Tips and tricks on how to save money when buying online and in-store
It’s 2018! How time flies! Time to change, don’t you think? How about starting with the way you buy online and in-store? Oh yeah. For someone who has not exactly been frugal, this might come as a big surprise for some of you who know me personally. But yes, since being married to my awesome smart-buyer husband, I picked up a few tips and tricks on how to save money when purchasing something. I know some of you have been wanting to learn too so here goes. Check below to find out how you can be a smart buyer online and in-store.
Look out for sales. If there’s one thing I love about shopping in the United States, it’s this – there’s almost always a sale going on throughout the year. And even if you miss a one-day sale, you can be sure that the same item will go on sale again some time later. Just be on the lookout for the next one. Sales clerks are also very helpful. If you ask them, they’ll let you know when the next sale is. Sometimes they even tell you without being asked! So be friendly. And oh, even if you’re not in the US, check the malls in your home town. Virtually every mall has some sort of sale going on.
Look out for clearance items. More often than not, stores have a section dedicated for clearance items – items that are selling for 70-90% off. Whenever my husband and I go to the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet in Allen, Texas, we almost always go straight to the clearance section. If you don’t know if a particular store has one, just ask one of the clerks and they’ll tell you. I learned to do this every time I go to a new store. I go looking for a clearance section straight away. Why not? And no, these are not discarded ones. These are good, quality ones that were part of the old inventory. And sometimes, even after being displayed in the clearance section, the same items also make their way back to the regular-priced sections. So don’t despise clearance items.
Wait, wait and wait. There’s a truth to the saying, “What goes up must go down.” The same holds true for sale items in the US. It’s amazing how a certain Michael Kors dress that costs around $200 would sell at $35 or less weeks later. Be warned though, the sale might only last for a few days. Sometimes, it only runs for one day, so keep it on your radar. Before you know it, the same dress that went down to $35 is suddenly back to $200. But why pay the full price if you can get it for much less? As Christians, we’re commanded to be good stewards so being wasteful is doing the exact opposite of that.
Still my favorite ‘loot’ so far. From around $130 or so previously, we got this for a jaw-dropping $20 including tax. Oh yes, baby. Only because my hubby was patient enough to wait…for at least two months. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since then it’s gone back up to $79 or so. It never went down again to the price we paid. Patience is a virtue indeed.
Call. My husband, and other frugal (NOT poor, some of them are even MILLIONAIRES!) people like him, are very good at this. If they’re looking for an item and they’re not satisfied with the price, they would call different stores. Sometimes they even call four to five shops until they find the right price. My husband often asks a sales clerk to print a list of stores that has the same item in their inventory. The list also has the store’s addresses and phone numbers, truly a quite handy tool! Remember to know the SKU number (see photo below) of an item and its color or description. Don’t hesitate to take photos of the item you want. I know a millionaire who drives a Porsche, and once owned a 13-bedroom house, who does this himself. Remember, there is no shame in being frugal but it is foolish to spend money that you do not have just to ‘keep with up with the joneses’.
Sample of a SKU number. We also got this pair of Michael Kors pants online for a much better price. Even if it was already on sale in-store, my husband still went online to check and got it for another 40% discount. That’s how good buying can get if you’re patient and diligent enough. Its original price was around $139.
Canvass. Just like calling shops, be sure to check prices in various branches. Visit different stores. Again, ask for the list of stores selling the same item you’re eyeing, so you can visit or call them when necessary.
Shop online. You’d be surprised to know, but most items selling in brick and mortar stores are actually cheaper online. The online stores also have more in their inventory than in brick and mortar ones. So if you’re eyeing something, be sure to check their online shop.
Monitor. Sometimes, when my husband cannot find the items in-store, he goes online. He also monitors the same item online, checking regularly if the item has gone up or down. He’ll do this for weeks, and sometimes, months and won’t buy unless it’s gone down to a price he’s willing to pay.
Complete surveys. Believe it or not, shops often offer 10% discounts or $10 off items if you complete their surveys. So why don’t you?
Get on mailing lists. If you’re a subscriber to stores’ newsletters, stores would often send you discount cards. This is one way to keep track of their upcoming sales too.
First time purchase discounts. When you visit an online store for the first time, they would often give you a 10% discount. Even if you’re only making a one-time purchase, there’s no harm in taking advantage of that discount, is there? So be sure to sign up. I know these emails can easily flood your inbox so I only use my ‘junk’ account for such emails.
Be loyal. Just as you get rewarded for staying with a particular airline or hotel brand, stores also reward its loyal clientele. My husband regularly gets such rewards from Polo Ralph Lauren. In fact, on his last birthday, he was given a $50 discount card which he lovingly spent on me instead. Happy wife. Happy life.
My husband first saw this fit & flare Polo Ralph Lauren dress in the outlet mall in Allen, Texas. He checked online and waited until the price went down. From around $150, he got it for $30 or so. He got me two – one pink and one blue, and they’re still my favorite Polo dresses today.
These are just some of our tested and proven tips and tricks to save money online and in-store. Do you know of any other tips that we might not know about? Do share and encourage others to do the same! We’re here to help each other learn and grow!
Hope you were blessed. If you were, please like and share this post to your friends. So they too can become smart buyers online and in-store! Got any questions? Feel free to reach out via the ‘contact me’ page.
How to be a smart buyer online and in-store