6 Retailers Where You Should Never Pay Full Price

Banana Republic store, New York, USA
Back in January, I noticed that Banana Republic was absolutely flooding my inbox with promotional emails.

That, in itself, is not unusual. Email is a low-investment, high-return form of marketing, so if you're on a retailer's mailing list, you're going to get a lot of promotions. But what struck me was that virtually every email was advertising a big sale. Sure, you had the occasional "check out our spring collection" email, but the vast majority were offering in-store and online sales that discounted all or most items. And these were big discounts: For a good two-week period, the chain offered a 30 percent or 40 percent off sale every single day.

The flood of deals has slowed a bit since then, but I'm still seeing very frequent emails from the retailer offering similar discounts. So now I have a rule: If I want to buy something at Banana Republic, I will always wait for a sale. After all, a big discount is probably just a few days away, so why would I ever pay full price?

Banana Republic (GPS) is hardly the only retailer where this is the case. We asked Dealnews to dig through its deal data from the last few months to find out which retailers tend to have sales and big coupons most often. For the purposes of this experiment, we decided to narrow our focus to 'universal' sales and coupons -- those where most or all items in the store are discounted by a fixed amount. Sales which are restricted to one department of the store, or which are vague in how much you're saving ("up to 40 percent") are not included. The idea is that if you've got your eye on a particular item at the store, you have a pretty good chance of seeing it get marked down in the immediate future.

Based on this research, we've determined that the following six retailers (presented in no particular order) have sales frequently enough that you should almost always avoid paying the sticker price there.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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Welcome to the Supermarket Game. Mr. Brownell neglected to offer any suggestions on how to save at the supermarket. After all, we spend more money on food than all the other items, combined.

First part of the game is removing impulse buying. Don\'t buy items that are not in season and stock up on those items you frequently use even though they might take up room in your cupboard.

There are items that are always on sale. These include ice cream, coffee, orange juice, ground beef, chicken, sour cream, frozen luncheons, toilet paper, paper towels, and don\'t forget the rack of day old bread and sweet goods.

Once a manufacturer offers a two for one sale or a huge discount, he is locked in forever. You just have to be patient and buy the next go around even if it is not on your list. Brands do not matter when huge savings are to be had. When there is a one time sale on an item you want, buy a lot. Recently, I stocked up on Jif peanut butter at about $1.50 per jar.

Lastly, if you have a produce store near you, you can save 50% versus supermarket prices. Fresh, ripe tomatoes are selling for 99 cents a pound. New crop apples also for 99 cents a pound. All summer, watermelon was $3.89 for the whole watermelon.

I do have an advantage in that I shop often as my supermarket is two blocks from my house and that means I can peruse the store several times a week. The biggest problem I have is with fish as almost all of it is previously frozen and farm raised. I think seaweed would taste better.

September 16 2013 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

buy @ goodwill or salvation army save big.

September 16 2013 at 5:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary's Screen

Mr. Brownell, the omission of Kohl\'s from your list blew your credibility out of the water.

September 16 2013 at 12:31 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Sure, it\'s nice to save at a department store, but you get a bigger bang for your buck at outlets. I have young children, so my favorite outlet stores are OshKosh and Carter\'s. They carry the same clothes that you\'d find in department stores, not stuff from the year before. It\'s at least 30% less than the department stores from the get-go, and within a month or two it can be reduced by 50-75%. That\'s already some serious savings, considering that a kid\'s sweater normally would cost at least $35, but if you get onto their email list you can save even more. They regularly mail me 20-25% off coupons, and they also have punch cards which give you an extra $10 when they\'re full. Shop there on a Tuesday and they\'ll double the punches. You see why I like shopping there. Why spend $100 if you could only spend $25?

September 16 2013 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bells is great can always find what I want.

September 15 2013 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don\'t forbet Bedbugs & Beyond and their perpetual 20% off coupon that you get in the mail every month.

September 15 2013 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nordstrom ain't cheap but when on sale they are the best value!

September 15 2013 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, we know, even \'FABULOUS DESIGNER LABELS\', and I will give none of them a free ad, use slave labor seamstresses and seamestress guys, in banana republic Latino countries, bangladesh, pakistan, toothe decay West Virginia and appalachia/ white trash.com, Africa next, India\'s kinda already done, etc. You should be aware that the \'organizational/ managerial guys and gals make all the money, and the crumbs usually go to who actually made the stuff. Very sad.

September 15 2013 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I recently shopped at Ashley Furniture and they were bargaining as though it was a Middle East market place. I was ver y happy with the prices I finally agreed to.

September 15 2013 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's no deal if they mark their stuff up and then mark it down..and that happens too frequently!

September 15 2013 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply