Before you roll your eyes, believe the unbelievable.
Though, it isn’t common to find new shoes for 50¢, it is possible to find great deals on shoes, or any item, if you look close enough. Being a self proclaimed shoe-a-holic, I try to keep up-to-date on all of the shoe trends seen in magazines, but with a catch—I’m also a self-proclaimed bargain hunter. There’s a strange pleasure in finding a replica of a shoe from a magazine for a fraction of the price; even better when you find the actual brand for a steal. Like this one I came across on Steal the Look (For Le$$):
In the past, I’ve believed shopping in person was the best way to go. I would make notes of the brand and style name of shoes I like, and then I would search for lower prices online. This took the guess work out of finding the right size, and making sure it was exactly what I wanted. I found success in this method by searching on sites like endless.com and zappos.com. I then began to wonder if I could eliminate a step and save some time in the process.
Fortunately, I live in a town that has an outlet mall filled with discounted shoe stores. For those less fortunate, more common discount shoe warehouses like DSW and Off Broadway are usually an option. Both use a similar method for keeping costs down. Instead of having to request shoe sizes from a salesperson waiting on you, these stores use a self-serve method. What you see is what you get. There’s no waiting around only to find out that your size is out of stock.
While the prices in the main area are already discounted, the big deals happen towards the back or side of the store. To search the clearance aisles, you need a good eye. It’s best to know what you are looking for or you risk overbuying. There’s no savings in buying what you don’t need.
For my experience, I needed a pair of dress sandals; something comfortable with enough style that it didn’t look like I was wearing any old casual flip flop. As I scoured the racks I came across a pair that caught my eye. They weren’t a name that I had heard of before, but they fit perfectly. Their price tag read $19.99.
They also had a sticker that represented a 60% off discount. That brought the shoes to $8.00. Upon entering the store, I was given a coupon that earned me an extra 10% off all clearance shoes. Now my bargain was $7.20. Stores like Off Broadway, where I was shopping that day, offer incentives for their customers to return in the form of coupons for 10% of your current purchase towards a future purchase. As I dug through my wallet I found an old gift card that still had a balance of $6.73.
After all my coupons, and adding tax, my new sandals came to 50¢.
|60% off discount sticker||-$11.99 ($8.00)|
|Extra 10% off||-$.80 ($7.20)|
|Gift Card||-$6.73 ($.47)|
Though my savings took effort to scour the clearance racks, I was able to find a very worthwhile deal. My experience may not have been typical, but it does prove that finding deals is possible. If a store offers a free discount club, sign up. If your favorite stores give coupons with each purchase towards a future purchase, save them. If you’re lucky enough to find a pair of new shoes for 50¢, buy them.
This is a guest post from Anessa Gross, a Certified Personal Finance Counselor who works for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Their non-profit agency helps families through financial crisis using credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education.