sales slump…

Have you ever walked into a store and been so overwhelmed by their sales area that you just decide to buy something full price? It seems ridiculous, but even I, a self-proclaimed bargain junkie, get extremely frustrated many times by the chaotic, overstuffed sales racks. I very often choose not to elbow my way around the hordes of other shoppers in order to paw through a tangled mess of clothes. They all hang so precariously from their hangers, having suffered the wrath of the frantic hands grabbing at them in desperation, hoping to snag the good deal before the next person. Instead, I’ll head over to the very pretty, very calm, very organized, and very much normally priced section of goods. No, I’m not scoring any deals, but at least I won’t risk the chance of getting a punch shot to the ol’ baby maker by Crazy McShops-a-lot. It’s rather unfortunate, really, this lack of initiative to bargain hunt. I feel as if it stems from a few different factors, one being time. I’m a busy woman, and lately, my time has become very precious to me. I don’t have those weekends anymore where I can just spend 4 or 5 hours at the mall, lackadaisically perusing shop windows, rifling through sales bins, and trying on dozens of dresses. Now, my time is normally limited to an hour or less, which means picking out clothes, trying them on, and making a purchase all needs to happen in an orderly, military-esque fashion. This isn’t my shopping preference, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, amIright?

Another factor is the overwhelming sense I mentioned before. Sales racks are sometimes so stuffed that it’s almost impossible to really see what is even on display. Shirts are squished between pants, sizes are completely out-of-order, and hangers have been linked together in a twisted jumble of plastic. Finding that one great piece (you know, the top that accents every good quality you have, brings out your eyes, and lands you a date on Friday night?) stuffed in the jumble is like trying to make a denim stretch jumpsuit not look trashy. Ain’t gonna happen, people. Stores like Forever 21 and Kohls display massive sections for sales items, making the bargain shopping difficult with the sheer volume of items. Anthropologie usually sends their clearance cutthroats to a separate room in the back of their store. It’s a good concept, having the sales items all located in a very easy to find area, but the size of the rooms are usually small, thus creating that mob-like intensity thanks to the lack of breathing space. Higher end department stores, like Dillards and Nordstroms are able to spread their sales out, adding clearance items gradually so as not to overwhelm shoppers with one massive bargain blowout. You know the saying, “You can’t have too much of a good thing?” Well, in this case, in my opinion, you can!  

So how do you navigate the sales section? Well, like any shopping experience, it helps to know what you want before you go. I’m not always the best at following that advice, as I tend to just go on a whim and pick out whatever catches my eye. However, if you really want to decrease the frustration levels when browsing the clearance items, it’s best to single out a type of clothing, thus making it easier to sort through clothing. Only looking for skirts? Well, then you’ll probably want to bypass that rack full of blouses. Otherwise, what was supposed to be an hour-long shopping excursion has turned into a full day event.

Also, you should know WHERE to go before you go. If you don’t even know where the sales are at, this shopping trip has already started off on the wrong foot. Browse the web, scan the paper, or sort through your coupons before you leave the house. This makes it easy to just hit the stores you will actually score deals at. Yeah, 25% off is a good deal, but if another store is hosting a 60% off blowout, well, I’d rather be there!

Finally, shop during the slow hours. Since the clearance racks are already overwhelming, why add to that by battling with the lunch crowd or weekend warriors? If you can, hit up a mall after work, later in the day, or, if you don’t work during the morning, go right when the store opens. You are guaranteed to have the freshest assortment then…and who knows, maybe you’ll finally snag that “land me a date on Friday” sweater? Maybe even the man to go with it? 😉

Have any other pearls of wisdom for sale shopping? Do share!

hearts and stress-free hugs,




  1. I can totally relate. I love my sales and coupons, but there are some stores, or just occassional moods, when I am in no mood to browse through racks and seeing them just gives me a panic attack (i.e. At Forever 21 on a Saturday or Marshalls sale racks or Express box sales). Best shopping trips are when I sneak out during my lunch break. Stores are nice and empty, and great shopping gets done fast.

  2. Speaking of Forever 21, I just found out they have a maternity line. SHOPPING!!

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