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  • Writer's pictureLisa Lee Freeman

Where to hunt for the best bargains

You can find tons of great deals online and on your mobile phone. Sites like Amazon and Jet, Blinq and Secondipity (for refurbs), and Hollar (it's like a dollar-store on steroids), and apps like Wish are filled with eye-popping bargains. But I've found my favorite bargains at walk-in stores. I admit, the treasure-hunt experience makes those finds particularly satisfying, but the best prices on the best stuff have always been on clearance racks and at outlets.

This week, I was up in Maine visiting the Kittery Trading Post (definitely worth the trip!) and I ended up with a full basket of shirts, jackets, and shoes (don’t tell my hubby!). End-of-season clearance items were the best deals. But my favorite purchase was a pair of super-comfy shoes that were not even marked down. They’re the summer sandals pictured, and they were priced at $10-$20 less than I could find them anywhere online. The Kittery Trading Post’s website doesn't even carry the brand.

What’s the deal with that? Many stores don’t put the best bargains online because some manufacturers won’t sell to them if they discount too deeply—or at all—depending on the brand. Even TJ Maxx and Marshalls refrain from posting all of their deals online. My mom worked at a jewelry store for many years and it often sold high-end watches at a deep discount (especially if you asked!) but never advertised those rock-bottom prices online or anywhere else. So enjoy shopping the outlets, discount stores, department-store clearance racks, and boutiques, too—and while you’re out and about this summer don’t forget to do a little comparison pricing online. Just a quick Google search will do. I guarantee you’ll be amazed at the bargains you’ll find!

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