Entries in Bargains (10)


Best Memorial Day Weekend Sales

Anderson Ross/Brand X Pictures(NEW YORK) -- If you are on the hunt for the best Memorial Day weekend shopping deals, you might want to start sooner rather than later, said Tamra Feldman, vice president of marketing for the personalized shopping deals site, Shop It To Me.

After analyzing over 693,000 online deals through 2011 and over 8,000 from Memorial Day weekend last year, Shop It To Me, which provides users with personalized updates of items in their sizes with their preferred brands, found that the best markdowns come Friday and Saturday. The discounts then tapered off on Sunday and Monday.

"The good stuff is going to go quickly," Feldman said, adding that the sale items are mostly summer wear and products.

Because some sales began this year as early as Wednesday, the best deals may be flying off shelves earlier than expected, Feldman said.

For those who prefer to honor the nation's veterans this holiday weekend away from shopping crowds, many online retailers offer free shipping and returns, such as Nordstrom, Zappos and Piperlime.

Here are some of the best shopping deals pulled together from Shop It To Me and ABC News:

Ann Taylor:  Shoppers get an extra 40 percent off women's clothing styles during Ann Taylor's Summer Kick-off Sale. Ends Monday.

Black  In time for wedding season, online custom suit tailor, Black Lapel, offers men's wear with free shipping and a "Flawless Fit Promise." Black Lapel's custom-tailored Solid Navy suit, at $449, is sold at less than half the price of Brooks Brothers' off-the-rack 1818 Madison line which starts at $998. Both are made of the same 100 percent wool fabric.

Bloomingdale's:  Take an extra 20 percent off select sale and clearance items with code SALE20 online at department store Bloomingdale's Big Brown Bag Sale. Exclusions apply, see site for details. Ends Monday.

Club Monaco:  Free shipping over $175 on all online orders for men and women. Ends Tuesday.  Deals site features Memorial Day weekend deals, including $59 for four pounds of large shrimp, including taxes and shipping from Nature's Prime Organics, normally $145. The site also features a $25 deal for two AMC movie tickets plus a $50 gift card, a $50 value.

Endless by Amazon:  Get up to 50 percent off select styles, including Frye, Sperry Top-Sider, Seychelles and other brands at Endless, Amazon's independent shoes and accessories online store which launched in 2007. Ends Monday.

Gap:  Shop the Memorial Day Sale at and save up to 40 percent off select styles. Ends Monday.  Get 30 percent off and free shipping with code WEEKEND at Histoire, an online retailer of socially conscious goods, which means "story" in French. Sale items include hand-woven Linen Square Pillows for 65 percent off, an antique glass candle stick for $9.80 and a T-light holder for $6.30. Ends Tuesday.

Home Depot:  Home improvement retailer, Home Depot, launched its Memorial Day weekend sale on Thursday. Its national advertisement features sales on everything from paint ($5 off a gallon and $20 off five gallons), barbecue grills ($199 for a $399 Nexgrill gas grill), briquettes ($5.88 for Kingsford 2-pack ), drill kits ($99 Ryobi One+ Lithium-Ion) and more.

J.Crew:  Get an extra 30 percent off spring sale items with code LOVEIT at for men, women and children. Ends Monday.

LOFT (Ann Taylor):  Ann Taylor's LOFT is featuring an "Everything under the sun $29 and under" event for women. Ends Monday.

Lucky:  Lucky brand is offering an extra 30 percent off sale jeans, no code needed. Ends Monday.

Macy's:  Retailer Macy's is offering buy one get one free pillows, dresses for 25 to 50 percent off, men's suits for 50 percent off and more. Online shoppers can use MEMDAY for further discounts. Macy's Memorial Day sale kicked off Thursday and ends Monday in store and online.

Madewell:  Get an extra 20 percent off sale, plus free shipping on all orders with code WEEKENDER. Some exclusions apply. Ends Monday.

Maidenform:  Get 25 percent off site wide at the women's intimates retailer's online store. Discount applied at checkout. Ends Monday.

