Wednesday, April 9, 2008


When CHEAPIOSITY goes shopping in a store, first thing we do is look at the SALES racks. There’s simply no good reason to pay full price unless you plan on leaving the price tag attached to impress shallow, stupid people. There are sales, and then there are SALES. Some annual (or semi-annual) sales are so popular -- and the payoff is so huge -- that consumers wait all year long to snap up their favorite brands and coveted products on the cheap..

· Filene's Basement

Sale: 'Running of the Brides'
Location: Flagship is in Boston, Mass.
(Also in New York, Georgia, Virginia, and Ohio)

When: Varies per location, typically in February or March.

Why It's Worth the Wait:
First held in 1947, The Basement's Bridal Gown sale has become a tradition among brides-to-be who mob the store in search of designer wedding gowns at ridiculous prices. Dresses worth thousands can be had for as little as $249.

· Victoria's Secret

Sale: Semi-annual sale

When: Each year in January and May

Why It's Worth the Wait:
The store brings out its signature pink bins and fills them with items up to 70% off. Keep in mind that the sale can start online almost a full month before hitting the bricks & mortar stores.

· Nordstrom's

Sale: Annual anniversary sale

When: Last two weeks of July

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Savings up to 40% draw hordes of bargain-loving summer shoppers. The sale also extends to its online catalog, Even greater deals are available on leftovers at Nordstrom's Rack Stores, where unloved goods go for a song.


Sale: Annual sale

When: Late July to early August

Why It's Worth the Wait:
The prices are pretty reasonable on most things, and discounts can occasionally be found in the room where returned goods are kept (though they are sometimes damaged) year-round. But anyone looking for serious bargains has to wait for the once a year sale in late July to early August when stores knock 20 to 60% off selected merchandise.

· Williams-Sonoma

Sale: Semi-annual blowout sale

When: January and June

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Twice a year, the high-end purveyor of quality cookware slashes its prices on selected items by 50% -- even 75% -- off, making sometimes unaffordable items way more affordable.

· Hammacher Schlemmer

Sale: "Rather Famous" annual sale

When: Oddly, this "annual" sale is held several times a year

Why It's Worth the Wait:
The oldest continuously-published catalog in the U.S. offers many of its unique items for up to 65% off. If you were hoping for a water-repellent goat suede blazer or an Italian Merino ruffled cape, these sales may be your chance to snap up some pretty unusual stuff.

· Garnet Hill

Sale: Post-Holiday sale

When: January

Why It's Worth the Wait:
This catalog merchant holds a great post-holiday sale and carries a wide line of impressive goods. It offers women's and children's clothing and household items from linens to furniture. During the sale, a wide selection of its products are available at savings ranging up to 75% off. Garnet Hill offers e-mail sale alerts to clue you in to upcoming bargain opportunities.

· Hot Topic

Sale: Half-off clearance items

When: Usually in early spring and late summer

Why It's Worth the Wait:
A couple of times a year, Hot Topic puts all of its clearance items on a half-price sale. Unfortunately, these sales are usually not announced until the absolute last minute; in fact, even the store employees aren't told about them until the day before the sale begins.

· Brooks Brothers

Sale: Preferred Customer sale

When: January and June

Why It's Worth the Wait
The suits normally cost a minor royalty's ransom -- the Golden Fleece two-button pinstripe, for example, retails for $1,600. However, the company's semi-annual sales knocks 25% off much of its stock. If you open a Brooks Brothers credit account at that time, you can bump this discount up to 33%.

· Menards

Sale: Fit-in-a-bag sale

When: Possibly August

Why It's Worth the Wait:
In this promotion, Menards sends full-sized grocery bags out with a sales flyer. Shoppers can fill the bags with whatever they wish (subject to some restrictions), and items in the bag are then discounted by a percentage (which varies from sale to sale, but last August's was 15%) off the normal price of the items in the bag. A Menards spokesman declined to confirm the sale.

· Henri Bendel

Sale: Semi-annual sale

When: January and late August

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Twice a year, even the grand dame of New York elegance marks down goods in order to clear the way for the latest runway hits. In late August and January, savvy shoppers from all over the country find their way to the mansions to score clothes, accessories and some cosmetics to carry home in Bendel's trademark white and brown striped bag.

· Manolo Blahnik

Sale: Sample shoe sale

When: Possibly in May and November

Why It's Worth the Wait:
If you want to get $500 shoes, for say, $100, you'll have to keep on your toes. The sale is never announced until just a few days before the event. Usually, they are on any given day in May and November, but in 2004, they had a sale in the month of February; earlier this year, they had one in January.

· Vera Wang

Sale: Sample/clearance sale

When: Late November

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Wang's fashions can be also be found in Saks, Neiman-Marcus and Marshall Fields, but only in NYC does this killer deal take place. Past sales have found shoppers fighting over gowns and using aisles as dressing rooms to score 75% off of Wang's dresses that cost up to $10,000.

· Lincoln Highway
Multi-State Yard Sale

Sale: BUY-WAY Yard Sale

When: August 7-9, 2008

Why It's Worth the Wait:
If you want to find your bargains in a more interesting al fresco manner, check out the longest yard sale in America. It stretches out from West Virginia to Illinois along the Lincoln Highway (old U.S. 30 in most places).

. Bath and BodyWorks

When: June 1-15

Why It's Worth the Wait:
Items up to 50% off (and sometimes more). Check website for details:

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