Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shop at the beginning or end of the sales cycle?

When is the best time to shop: at the beginning of a store's sales cycle, or at the end?

This week, I shopped at Publix twice: once at the end of last week's sales cycle, and once at the beginning of this week's. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Shopping at the beginning of the sales cycle advantages:

  • The store will most likely have the items in stock.
  • Coupons nearing their end date can be used.  These coupons might expire before the end of the sales week.
  • If something happens and you can't shop that day, you can still get the deals later on in the week.
  • Bloggers can post about their deals to show others how to save money that week.
  • You can start enjoying the food products sooner!
 Shopping at the beginning of the sales cycle disadvantages:
  • The store might not yet have the proper signage to show you which products are on sale.  Usually a quick check of the sales flyer will help you figure out whether there's a sale or not.  Worst case scenario, you might need to bring products up to the customer service counter to have them scanned to see if the sales price comes up on the register.
  • Coupons may become available during the sales week that are better than the ones currently available for a particular deal.
  • You won't be able to take advantage of unadvertised deals that other bloggers and shoppers discover.
  • You can start enjoying the food products sooner, run out, and then be tempted to buy more before the sale ends.
Shopping at the end of the sales cycle advantages:
  • The product might be out of stock.  What, that's an advantage?  Yes, if you get a raincheck for the item, you will be able to buy it in a future week at the sales price.  That can be good if you've already spent a lot of money this week.  Or you might be able to find better coupons. Of course, you need to remember to use your raincheck in the allotted time.
  • Better coupons (in the Sunday paper or online) might become available.
  • You can check for unadvertised deals.
  • You can check online to see what deals other people have gotten, to help you make your own plans.
  • You won't buy sweets or other tempting items right away.
 Shopping at the end of the sales cycle disadvantages:
  • The product might be out of stock, and you wanted to get it that day.
  • The signage may already be down in preparation for next week's deals.  (Shopping in the middle of the week is best for signage.)
  • Coupons that you might have wanted to use could expire.
  • If you can't make it to the store that day, you're out of luck.
  • You won't have that yummy food until later!
Ultimately, shop when it's best for you, but keep these advantages and disadvantages in mind!

For more frugal tips, please check out the bloggers listed on the left sidebar under Frugal Tips Linkups. There are lots of great ideas on each blog and I'm sure you'll find lots of wonderful tips!

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jennielee226 December 13, 2011 at 9:52 AM  

I prefer to shop at the beginning of a sales cycle for two reasons. First is because I have had coupons that would have made free products with the sale price but the store canceled the sale after the second day (Weis, puff Tissues) because they were loosing to much stock.
Second I have had coupons expire before I could use rain checks.

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