Finding savings during a deal drought

It seems like a deal drought with no major three-day shopping holiday weekends from now until Memorial Day in May but the savings have not dried up.

SAN ANTONIO — It can feel like a spring deal desert, but there are still big bargains. Plenty of clearance sales are going on, but they may not be advertised.

“If you have a favorite retailer, sign up for emails, especially now, because they will let you know when they’re having a sale,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with Dealnews.com.

Track prices with Google shopping if you are looking to buy something specific.

“Then you’ll know when it drops in price and you can jump on it before it has a chance to sell out or it goes back to the normal price,” Ramhold said.

Look at buying open-box items. They are often returns. They will sell for a deep discount.

“They’ll tell you this may have some minor cosmetic imperfections in an area that you can’t see, for instance,” Ramhold said. “Basically, it’s not perfect or it may be gently used, but it’s still perfectly fine and you get it for a decent discount.”

Put items into your digital shopping cart and then leave the website.

“You may actually get an email reminder that says, ‘hey, you left items in your cart. If you come back now you can save 10%, 15%,’” Ramhold said.

Also, try clearing your browser data.

“If you have a store that you visit often online, then you may be seeing prices that seem higher than what you would expect due to something called dynamic pricing,” Ramhold said. “Some stores will use this. Basically, they use cookies to track people visiting and they see that they’re getting the same visitors. They think they’re loyal customers and that they can afford to show them higher prices. But, the truth is, that if you’re just visiting the site over and over because you’re thinking of something, then you may start to see that price creep up. By clearing your cookies, you can kind of get around that dynamic pricing.”

Always look for a coupon or promo code.

“Coupon sites like CouponCabin.com organize coupons by store name,” said Andrea Woroch, a smart saving expert. “You can also download their browser extension. It’s called Sidekick Tool. This will alert you when there’s a coupon available.”

Plus, use cashback sites like Rukuten or Coupon Cabin to earn money on purchases.

“You’re looking at cashback for not only regular department stores but clothing retailers, grocery sites, take-out orders, even travel bookings,” Woroch said.

It might just take a look more searching to find savings.

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