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The mall gets a bad rap for being expensive, especially when compared to online shopping avenues. Is this really true, however?
Not necessarily, because malls still need to attract customers, and they do so by being competitive with their brick-and-mortar and even online counterparts.
What are some ways you can make mall shopping more affordable? Here are various tricks that could result in significant savings:
1. Browse your local Sunday newspaper.
As “old fashioned” as it may seem, scanning your Sunday paper can still result in some very nice savings.
Department stores continue to use Sunday newspapers as one of their most prominent advertising options. You can clip some coupons in them that could reduce the size of your receipts.
2. Keep store coupons in your car.
Whether the coupons come from the Sunday paper or were printed online, always keep them in your car. That way, once you arrive at the mall, you still have those savings with you.
3. Get friendly with store associates.
You can get valuable insider information on discounts from the people who work in the stores.
Exchange numbers with an associate and tell them to call you when a specific item gets marked down. They may even hold it for you if it’s quite popular and has a high risk of flying off the shelves during a sale.
Most stores don’t randomly launch sales or discounts. Instead, they have a set schedule they go by.
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Ask an associate what that schedule is like, and you can always know the best times to shop for the biggest discounts.
4. Join mailing lists.
If you’re not too keen on chasing deals, you can have them chase you by signing up for a store’s mailing list.
This is often as simple as giving them your email address via their website. In exchange, they’ll send you coupons and information on sales when they become available.
5. Ask for coupons when checking out.
It never hurts to ask the cashier if they have any extra coupons or discounts that can be applied to your purchase.
6. Be aware of price protection.
Prices increase and decrease often. If you purchase a product and its price drops within a specified period, you could get a refund of the difference.
Read your receipts or ask an associate about their price protection policies, as it can ensure you always pay the lowest possible price.
7. Get discounts on damaged merchandise.
Sometimes a tiny bit of damage can lead to huge savings on a product. As long as the damage can be fixed, you may want to ask the store manager if they can sell it to you for a lower price.
Just like with coupons and the cashier when checking out, it never hurts to ask.
8. Use an app.
A host of apps now exist that can help you find the lowest prices for products in real-time. By installing one on your smartphone, you can see which stores deserve your deal-seeking attention that day.
One example of a shopping app that is useful in malls is Shopkick.