Since yesterday’s post was about “online deals”, I thought I’d share some of my tips for offline, or brick and mortar deals.

My secret to offline deals is to “learn” the stores that you have access to. By this, I mean find out when new trucks come in, figure out what their “hot sellers” are, and figure out what does not sell well at the store. For instance, if your Target or Walmart is right next door to Home Depot, chances are pretty good you’ll get deals in the hardware and garden departments.

On to the sources….

Target

In my opinion Target is the best place to frequent for clearance deals for two reasons. First, it is obvious Target’s goal with their clearance is to get it the hell out of the store. They don’t put items at 5% off like WalMart does. Target usually starts at 30%, then moves to 50% and 75% pretty quickly.

The second reason Target is clearance king, is due to their stock turnover/change. Be it Easter, School Start, Cookout season, tax season, whatever, Target alters its stock. Change in theme, means they have to make room for the new stuff.

Clearance items are almost always on the endcaps facing away from the main aisles of the store. Also, they put little round red flags on clearance items on the shelves. I have mastered the “Target Deal Hunting Pattern” in my local Targets. I can get in and out in less than 5 minutes.

Target clearance used to be a little known, cult-ish kind of thing. Now it is humerous to see a bunch of people walking the back aisles of the store….we know what you are doing! :)

My Best Deals – Too many to list!

WalMart

Apparently WalMart likes their shelves to look as trashy as the rest of the store, so they only take 10% or 15% off clearance items. Sometimes they setup those “clearance aisles”, but they are truly full of the crappyest-crap WalMart has.

Walmart has only been a good place for clearance when you happen to stumble on the “1/2 off clearance” announcements.

Overall, WalMart is not the place for dirt-cheap deals, but it is definately worth the look to compare prices.

In an upcoming blog, I’ll explain my “WalMart – A Phase in Life” theory.

My Best Deals (that I can remember) – $5 Laser Tape measure and a $.50 Laser Level.

Pawn Shops

Until recently, most pawn shops were shady places trying to make money from everyone, the pawner and the purchaser. Now there are chain pawn shops (i.e. Cash America), that focus on the pawn. Establishments that do this, don’t want to keep unclaimed merchandise on hand, they want to sell it quick to cash out of it.

If you are looking for large sporting good items, stereo equipment, DVDs, CDs, and occasionally kitchen stuff, check out the “nicer” pawn shops every now and then.

My Best Deal – $35 Gaggia Espresso Machine (retails for over $500, I sold it for $250 on Ebay).

Big Lots

Home of Christmas crap in August! I swear BigLots moves up the stocking of Christmas stuff two weeks.

Sports Authority

This place has the tendency to have a lot of unadvertised sales. For instance, they will put all of a particular type of item 1/2 off.

My Best Deal – $69 HydroSlide ProXL Kneeboard (retail $175)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *