Tough economic times are having an impact on every retailer resulting in softer sales which translate into shopping bargains. Many retailers are also trying to stimulate “impulse buying” and generate incremental revenue by offering big discounts on merchandise items they normally don’t carry. On line retailers are feeling the pinch too and have started adding “clearance” pages to their websites offering even lower prices. Here are some suggestions on bargain hunting for holiday gifts:
Begin your holiday bargain hunting by shopping online. Retail and manufacturer-direct web sites very often offer internet sales items, special internet pricing and offer free or deeply discounted shipping. Many retailer web sites now have “clearance” pages as well where you find even bigger bargains.
Check The Clearance Racks
Most department and discount stores including Macys, Marshalls and TJ Maxx have “clearance” racks where you can save up to 75% or more on designer and name-brand clothing. You have to dig, and go back to the rack at least once a week to check for new clearance merchandise. Housewares and other departments usually have clearance tables as well where you can find similar bargains.
Visit Consignment and Thrift Shops
Consignment and Thrift shops are great places to find bargains on interesting, unusual high-quality gifts. Vintage clothing, books, music, glassware, cookware, art, furniture, antiques and jewelry not found in regular department stores and shops are always available. The secret to finding a bargain is know the value of what you’re getting and making sure it is in “gently used” condition.
Flea Markets, Holiday Fairs and Farmers Markets
Vendors at flea markets, farmers markets, swap meets and holiday fares are suffering from economic conditions too and have merchandise they have to move by lowering the prices and offering clearance specials.
Odd Lot Distributors, Liquidators and Discounters
With so many companies going out of business or being stuck with inventories they are unable to move through traditional channels, “odd lot” distributors, liquidators and discount department stores are carrying top name brand merchandise at bargain prices. It’s worth checking them out for toys, games, housewares, tools, hardware, furniture, giftware and holiday decorations.
Clubs like Sam’s and Costco can be sources of holiday gift bargains too. If you’re not already a member, it isn’t worth joining just to do holiday shopping. Go shopping with a friend who already is a member so you can get the bargain without shopping. Also check with your employer to see if they have a corporate membership card they’ll let employees use too.
Look For Bargains In Unexpected Places
It’s becoming more and more common to find bargain gifts in places you’d never expectincluding Walgreen’s or CVS. Most Walgreen’s stores now carry a selection of gifts that were sold direct by TV commercials or infomercials for $50 on sale for $10. Not a bad deal. Even large grocery chains are stocking more non-grocery small appliances, gadgets and gifts at bargain prices. You just gotta look!