I love clearance sales. My eyes spot the yellow color of a clearance sticker with the sharpness of an eagle perched high in a tree looking for a fish in the lake below. I swoop in and my heart starts pumping harder and faster as I see how much of a deal I am about to get!
I have hunted for clearance sales so often, that I have discovered some great tips to finding the great deals that I am going to share with you.
1.) Look in the back of the store. Every department store I have been in has had somewhat of a “clearance section” in the far back of the store. Sometimes it is near one of the entries into the back room.
2.) Look at the ends of the aisles. If you go up and down the aisles and are not paying attention, you can miss some awesome clearance deals often placed on the aisle end away from a main aisle.
3.) Look up. To make room for new product on the main shelves, clearanced items are sometimes put on top shelves and even stacked on top of each other.
4.) Look for changes within the store. Did they recently change where certain product is located or seem to have many new items in an area (e.g. new seasonal items)? Chances are, that means there are items that they need to sell quickly and that means clearance items are around. Keep an eye out while shopping.
5.) Look for, and learn, a particular store’s clearance sticker and signs. Train your eyes to spot them at a moment’s glance. At one of my favorite department stores, I walk in and off I go. I can hear my husband tell my son, “Mommy saw a clearance sign.”
6.) Look for carts within aisles filled with goodies. Sometimes retailers (especially grocery) will put clearanced items in carts placed around the store. Sometimes these are slightly damaged or close to being outdated goods, but depending on your needs they may work great for you.
I will conclude with three warnings about shopping clearance items:
1.) I have noticed at one major retailer that have recently used their traditional clearance price tags for regular items. I’m not sure why they did that, but it’s a good idea to always make sure that the price you see on the sticker is indeed a reduced price. The sticker doesn’t always mean a good deal, which leads to the next point..
2.) Check to make sure that the price is a decent clearance price. Sometimes, retailers will discount items but it is no lower than the item would be when it goes on sale. It could also be cheaper at a regular price at a different store. A general percentage that I use is 40% off. It’s low enough to still save a good amount of money and high enough to hopefully ensure it is truly a great deal.
3.) Even if you find something 90% off and your heart is beating fast for finding such a great deal, make sure you really need it. Buying clearance items is a great way to save money, but it only works if you buy things that you actually need.
Happy Clearance Shopping! 🙂
Post included in the 23rd Festival of Frugality over at Boston Gal’s Open Wallet