Everyone loves a good deal but we also like shopping in places that we trust and places that have quality merchandise. In this How To we will look at some of the ways to get great deals on products you like. Now there will be some effort required and you won’t be able to instantly gratify those needs to fork out cash to people.. but with a little preparation and careful shopping you will be able to save a ton of money and still get items that you need or want.
The first thing you have to understand is that every merchant has situations where they have surplus product that they need to liquidate. Their first choice because its cheaper is to mark down the items and keep them in inventory and control the sale. The next thing a retailer might do is sell all of their open box returns that they can’t reshelf to a third party that liquidates them. Finally if they have new merchandise they may sell it to a third party to liquidate it if they can’t spare the space.
Once a product gets to a third party you probably won’t get as good a deal on it as you would have if you purchased it from the initial retailer. This is because third party liquidators that you often see on big auction sites understand the market and need to make a profit to stay in business. The initial retailer has two reasons to sell product at discount. First because they are no longer selling that item and another reason might be because of the change of season. Clothing is that way. You won’t see a large retailer keeping winter coats in the back of the store because they have no room for them. Today it is just cheaper to sell the winter coats to a third party that will either sell them later or more likely sell them to South America where our summer is their winter and the product will be needed.
Home Store Deals
Just like every other retailer there are items in your local home store that must be liquidated. The most prominent is Cull Lumber. This is lumber that has defects or has been cut or is scrap but it still has some value. You can often find this stuff at the front of the lumber isle or you can ask. Often it is sold in a bunch where they have all of the items they pulled in a pile. I have been able to get decent 1×1’s and 1×2’s for small projects around the house. This stuff is not perfect and you should expect major warping and cracks.
Next they will have items marked down within the isles and you can normally pick them out by the different color label they attach on the shelf. Look for it as you walk down an isle even if you are in an isle of stuff you don’t want to buy because I have found things like 100 foot rolls of Bell Wire for one cent and vegetable seeds for almost nothing.
That is another thing people love to plant bushes, trees and other long living plants in the spring and by fall no one wants to take the time. Every store that sells fresh plants will mark them down to close to nothing in the fall. I have found Raspberry and Grape Plants for 85% off and many different types of shrubs. If you can buy them and plant them in a temporary area then the next spring you can dig them up for transplanting. It is really easy to find a spot in your vegetable garden to do this and they will benefit from the good soil and nutrients for the remainder of the fall and into the winter maybe.
Saving Money By Online Shopping
First you will often find that the prices online are cheaper for the exact same item and they will ship it to your door within a few days. This is really great for many items like a bed or furniture but it is really good for any item.
One thing you want to keep an eye on is the Clearance Section of any large online merchant. They will always have a way to view Clearance or Markdown items and then sort by price to show the lowest price first.
Take an hour every few days and go through these items. I had to purchase a few shirts for a relative the other day and I found that the item I wanted had a similar shirt of the same quality and it was selling for only $3 which was less than a third of the price that I was paying for the original item. I purchased a couple shirts and found the discounted one was still good quality and cost me less than the original one. I am not a label shopper if its the same style and good fabric then for a everyday shirt it doesn’t matter.
However you will find other items like this. I was shopping for a television the other day and although I never ended up buying one I was considering a higher priced 50″ model but when I pressed Markdowns I found a 58″ model for $300 dollars that had better specs. I almost bought it but by the next day when I decided I should it was back to regular price.
Other stores do sell their own open box items online and I really suggest that you do not buy anything of any consequence if you are shopping open box or returns online. Unless they are giving you over 50% discount and telling you it is in perfect condition only buy items that you know you can tell if they have been used. For instance I sometimes buy a product that is packaged in a box and each item is packaged in a vacuum sealed mylar bag. When I get my order in the mail i can tell right away if anyone tampered with the product or tried to repackage it. What I am saying is you could buy a hammer but don’t buy underwear.
With a bit of planning… keeping your eyes open for deals whether you need them right now or whether they are just too good to pass up then you can save a huge amount of money and end up with a lot of great stuff.
Find out how the retailer markets their clearance and marked down items and watch those areas whether in a physical store or online for deals. You might need something for an up coming project or like those rolls of wire for a penny it might just be something worth buying.
Don’t expect to always find these deals but they happen and they happen a lot. It is worth your time or a click just to check for a few minutes and the more we do then the more they will relist and not sell to a third party who will repackage them and sell them as refurbished for much higher prices.
Just don’t buy anything that I am looking to buy…