Research Your Retailers and Have A Plan of Action- Survive the Shopping Madness
IFB Project #23 asked one need to do to survive the most anticipated shopping season. Everyone has their go to tips, guides and even deals. Mine – research and plan.
1. Keep a log.
I utilize an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the sales and specials throughout the year. This helps me keep track of ongoing promotions from my favorite retailers. Every retailers rehash their game plan of promos, sales, and codes during the same time of the year.
For example: Ann Taylor Loft
When a new collection comes out, Loft tends to promote by offering 20% off everything, 25% off if you use your Loft Card. About 1 month into it, Loft will have a special of 30%, then later in the season, 40% off. During the early season collection, Loft usually offers $25 Loft Promo Cards for redemption off your next purchase. * Loft amped up this Black Friday with 50% off in Store, and 50% off for Cyber Monday. It was expected because just a couple of days before Thanksgiving, Loft was already having a 40% off sale.
2. Research Online.
This Black Friday, for the first time, I shopped at Talbots.com. Oh, I visited the site on and off throughout the years, but never found anything I wanted. I rather shop at Loft which is a bit more younger, and trendier. Well I didn’t know much of Talbots.com sales outline, so I went online typed in a search engine “Talbots Black Friday 2010.” I wanted to see what Talbots.com specials for last year and I could keep going back further and further. What I noticed is that Talbots usually have a 30% off during Thanksgiving, online and in store. Every year, on Black Friday, Talbots would have a 50% off One Full Priced Item in store only. Then on Cyber Monday, have that same deal online only.
It made figure out my strategy to either split up my order or to wait. I ended up using the 30% off because I got free shipping for $100 or more. The 50% off 1 item didn’t appeal to me because it’s only on 1 item. I saved more on my overall purchase.
3. Scope Out the Merchandise.
I went online to Jcrew.com and already added the clothes I wanted to my shopping cart. Many retailers store your cart so you don’t have to readd items and forget something you should have bought. I also kept notes on Excel regarding what I expected to buy and where. This helped me budget.
4. Sometimes it’s best to wait.
And I waited for the Cyber Monday sale. I knew from previous years J. Crew only has the 25% off and get free shipping on $150 or more. Well Ebates.com (referal) had a great Cyber Monday special. Instead of earning 4% back at J. Crew, they upped it to 10% cash back. Amazing deal.
Any other tips you would like to share?