LIFESTYLE: Shopping Pointers and Techniques
We all know what madness shopping lines can entail of, even if we have never personally ventured out that day ourselves. The permanently ingrained images of long lines persists in our heads.
Plan your shopping strategy and stick to it.
The key to a successful shopping spree, it is noted in your planning. Make a list, just like any list you’d normally make, label your most-wanted items to your maximum spending budget. It helps you break down the necessary items as opposed to your wandering eye hindered by all these fabulous sales.
Now map out the stores you want to check out and bookmark your specific sites.
If you want to nab the best deals on-site, go to them directly and avoid other stores. Online sales can be tricky, they can have a wide range of offers – everything from online retail coupons down to a five-minute first come, first serve ordeal. Bookmark your pages and set your calendars with alarms. Also, if you’re hitting up a shopping center or mall, save yourself time and avoid the search for elusive store directories. Know your floor plan.
Know your products.
We can’t stress this enough and we absolutely mean it. Want the latest Chanel No. 5 perfume, hot out on the market? Know your product. A Wall Street Journal investigation last year found that some popular gifts actually get priced up right before the holidays, so what you think you’re getting a discounted price actually isn’t at all or even pricier. Google your products, check your monthly magazine discreetly, and check the major department stores such as Macy’s or Bloomingdales first. They have some of the best prices next to Walmart, honestly.)
Use your phone to compare prices on the spot.
Don’t tell me you do not own a smartphone because my three-year-old cousin has a mini iPad, newest edition from Apple, and I do not even own one. That brick of a smartphone can save you a whole lot of money while you’re shopping. Download Amazon’s Price Check App – available for both iPhone and Android – it allows you to scan bar codes on popular products and do an instant comparison on your handheld. Red Laser, not only allows price comparison, it scouts for special online coupon codes as well.
Make Friends with RetailMeNot.com, SmartSource.com, and FatWallet.net.
Honestly, some department stores such as Bloomingdales or Saks might have their sales but you’ll have to be committed to digging and spending several hours under their roofs to get even a smidgen of decently discounted products. Don’t even try at the luxury houses themselves; rarely will they have deep discounts during such annual sales. Make yourself familiar with Net-A-Porter.com or Polyvoore.Com. – they’ll come in handy.
Last but not least, begin shopping BEFORE holiday sales such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Look, I’m not telling you to rummage through the stores and bleed your pockets dry prior to the year’s biggest sales. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, soak up the gravy and cut your family turkey instead of rushing it – deals are effective online and easily accessible in the comfort of your own home. Last year, Amazon.com’s deals kicked off an entire week before Thanksgiving and I’ve been getting e-mail alerts, this entire week, of different sales.
Now hustle, if you want to save a pretty penny. Holidays never come cheap.