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October Buying Guide: 10 Things To Buy Right Now

September 30, 2014 by Kyle 2 comments   •   Filed Under , ,

As we head into Fall, many retailers are trying to roll out Summer and seasonal merchandise, as well as make room for new models, creating some great deals on certain products. Here are the 10 best deals to be had right now.

October Buying Guide

Large Appliances

When it comes to large appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers, October is a great time to buy. Manufacturers always unveil new models in the winter, making October the key month to unload last years models to make room for the new stuff. In order to do this, especially in a down economy, they have to sell them at a great discount.
Key stores to check: Home Depot.com, Lowe’s.com, and Best Buy.com.

Lawn Mowers

Grass stops growing in November and December, and the demand for lawnmowers plummets, leaving retailers with inventory they have to store, which obviously costs a lot of money. So retailers put them on sale, making October the prime time to score a deal on a new mower. Don’t wait until next Spring to buy, you will pay 25% to 40% more than right now.
Key stores to check: Home Depot.com, Lowe’s.com, and Ace Hardware.com.

School Supplies

If your child doesn’t have everything they need for the new school year, don’t fret as deals abound. Many retailers over-bought school supplies and now have excess inventory they need to unload, much to your wallet’s happiness.  This is also a good time to stock up for next year, or to buy cool Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers for your kids.
Key stores to check: Walmart.com, Target.com, and Office Depot.com.

Fireplace Tools

Don’t wait until your fireplace is in full roar to buy a grate, poker, or hearth decor. By that time, retailers are in the driver’s seat and you’ll end up paying full price. October is the last month to find a good deal until next spring.
Key stores to check: Plow & Hearth.com, Novica.com, and Overstock.com.

Bicycles

Pretty much without fail, new bike models are unveiled every September. With this comes crowded showrooms and warehouses, making it essentially that bike shops and sporting good retailers unload last years models. As we head into October and even into November, shops will continue to slash prices in order to move out old models. So if you need a new bike, or are considering getting one for your child this Christmas, right now is a great time to shop.
Key stores to check: Modell’s.com, Sports Authority.com, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.com.

Swim and Pool Stuff

I was walking through my local Walmart the other day and was blown away with their clearance rack. It was chalked full of swim toys and water blasters priced up to 75% off the original price. Right now is a great time to stock up for next summer.
Key stores to check: Walmart.com and Target.com.

Digital Cameras

If you are NOT particular about having only the newest and latest, then October is a great time to buy a new digital camera. The main reason is because manufacturers tend to release new models heading toward the Christmas shopping season. Retailers are quite aware of this and need to sell last years models to make room for the new. Thus, many stores are currently selling cameras at a discount.
Key stores to check: BestBuy.com, Amazon.com and J&R.com.

Air Conditioners

If you need a new air conditioner for your home, don’t wait for triple digit heat to start your shopping, you will get racked over the coals. October is an excellent time to shop as many units will be on sale in order to clear out inventory space. This is especially true at big box stores like The Home Depot and Lowe’s. I personally saw some great deals (40% Off) on A/C units last weekend. As you have seen with much of my advice, the best time to get a deal on a product is to shop when nobody else is.
Key stores to check: Home Depot.com, Lowe’s.com, and Walmart.com.

Automobile Tires

You can set your watch by when tires go on sale every year. Specifically, every October, tire retailers offer incredible incentives to drivers to buy a new a set of tires before winter driving hits. So if you are driving on balding treads, right now is a great to buy. Not only will you get a nice discount, but that first winter storm won’t be quite so slippery with a good set of tires underneath you.
Key stores to check: Sears.com, Tire Rack.com, and JCWhitney.com.

Barbecues

BBQ’s are quite large as you can imagine and take up significant room. Thus, retailers need to clear them out once grilling season has ended in September. The end result: Deals abound on new grills right now! I personally bought our Weber grill in October and saved 20% off the sticker price.
Key stores to check: Home Depot.com, Lowe’s.com, and Sears.com.

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Frugal Hack #24: Order Online, Return Item to Store, Save Serious Money

September 26, 2014 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

So this Frugal Hack comes from a new reader here at Rather-Be-Shopping.com (who also happens to be a distant relative), which is WAY cool. Long story short, she scored a pair of $85 Silver brand jeans at Macy’s for $4.99!

Shop Online

So how the heck did she do it?

She was shopping at her local Macy’s and well, why don’t I just let her explain it in her own words…

“Wanted to let you know of a great deal I scored at Macy’s this week. I got a pair of Silver brand jeans, regular retail price of $85, for $4.99! They were special priced as they were the last pair in the store (on a mannequin), and not my size.  I had a very helpful sales clerk inform me that I could order them online in my size for around $76, then come into the store and get them returned (and exchanged) for the in-store special price. They were $16.99 in-store, by the time I got them ordered and back in to return, the in-store price went down to $4.99! They even credited my shopping costs! Crazy!! Best deal I’ve ever gotten!”