Nordstrom:  Nordstrom's biggest sale of the season, its Half-Yearly Sale for women and kids, is online and in stores. Ends Sunday.

Ralph Lauren:  Enjoy 25 percent off select men's & women's styles, plus free shipping with code MAYFS12. Ends Tuesday.

Rugby by Ralph Lauren:  Get 25 percent off polos, shorts and swimwear, plus an extra 25 percent off already-reduced styles, no code needed. Ends Tuesday.

Saks Fifth Avenue:  Receive $50 off your $250 sunglasses purchase with code SUN2012 (valid for all women's sunglasses). Ends Saturday.

Steve Madden: 
Spend $75 and get 20 percent off with code STOCK20. Spend $100 and get 25 percent off with code STOCK25. Ends Tuesday.

Target:  The Shops at Target includes five design partnerships for men, women and girls which launched May 6. The collections aren't having Memorial Day sales but shoppers can snag deals like on the clothing boutique collection by The Webster. Actress Jessica Alba's daughter, Honor, was spotted on Thursday wearing The Webster at Target girl's tie smocked dress in palm print which is $16.99.

  Enjoy $50 off any purchase of $250 or more with code SUMMER50. Ends Monday.

Trina Turk:  Shop the Trina Turk Memorial Day Sale and get up to 60 percent off. Ends Monday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fast Food Chains Offer Bargains for Weary Spenders

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The holiday season is over and with it goes unfettered spending by consumers.

Fast Food chains tend to be affected more than other businesses in the month of January says a report by USA Today. People who have spent their money on gifts and holiday travel, now look to curtail that spending in January by avoiding eating at fast-food restaurants and opting instead to eat at home.

As a result of a drop in customer visits, several restaurants are offering deals on their meals. Taco Bell and Wendy's are offering under a dollar deals including the 99-cent Beefy Crunch Burrito and a 99-cent Value Menu respectively. Pizza Hut, Burger King and KFC are also offering bargains.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More Shoppers Going Online for Holiday Deals

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What's your shopping strategy for the holidays?  A new survey finds more than ever consumers are likely to search daily deal websites for discounts.

Registrations for bargain sites like Groupon, Living Social and Gilt Groupe are going up, and users are beginning to branch out.

"Those same people who are most likely to be on those have memberships to four or five of them not just one," says Ray Florio, who studies shoppers' behavior at Accenture Consulting.  "They're actively looking in all these new forms of media for any discounts they can get."

And Florio says how consumers shop is also changing.

"Customers go into a store and they actually treat it more like a showroom than they are a place to buy something," he says.

Shoppers then go online and purchase the items they spotted in stores.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Savvy Shoppers Turn to Smartphones for Deals

George Frey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Call it the rise of the savvy shopper. With the approach of the holiday shopping season, consumers are using their smartphones to snag bargains.

“Consumers in general have become much more sophisticated,” says Ray Florio, who follows consumer marketing for Accenture Consulting.

“Your best price is no further than your smartphone. You can go into any store, scan a bar code and you’ll get the best price located right near you or online."

Many shoppers know about pricing strategies, says Florio.

“They understand how retailers operate now they’ve been conditioned to hunt for discounts and that behavior has taken control.”

That means less impulse buying by shoppers in a tight economy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Outlet Stores Satisfy in Bad Economy, Says 'Consumer Reports'

Martin Poole/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- Cautious consumers are finding buying opportunities at outlet stores. In a recent survey by Consumer Reports, outlet stores received high marks from shoppers searching for deals in a sluggish economy.

For the report, more than 17,000 readers answered a survey about shopping habits at 58 large outlets.  The report looked at consumer reactions to stores based on value, quality, selection and service, and found a sector riddled with both praise and criticism.

According to the survey, 60 percent of outlet shoppers were completely satisfied or very satisfied by their experiences at outlet stores.

The number-one complaint about outlets? Higher-than-expected price tags.

“When you factor in sales and discounts at regular stores, the average savings at outlets is 38 percent,” Linda Humphers, editor at Value Retails News, told Consumer Reports.

