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Bargain Hunting 101 - How To Be A Good Bargain Hunter
If you're anything like me, you probably don't like to pay full price for anything, especially for clothes and shoes. I'm a bargain shopaholic, meaning, I like to shop, but only for items that are offered at a discount.
Believe it or not, I'm not alone in this. You or probably someone you know does the same. Anyone in their right mind, in this economy ought to be a bargain shopper.
The Myth About Bargain Hunting
Bargain hunting has been misconstrued to be just for the poor or mid-income shoppers, but the truth is, there are many rich and famous folks out there who can afford to put hundreds or thousand of dollars into one item, but still enjoy bargain shopping. If you care about making your hard earned dollars go a long way, then you should be bargain hunting.
Other Myths About Bargain Hunting
- You can't find good bargains at popular department stores. Wrong! If you know when to shop, I'm talking about the time of the year, department stores are usually the best place to find good bargains. I have bought stuff as Macy's and Belk's at a much cheaper price than what I got at Ross or T J Maxx.
- Outlet Stores are a better bargain. Not always! Outlet stores can sometimes be more expensive than your local mall and department stores.
- Thrift stores are your only bargain outlets. It is true that you can sometimes find great bargain at thrift stores, it is also true that you can find even better bargains at department and name brand stores.
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What A Good Bargain Hunter Should 'NEVER' Do
If you're going to be good at bargain hunting, there are a few rules to consider, the NEVER rules and the ALWAYS rules. These rules, if followed will help you become an expert on how to make your hard earned money go a long way. The following 'NEVER' rules will help you become a good bargain hunter:
- Never shop on impulse - This cannot be over emphasized. Impulse shopping will 99% of the time waste you money, and it almost always end up with you going back for an exchange or refund. So never shop on impulse.
- Never shop at the urging of a friend (neighbor, colleague etc.) - If you have to shop, let it be your decision, not that of a friend. You're more likely to buy something you don't need if you go shopping at the urging of someone else. It helps to always have a budget and plan and stick to it.
- Never shop when you're pressed for time - Don't try bargaining on an item when you feel pressed to use the restroom. You are more likely to give in to the pressure of nature calling and buy at a higher price than the item is worth, especially when you have a salesperson breathing down your neck.
- Never shop while on a tour or a cruise - Items that appear to be a bargain may actually be over-priced and/or of poor quality. And if you have to buy anything at all (for souvenir), stay away from high tag items.
- Never buy at the urging of a store salesperson - Salespeople are trained to bring in as much as they can, even if it means lying to you about a product or service. Do your homework. Know the facts about the product or service and don't be swindled into buying something you know nothing about.
These are not do or die rules, you can always use your discretion based on your own bargain hunting experience.
- Bargain Hunting 101 - Where To Find Great Bargains
You wouldn't believe how many times I walked out of that store with bags of clothes and shoes that cost less than it cost to have two value meals at Wendy's. Those were my true bargaining days. I'm talking shoes (made in Spain), blazers, skirts with
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It's all about saving a buck or two, here and there. And using your coupons wisely is just one way to do it. Frugal living may tend to be a lot of work, but in the end if it saves you a lot of money, then it's all worth it.
- Designer Brand Names at Smart prices - Discount Shopping
SmartBargains has an amazing selection of Apparel, Sunglasses, watches, Handbags, Shoes, Jewelry and Home Decor at unbeatable prices.
What A Good Bargain Hunter Should 'ALWAYS' Do
Now, lets take a look at some of the Always rule. These rules are not laws, and I'm not claiming that it will yield you the results it yielded me. It's all common sense. In my case I have followed this rules and found out it works. So hopefully it will work for you.
The ALWAYS Rules
- Always shop out of season - I've already stocked up for next year's summer wear by buying clearance items that are making way for new winter inventory. Most department stores will put their summer/spring collections on clearance around mid-August to early October. That's usually when I buy what I'll need for the following year.
- Always shop during sales period - You are bound to pay less than those who buy early. Back in my college days, I used to work for a big department store and what I observed was that items can go from having an initial price tag of $80 - $99 to a price tag of $5 - 15 during sale or clearance period. It makes sense to wait a couple month's for the lower price except you really need the item right there and then.
- Always buy what you need, not what you want - The problem with a lot of people is that they always buying stuff just because it's on sale or on clearance. I've observed many of my neighbors buy something just because it was on sale, only to turn around and sell it for less than was paid for it at their garage sale. That, my bargain hunter friend, would be a waste of your resources. Just because an item is on sale doesn't mean you have to buy it. So, always buy what you need, not what you want.
- Always use coupons whenever possible - Coupons, whether grocery coupons or department store coupons are a great way to get that extra saving on an already great bargain.
- Always pray before you embark on your shopping trip - As a believer in the power of God (and of the Holy Spirit) to lead me always into a place of blessing, I must say that this rule has worked for me every time. It may sound out of place but, believe me, it is not. We are commanded to pray ALWAYS. So I pray for favor and direction to places where I'll get the most for my hard earned money, and God ALWAYS hears my prayer. I have come to believe that God is interested in the little details of our lives, so why not pray before shopping or doing anything for that matter.
Bargain Outlets for Great Savings
You can be sure of great bargain if you're willing to invest time in bidding for items that sometimes go the last bidder at prices much less than the item value.
If you're looking for great bargains on hand-made and custom-made items, etsy is the place to go. Sellers are always willing to work with you.
You'll find great deal for just about everything you need here.
A great place to shop for fairly new and used items locally.
Your local Goodwill may be hiding some good treasures.
Do You Carefully Plan Out Where, When & How To Shop, Or Do You Shop On Impulse?
Bargain hunting is a skill in itself. It requires shopping at certain time and place. Knowing when to shop, where to shop, and how to shop are keys to developing the skills needed to be a wise bargain hunter and save yourself some money.
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Author: Comfort Babatola - Updated August 2014