Awesome. So let’s break this down a bit so you can give it a try. Here are some details to look for:

Look for Clearance Items

  • By only looking at the clearance rack you’re much more likely to find items that will fit the “buy online and return to store” criteria.
  • Look for items that are darn near out of stock which they don’t have in your size. This should not be that difficult.
  • The only way this works is if the stores website is selling the item for more than the in-store price. This actually happens all the time as brick & mortar stores are constantly slashing prices in an effort to clear out inventory to make room for new styles.

How To Return and Re-Buy

  • Once you find an item you want that is a screaming deal, just order from the website, return in-store, and re-buy at the lower in-store price.
  • If the store you are shopping at has a smartphone app, and most big department stores do, make sure you download it and have it available when shopping in-store. You’ll be able to quickly see what the stores website is selling the item for and find some great deal opportunities.
  • Here is a list of popular store apps to help facilitate this frugal hack:

Being Friendly Goes a LONG Way

  • Because this hack requires you knowing if the store will let you return items in-store that were bought from their website, start up a friendly conversation with an employee and ask if this is an option. By being upfront with what you’re trying to accomplish it will take the stigma out of it. After-all, it is nothing more than smart shopping.

In Conclusion…

While this hack is not something you can take advantage of during every shopping trip, it certainly is something to be aware of, especially during the upcoming holiday shopping season when in-store and online pricing can very wildly.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever tried buying online and returning the item to the store in order to score a deal? Let me know how it worked out.


By Kyle James

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Shop Risk Free: 28 Online Retailers Offering Free Shipping and Returns

September 23, 2014 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

Have you ever been shopping online and thought to yourself how cool it would be to get those shoes, jeans, blender, (or whatever it might be) sent to your home for free so you could try them on and check them out in person? Then if they didn’t fit, or you didn’t like it for whatever reason, you could return them for free? How cool would that be. Well, today I’m here to tell [...] Continue Reading…

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Looking for Work? Know These 60+ Employee Discounts

September 17, 2014 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

Are you looking for work? Maybe a part-time job while you go to school, or perhaps something seasonal for the holiday shopping season. Part of your decision on where to apply could very well hinge on what kind of employee discount the retailer hands out. After all, if you like the store enough to regularly buy stuff from them, you stand a good chance of actually enjoying working there. I was pretty darn impressed [...] Continue Reading…

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Frugal Hack #23: 5 Ways to Get the iPhone 6 For Next to Nothing

September 12, 2014 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under

There is no doubt that the Apple iPhone 6 looks like a pretty amazing smartphone, especially the 6 Plus. Some pretty cool features for sure, especially the big ol’ screen and Apple Pay. Although, I have some news for you Apple loyalists, my new Android MotoX has had that feature for quite some time, it’s called Google Wallet and it’s pretty darn cool.

But anyways, if you consider yourself an early tech adopter, and plan to get [...] Continue Reading…

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Last December, I was quoted in an article in The New York Times talking about how consumers can negotiate the price at major retailers. No longer is this a practice left for garage sales, car lots, and local “Ma and Pa” shops. If you are a bit nervous about being turned down or looking like a cheap fool, don’t be, as the act of negotiating a better price is becoming much more mainstream as [...] Continue Reading…

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The Master List: Good and Bad Buys in September

August 27, 2014 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

As we enter early September, it’s a great time to make certain purchases. After all, one of the best ways to save money is to time the market on certain items so you remain in the driver’s seat in terms of negotiating power. It is with this in mind that I present the best and worst items to purchase in September.

The Good Buys in September:
Holiday Airfare
~ Will you be traveling home for Thanksgiving or [...] Continue Reading…

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10 Things More Expensive This Fall & Tips to Fight Back

August 20, 2014 by Kyle No comments   •   Filed Under ,

I recently read an article on CBS MoneyWatch talking about 10 things that are going to be more expensive this fall. Fairly interesting stuff for a dude like me who always tries to predict rising costs and figure out ways to divert said costs. What I found most interesting is the author had no problem spouting rising costs on certain items with absolutely no advice or tips on how to avoid them. Fairly typical I [...] Continue Reading…

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11 Brick & Mortar Stores That ACTUALLY Accept PayPal

August 18, 2014 by Kyle 2 comments   •   Filed Under

I started researching this article by reading stuff that talked about over 20 brick & mortar retailers that accepted PayPal on in-store purchases. I was like “Wow, that is cool! I had no idea so many stores did that.” Then I started digging a bit further. Made a bunch of phone calls and talked to a bunch of store reps. Turns out very few brick & mortar stores currently accept PayPal. So it’s actually [...] Continue Reading…

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4 Killer Ways to Consistently Beat (or Tie) Amazon.com Pricing

August 13, 2014 by Kyle 1 comment   •   Filed Under ,

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon.com and am a fairly loyal shopper. They have an amazing selection of products and their pricing is very competitive. But I am here to tell you that paying for Amazon Prime and doing all your shopping with them is not always going to net you the best deal. As a matter of fact, today I have four ways you can actually beat (or tie) Amazon pricing [...] Continue Reading…

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