Early this morning, I crept down to the living room–past sleeping family–to check out what shopping deals were posted for today. I tried to fix myself some coffee quietly so I wouldn’t wake anyone up. A quick sidebar–whoever posted online that Starbucks Via “easily dissolves into cold water…” I assume you didn’t base your statements off trying to stir quietly.
But here are my impressions on the sales this morning:
- Has “up to 60%” off its store, which isn’t much different than their normal sales. You get 20% extra off with “GAPGIFT”.
- The real value in Black Friday shopping with Gap is with their Clearance Rack (same thing with Banana Republic). Every year, it seems like they newly move items to their clearance rack and have an unadvertised 40% off sale for clearance. I use this to my advantage for shopping for male relatives. I noticed that women tend to grab men’s clothing right off the shelves and peruse the women’s clearance. There’s usually a ton left in men’s clearance.
- Verdict: This set of men’s sweaters is priced well (it’s a value but not a steal), but I’m saving most my shopping for Friday. I also got the Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic gift cards at a store that gives me extra points per dollar so that I can maximize my point earnings in store.
- For the girl into Vintage, ALL their new items are half-off, plus free shipping
- Verdict: I don’t need new dresses. I don’t need new dresses. I don’t need new dresses… (I want.) This is a great deal because ModCloth doesn’t have sales like this very often. Usually, they’ll have a 60-90% off sale where you can only order your size and they send you a random dress (which is fun, but doesn’t allow you to, you know, choose your dress). If you need anything off ModCloth, check out the sale.
- The Limited has 50% off all full-priced items. This is good if there’s something you’ve been eye-balling, but doesn’t have the wow-factor of 50% off clearance, for example.
- On the other hand, their sale items are very discounted already (though I would go insane with deal-purchasing frenzy if they were even 30% off). I like that Limited actually puts their sale items on sale. When Ann Taylor has a 50% off sale items deal, their “sale” items are usually a few dollars off only to begin with.
- Verdict: Check out their sale on cashmere sweaters. It is online only–and a STEAL at about 70% off with $5 shipping. Otherwise, this is another store where I’ll be a last minute hold-out. I’ll peer in to see if they mark down their sale items too.
- Speaking of Ann Taylor, they are doing 40% off full-priced, 25% off clearance. Not all of the clearance items are heavily clearanced, so the 40% off sale is a better overall savings in some cases. I got this clearance item for 40% off the same clearanced price a few weeks ago, so I’m not too excited about this sale.
- Verdict: If there is something you want off the full-priced rack, 40% off is as good as Ann Taylor gets lately, but the sale isn’t special at all.
- Here we go! 40% off EVERYTHING. No asterix, no buts, no exclusions.
- Some of the sale and clearance items are “fake” sales, aka, only a few dollars off. But others are heavily clearanced, AND you get 40% off on top of that.
- Verdict: I am multi-tasking adding things to my cart on Loft while typing this post. I recommend buying online AND checking out the clearance in person. In person clearance can be cheaper (from recent returns, etc), and usually has more stock than online, depending on your geographic area. (Those in NYC proper and Chicago proper are more out of luck than those in Denton, TX, for example).
- Oddly silent about Black Friday still. I thought they would have something this morning.
- Verdict: Even if I don’t get any email from them, I will still check out their stores. I don’t remember their clearance sale being advertized last year and I spent about $30 on: Men’s dress pants, sweater, and t-shirt. Fingers crossed!
This year feels like a let-down, but I remember last year feeling a little the same. 2010 was definitely the year of extreme discounts, but since I found good deals last year, I’m hopeful there will be something in-stores.
Maximizing Points: When shopping online, don’t forget to use point earning portals! Those are free points you can easily accidentally miss out on.
For in-store purchases, try buying a gift card in a place that gives you extra points if you know you will use it. Tiff and I went on a shopping spree yesterday for gift cards. If you have a Hilton Amex, you can still run to your nearest CVS or Walgreens to maximize yourselves! Here’s a list of all the cards and where to shop from Frequent Miler.
(Those are the clearance prices PLUS the 40% off. )
Check out Loft, but AFTER I buy my deals
Edit: Side note for video game geeks like me, Skyrim is only $25 on Xbox and PS3!
Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.