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Smart Shopping From the Experts

February 8, 2015
Plain English Version

Macy's 1Being a wise shopper is always a good idea. Here some tips from the experts.

Shop Seasonally

Most things we buy have a season. After New Year’s resolutions, workout gear goes on sale in January. When the Super Bowl is just ahead, big-screen TVs go on sale around the start of February. With spring-cleaning around the corner, cleaning supplies go on sale in March.

At the beginning of a season, stores have a complete range of inventory. They are competing with other stores for your attention. They are competing online and in stores. If they do not get your money, another store will.

There are great introductory offers at the start of a season and even better deals when the item goes on clearance.

Never Pay Full Price

Most everything goes on sale eventually. We tend to pay full price when we make impulse purchases.

Instead of waiting to be out of toothpaste, stock up on it when you see a great sale. Always have a backup on items you regularly use. If you know you will need a new winter jacket next year, buy one when it goes on clearance at the end of this winter. In fact, clothing, shoes, and accessories are items for which you should never pay full price. They all go on sale eventually.

Take the Time to Save

Time is valuable, but so is money. Fortunately, it often takes very little time to save lots of money. Take 10 seconds to search for a coupon code before making an online purchase. That could save you around 20%.

A little research ahead of your purchase can make all the difference. You are not just looking for discounts, but comparing prices between stores. It only takes seconds to search the Internet.

Use Store Policies

Just about every retailer has a price-match policy. The policy assures consumers that they will get the best price.

Ask for a price adjustment if the item goes down in price after your purchase. Most stores offer a window of 14 days for you to get back the difference between what you paid and the new sale price.

Request a rain check if an item is on sale but is out of stock. When the item is back in stock, you will get the sale price even if the item is not on sale.

Remember to mail in those rebates. Stores are doing everything in their power to get you to shop with them. Let them court you with their savings. You will come out the winner.

Source: The Wall Street Journal February 1, 2015

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