Pretty reader Suzanne writes:
I just met up with some ladies last night who are new to the coupon game. One of them is sending her son north for college in the fall and is fretting the cost of buying him winter gear. I explained that now is the time to buy since itâ€™s all being clearanced out. But it seems like most of the deals have passed already! Do you know of any place she can get a decent quality coat, etc. for her son on a budget!
Suzanne makes a great point, which is that it often seems like the stores’ seasonal cycle is so far off reality that even when you think you’re thinking ahead, you may have already missed this season’s clearance. But! I think she can help her friend find something, even still. Let’s talk about some general philosophy, first.
In general, if you have the time and the patience to shop for this sort of thing in store, I think you will often find better deals that way. The last coat gets marked way down; the last rack of outerwear is sometimes given an additional discount one day to clear it out because the manager needs the space. That’s the sort of stuff you won’t find online, but then again, it’s very hit or miss in terms of sizes and colors. I don’t generally have this kind of patience, my hat is off to those who do.
The corollary to that is that if you don’t mind buying second-hand, the very best time to go thrifting for winterwear is right after it starts warming up again. People will do their spring cleaning and your local Goodwills and Salvation Army stores and such will fill up with parkas that people realized had never been worn or they didn’t need. Again, this isn’t for everyone, but if you’re willing to go that route, you actually have a couple of months before it’s peak season for that.
As for online shopping, there are still plenty of options. Today (January 26th) is the last day to use coupon code SAVE40 with PIN 2415 at Lands’ End to take 40% off any one item, which means it’s a darn good deal on regular-price items and a crazy insane deal on anything you might find in the Overstocks. And if you miss this coupon, they’ve had lots of coupons lately, so another one will likely come along.
I’m seeing plenty of discounted outerwear at both Macy’s and Dillard’s, and with the latter there’s extra discounts happening on clearance either starting today, if you have a Dillard’s card, or starting tomorrow.
Another favorite place for quality outerwear (all year long, really) is Sierra Trading Post, and right now they’ve got two coupons on top of their slashed prices: Either use code ALVJAN1 for 20% off any order, or code ALJAN1 for 25% off your $150+ order.
Overstock.com is having a winter clearance event, too, and I see plenty of outerwear options still in stock.
Tell your friend not to worry, is my point. There are still plenty of places to scope out the winter clearance!