, sweaters and boots.
4) Trade them:
This one is truly a long shot, but has worked at stores where I developed credibility with the owners, was polite and it was something that made sense. DeBois Textiles once traded me two beautiful dresses and a purse (valued total $40) for a metal clothing rack that I offered to literally just give to them. This sort of thing is worth a try if at second hand stores that are family or owner operated. Additionally, stores like Uptown Cheapskate and Plato’s closet do a direct trade of your clothes and accessories without waiting for the craziness of consigning.
5) Shop with a friend:
Told you I was shameless. When I have a discount coupon for my me and my best friend’s favorite store, we shop and combine things instead of trying to hit the quota limit ourselves. For instance if I have a $40 off $100 / $75 off $120 coupon, it makes more sense to aim for the higher percentage off. We combine forces and then pay altogether and work things out later by subtracting the percentage off of our totals. We save some money, and get a really fun lesson in accounting. Then we get Auntie Anne’s. It’s a thing. This also works if you have to reach a certain total in order to get a coupon towards the next purchase.
This blog has mainly covered in-store techniques. Watch for a later blog post explaining discount online shopping techniques. Enjoy <3!