It’s easy to see why department stores are popular places to shop. With a wide selection of items and brands to choose from, a department store is a convenient one-stop-shop where you can find anything from cosmetics and clothing to electronics and even large appliances. Department stores also offer some great discounts and sales– and if you know what to look for, you can find some of your favorite things at rock-bottom prices. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you save some money the next time you go shopping at a department store.
Apply for a Store Credit Card
Applying for a department store credit card is usually a sure-fire way to save some money, and the savings are usually immediate. Typically, if you open up a credit card in a department store, you’ll save anywhere from 10 to 20 percent off your total upon checkout. The best time to apply for a store credit card is either when you are buying a large number of items or when you’re buying something that’s fairly expensive such as a television or kitchen appliance. Although the discount you get for opening up a new account is a one-time offer, credit card holders usually receive valuable coupons and sale alerts via email or post on a regular basis thereafter, making the decision to open the card in the first place a smart one. Many department stores also feature special shopping days in which store card holders get a certain percentage off simply by using their cards to pay for their items. In order to make the savings worth it, be sure to pay off your credit card bill right away if you can. If you end up accruing too much interest by taking too long to pay it off, your original savings may end up getting cancelled out.
Inquire About Frequent Shopper Cards
The next time you wander into your favorite department store, ask a sales associate if the store offers a frequent shopper punch card of some sort. Some stores offer a buyer rewards card in which you can get a punch or stamp each time you shop, and after so many you receive a percentage or specific dollar amount off your next purchase. Even better, there are stores that offer a card that gets swiped each time a purchase is made, allowing the computer system to keep track of the money you spend there. After you’ve reached a certain dollar amount, you may receive a money voucher or coupon by email or in your mailbox for you to use the next time you shop. Many buyer rewards cards also offer small discounts every time you shop, or discounts on select items mentioned in sales ads in fliers or on TV. Signing up for frequent shopper and buyer rewards cards is usually worth your while as they are usually free and generally offer some great savings.
Shop on Designated Sales Days
Not everyone enjoys braving the crowds at department stores on days like Black Friday or the day after Christmas, but if you’re looking for huge savings on popular and trendy items, these are some of the best days to find them. Department stores usually advertise what items are going to be on sale and how much you’ll be able to get them for– keep an eye out for sales ads and fliers so you’ll know exactly what bargains are out there. After holidays like Christmas and New Year’s, department stores usually offer seasonal items and gifts at extremely low prices. You can save money by buying some of these out-of-season items and saving them for next year, either for your own use or to give as gifts.
Holidays aren’t the only times that department stores feature special sales days. Many department stores offer early bird sales, senior citizens shopping days, summer sidewalk sales, and more.
Head Straight for the Sales Racks and Bargain Bins
Nearly all department stores have special areas filled with sales racks and bargain bins offering discounts of 50 percent off or more on items in order to keep the merchandise moving so new things can be brought in. Don’t forget to check out the sales section the next time you shop– even if the items are out-of-season you can stock up for next year and save a considerable amount of money in the process.
Don’t be intimidated by some of the high ticket items you see at well-known department stores. By following some of these helpful hints and suggestions, you’ll be able to get some of your favorite things for much less from some of the biggest department store names around.
About the author
Guest post from Adam. Adam loves to shop at department stores and shares lots of saving tips and coupons, including Target coupon codes, through FrugalDad.com.