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24 Secrets Every Bargain Shopper Needs To Know

For those who have the feels for the deals.

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1. If something goes on sale after you buy it, you might be able to get back the difference!

TLC

Most large retailers have a policy that if you buy an item and it goes on sale (usually within two weeks, but timeframes vary), you can be refunded the difference in price with a receipt. This usually also works if something is already on sale, but gets further reduced.

2. Always buy something on sale with Shoptagr.

shoptagr.com / us.asos.com

A handy Chrome extension, Shoptagr allows you to sort of "pin" an item you see online, select a color and size, and it'll notify you when the item is on sale. Not only is this a great way to not pay full price, you should keep your tags post-purchase to see if they are marked down further. (See info above!)

3. Get notified when an item goes on sale, or get immediate coupon codes with PoachIt.

poachit.com

PoachIt works very similarly to Shoptagr. It's also a Chrome extension and app that alerts you when tagged items go on sale, but it also works to find discount codes on specific items — perfect for immediate discounts!

4. Find the best price with Shopstyle.

shopstyle.com

Shopstyle is an easy-to-use shopping search engine that can help you save money in two ways. The first is if you're after a specific designer item — say, this Marc Jacobs fan pleated skirt — you could search for those terms on Shopstyle to see if there's another retailer selling at a lower price. Second way to save: If you're shopping for something general, say a leather jacket, you can set a maximum price to make sure you're only seeing results within your budget.

5. When online window shopping, put items in your shopping cart and keep them there.

anthropologie.com

This is kind of creepy because you feel like you're being watched, but some sites will see you're sitting on an item, and they may offer you discounts or incentives to buy it.

6. Keep track of sales from your favorite brands with Shop It To Me.

shopittome.com

Cover all your bases. Shoptagr lets you watch specific items for sale while Shop It To Me sends you info on your favorite brands. You select the brands you're into, and then you get a daily email showing you items from different retailers that are on sale now.

7. Earn extra cash with sites like Threadflip, Bib + Tuck, and Poshmark.

threadflip.com

There are now several startups devoted to re-selling online. You can make a profit on old items in your closet, or these places are good spots to scour for cheap and gently used designer goods.

8. If you're a student, always ask if there's a student discount.

anntaylor.com

Holy crap, it's amazing how many cool retailers offer student discounts. 15% off at Madewell? Yes, please. Here's a list of a bunch of places you can save money.

9. Find special discounts just for moms with Zulily.

zulily.com

If you're a mom looking for great deals on home decor, the latest toys, clothes for your kids, or clothes for yourself, Zulily is about to blow your mind. This website offers new sales every single day on things that every mom dreams of. You and your children can be runway ready for half the price. What's better than that?

10. Become friends with sales clerks to get inside scoops.

ABC

If you frequent a store enough, you start to see the same store clerks over and over again. And guess what? There could be some benefit to that. Befriending sales clerks could mean they let you know when new products are coming in or when those boots you HAVE TO HAVE are going to be marked down. Try it out.

11. Stay informed about upcoming sales and discounts from your favorite stores by joining their email lists.

Candace Lowry for BuzzFeed

We know, we know...you get enough emails in your inbox. But signing up for store email lists can actually have some real benefits. Certain store emails will tell you when sales are coming up, offer coupons, and give deals on free shipping. So next time the sales clerk asks if you want to give them your email address at your favorite store, say yes.

12. Get extra savings by signing up for store credit cards.

Nordstrom

We're not saying that you should sign up for EVERY store card that you're offered, but if there's a store you frequent, their card just might be worth it. For example, with the Nordstrom credit card you can earn two points per net dollar spent. With every 2,000 points you you gain, you earn $20 worth of Nordstrom Notes. And if you love the Gap, the Gap card is worth it — you get $10 off every $200, there's no annual fee, and an extra 10% off every Tuesday.

13. If your new secret coupon websites don't turn up anything, it's worth it to just search the store name and "coupon" to see if there's something out there you missed.

Candace Lowry for BuzzFeed

If you're looking for a way to fill that special discount code box before you check out or wanting just an extra 10% off, quickly google for coupons, and with some luck, you'll be good to go.

14. If you see a high-end brand you love, try looking for it at department store outlets, and get additional perks.

saksoff5th.com

Stores like Saks Off 5th and the Bloomingdale's Outlet offer the brands you may not be able to afford at cheaper prices. Also, by becoming a loyalty member, the outlets may give you an extra 30-40% off certain brands.

15. If you're after something really expensive and high-end, save it/pin it, and come back to it.

pinterest.com

First of all, this is a very good exercise in restraint. It's clearly not worth it to drop $1,000 on a handbag if you're still not lusting after it a year later. Create a Pinterest folder with splurges and revisit it every six to 12 months. If you're still REALLY wanting something, search Etsy, eBay, or sites like Poshmark for a discounted version.

16. Find secret discounts on RetailMeNot.

retailmenot.com

Before you head into a store or make an online purchase, check RetailMeNot to see if there's a coupon or discount code. It may also help you uncover free shipping codes.

18. Take back a recent receipt with a newfound coupon.

NBC

Everyone's experienced getting a coupon in the mail right after shopping at that same retailer. Some stores, especially Bed, Bath & Beyond will give you money back if you show your receipt and coupon.

19. Follow your favorite stores on social media and reap the benefits.

Facebook: Gap

By following your favorite retailers on social media, you can immediately see sales and specials as soon as they're announced, and even some exclusive deals.

20. If you shop obsessively at one store, get their app (if they have one).

Urban Outfitters

MORE DEALS. For example, just by downloading Urban Outfitters' app, you get 10% off your next purchase.

21. Use your love of makeup to become a Sephora VIB.

sephora.com

If you're a dedicated Sephorian, you should consider becoming a VIB. You might not always get discounts, but you definitely get free samples... and really what's better than that?

22. This is a weird one, but if you're brave enough, just ask for a discount, aka "the good guy discount."

CBS

On a This American Life episode from earlier this year, Ira Glass explores what a friend of one of his producers calls the "good guy discount." Surprisingly, it works. Well, some of the time. Check out the episode here.

23. Know about the greatness of competitor coupons.

Say you're about to buy something at Bed, Bath & Beyond but you have a coupon to a competitor to BBB. Show it to the cashier, and they may offer you the same discount. If a retailer accepts competitor coupons, there are usually a few parameters for getting the discount, but it's always worth a try. Lifehacker has a good intro to competitor coupons.

24. Shop directly from brands as opposed to stores that carry those brands.

Ever seen an amazing product at retailers like Urban Outfitters or Bloomingdale's, but it's not the store's brand? Retailers tend to acquire different brands and sell them at a higher price for profit. Try going directly to the retailer that makes the product and you might be able to save up to 20%.

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