If you’re like me, you love find a good deal, but do you know all the secrets to finding great deals? Having worked in retail stores and having been a coupon clipper for so long, I have learned several things people either don’t know or haven’t thought of. There is an art to finding a great deal. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time to find a deal. But, you must also research the products you are buying. You can find great deals in retail stores, online, by using coupons, and by keeping your eyes wide open.
The most important thing to do in a retail store is to keep your eyes open. Stores don’t always have one big clearance section. Sometimes they have the clearance items right next to the regular priced items. Other times they have spots in each department where they keep the clearance items. Now, another important thing to remember is not everything in the clearance department is defective or missing pieces. Retail stores often put items they no longer wish to carry on clearance. The manufacturer of the item may no longer by producing the item or the retail store simply wishes to make room for something else. Also don’t forget to use coupons on these clearance items. Sometimes the items will be free after you use your coupon. In one case I actually got money back on an item I was purchasing from the clearance section.
Its well worth your money to buy the Sunday paper, I usually get around $100 worth of coupons each week. It also pays to look for stores that will double coupons. Sometimes stores will even run specials where they triple coupons. This can make some of your groceries only a few cents. Now, I’ve heard of people who save hundreds of dollars each week and get a month worth of groceries for $7! I don’t believe this is realistic, unless you are willing to eat mostly processed foods. I mostly only use coupons when items are on sale. The best deal is to buy items when they are buy one get one free and buy only one item making it half off (yes you can do that) then use you coupon and if it gets doubled, the item is usually only a few cents. You will also find great deals on new items. Manufacturers want you to try these new products so they offer coupons that are much more than usual, sometimes they also offer coupons that allow you to get that item for free. The best thing about new products is that stores often over them on sale when they first come on to the market. So they are on sale AND you have a great coupon, again making the item only a few cents.
There are several secrets to finding great deals on EBay. First of all, just go to EBay and you’re bound to find the item you are looking for at a cheaper price. Also you can try searching for the item by misspelling it. Often people list items and haven’t spelled the name of the item correctly. This means most people won’t find the item and the item will be much cheaper than the items that are easily found by all buyers. Some sellers also don’t take the time to list a full description of the product and buyers are reluctant to buy it. For example, a seller might just say that the product is used. This leads buyers to wonder what condition the item is in and decide not to bid. In this case always email the seller and ask the questions you want to know about the product and get a great deal. Last but not least, the greatest part about EBay. Prey on the stupidity of sellers. This is where doing research on the product you are buying comes in handy. I recently purchased a used TI-83 calculator for a buy it now price of $20. These usually go for $50-60, but the seller had three auctions up for TI-83 calculators claiming they were all broken. The third one I looked at said that the screen was really faint and they didn’t know why. After doing research I realized that the screen had simply been lightened and wasn’t broken after all. So I saved $30-40 because I did the research.
Online retailers usually offer better deals than stores. This is because they can reach more people and they can store all of their merchandise in warehouses, rather than having to worry about displaying the items. You can usually find free shipping at most online retailers, which saves you gas money. Online retailers often have specials ranging from 10% off to free merchandise. You must also remember to search for deals in the clearance sections of online stores. Most online retailers have clearance sections and there are usually some great deals. If you have an account with Amazon there will be a gold box at the top of the screen that has 10 deals in it each day. These deals are customized for each shopper depending to the products you have bought in the past. Also remember to search the markets offered by places like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, most of the time you will be able to find the product you are searching for at a cheaper price. The best deal I found was a brand new book that had been signed by the author for less than have the price it was selling for on Barnes and Noble.
Often you’ll get sales papers in your mailbox. Don’t throw these out without looking through them first, most of the time you will find coupons for local restaurants. I would recommend also buying your local paper. Sometimes you’ll find coupons for restaurants ranging from a certain percentage off to a free appetizer or drink. Even if you don’t want a drink, always order the whole combo when eating at a fast food restaurant. It’s cheaper to buy the combo than just buying the fries and burger.
Deals are around every corner just remember to keep your eyes open.