“Coupon Stacking: The fine art of paying wholesale prices for retail goods”
National retailers are on the ropes: Sears, Macy’s Herberger’s, Dillard’s, JC Penny’s; the shopping icons of the 20th century are in peril. Each year, more and more brands are announcing store closures, layoffs and bankruptcies as shoppers turn to online outlets who are offering bare bones pricing and home delivery to a cash strapped consumer.
The 20th century retailing magnates are desperately trying to find a profitable formula for keeping their brands afloat and in desperation are turning to dramatic sales, couponing and incentivized shopping to lure their few remaining customers back into the respective stores.
Retailers are panicking. They must generate sales. And, in their desperation any sales will do. In this atmosphere of fear, we the Average Joes, can step in and seriously, and I mean seriously profit from the brand stores misfortune.
If you look at the attached photo, I went on a shopping trip with some friends and we saved $989.71. Yes, you read that right, we saved almost a cool $1,000.00.
How did we do this? We can do this by coupon stacking. Coupon stacking is the art of using multiple coupons, sales, and other brand incentives to purchase something for as close to wholesale prices as possible. And, sometimes in those very rare occasions, for less than wholesale!
But don’t be sad. We are doing the stores a HUGE favor, while at the same time, we are scoring something great for ourselves. Let’s look at several coupon stacking tips:
Get the Coupons! Sunday papers, mail outs, email, store flyers. You have to find the coupons first and save them. These are going to be your magic ticket. Nothing complex about this. You just have to do it. Collect them, trade them like playing cards with your friends, but just get them!
Strategize! My friends wanted to target one store. To them shopping is a military exercise and they did not want to waste time browsing a dozen stores. No, they wanted to buy at one store. They knew what they were looking for. And, they saw their target; a store that was offering an in store discount that was not advertised in the media. This store was desperate!
Load up! The more you buy, the more the store is willing to work with you. My friends loaded up on items they wanted. Again, by shopping at one store and not a dozen stores, they concentrated their buying efforts and when the manager and sales staff saw the growing pile of merchandise that we wanted, they understood they had to make this sales happen.
Negotiate! So, often we accept the first offer that comes along. In the shopping world, that would be the retail price. We made friends with the sales lady and as we worked through our 4 hour shopping endeavor, we began asking if we could get any additional pricing breaks on top of the coupons. The sales lady checked with her store manager and the store manager relented and offered an extra percentage off the sales prices, after the in store pricing, and after the coupons were added in.
Join the club! Every store is offering a rewards program, store branded credit card and/or shoppers club in order to inundate you and groom you to be one of their special customers. Take advantage of this!
Let them email you with coupons, let them treat you special and grab those extra sales in the process. In this shopping spree, the store offered a significant savings if you signed up to become of their loyalty members on the spot. A little personal information and then Boom! We got an extra savings right then and there on top of the other discounts.
Rack-em Up! The total retail sales price for our four hour shopping extravaganza was $1,266.85. But, once we added in the coupons, the markdowns, the extra discounts, and the new member discount, a WHOPPING $989.71 came off the top of the bill. The total bill, was now a manageable $277.14. A savings of 78.12%!
There is nothing here any Average Joe could not do. And now informed and more knowledgeable, you too can do this! Now, go out and celebrate, and become an Average Joe shopping phenomenon! And, share with the Average Joes your stories of your shopping prowess.
For some additional reading, you can see my recent article on the Average Joe’s saving Sears.