When it came to quality, outlet stores fared much better. Three quarters described the merchandise at the discount entities as “excellent or very good,” according to the survey. In fact, the same percentage found the merchandise at outlet stores and regular stores to be comparable in quality.

“A consumer’s experience may depend on how hard they are on clothes, how finicky they are about styling, or how happy they are saving money. Our shoppers saved up to 61 percent on outlet items,” Tod Marks of Consumer Reports said in a statement.

Here’s a look at the ratings for outlets:

Top  Performers:

  • Jockey
  • Carter’s
  • Harry & David
  • Corningware
  • Izod
  • Van Heusen
  • Coach

Stores Cited By Consumers for Inferior Goods

  • Banana Republic
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Gap
  • J. Crew
  • Pottery Barn

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Travel Bargain: Repositioning Cruises Offer Great Deals

Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Could you use a little pampering at sea?

Every fall and every spring, the major cruise lines move their ships around the globe like chess pieces, repositioning them to take advantage of the changing seasons. Starting in September, when travelers' fancies turn to warmer climes, ships begin to migrate from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, from Alaska to Mexico or to the South Pacific. The reverse occurs in spring.

These voyages, says Robert Sharak, executive vice president of marketing for the Cruise Lines International Association, tend to be both longer and significantly cheaper than a standard cruise.

A 16-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona, Spain, to Galveston, Texas, onboard Carnival Cruises' newest ship, the Magic, costs $864. Ports of call include Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, Spain; Las Palmas, Canary Islands; and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos.

Why so cheap? The trips occur off-season, says travel expert Aaron Saunders, who writes about cruising at "How do you fill a ship in late September or mid-October?" he asks. "You price it so that people can't say no."

Because the cruise lines are shifting their fleets, passengers also have the opportunity to visit ports that might otherwise not be accessible.

"Travelers can really get a fantastic deal," said Emerson Hankamer, president and COO of travel website, "especially if they're willing to begin and end their trip in an atypical port."

He cites a 14-night trip on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas departing from Mallorca, Spain, and finishing at Colon, Panama. Price: $36.92 a day.

"Until recently, people didn't take advantage of these cruises," said Jeffrey Laign, editorial director of Porthole magazine, which covers the consumer cruise industry. "But now repositioning cruises have started to catch on."

"The per diems are often half of what you'd pay for a regular cruise," Laign said, "and they tend to have itineraries with ports of call not regularly visited."

Because these trips have many more days at sea than a standard cruise, they tend to appeal to seasoned travelers who "really like to sail," he said, "cruise veterans who are looking for something a little different."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Facebook Ends Daily Deals

LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Facebook is getting out of the daily discounts business after a four month trial.

The Palo Alto, California-based social networking giants says there is a lot of potential for driving people to local businesses, and it will continue to explore these opportunities.

That's not surprising, because a new study says half of all American adults are now on social networking sites. A third of baby boomers check in daily. The power users are young women, with more than twice as many logging in each day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Show Me the Money! Cash In on Items Forgotten, Confiscated at Airports

Medioimages/Photodisc(WASHINGTON) -- It's a scene played out at airports across the country each day, the piece of luggage circling around and around the carousel, forgotten or left behind by a harried traveler.

And, with airport security at an all-time high, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials gather mounds and mounds of confiscated items each year, from lotions and perfumes to knives, bats and more.

So what happens to the contents of that suitcase left behind? Just who profits from the more than seven million items left behind at airports across the country each year?

The answer, it turns out, could be you!

ABC’s Good Morning America discovered the millions of dollars worth of merchandise left behind at airports each year is available to the public, at a huge discount.

Items left behind at airports are delivered to local surplus stores, where everyday Americans can buy them for a huge discount, often as much as 70 percent. Some states also post the deals online, meaning you don't even have to leave your home to rake in the savings.

A GMA tour of a surplus store in Texas, for example, found designer sunglasses that regularly sell for $300 on sale for $50. And a set a Tiffany's earrings that would retail for around $4,500 were on sale for around $750.

The deal-making is a win-win situation for states too: the money made in Pennsylvania surplus stores and online goes right back to the state.

"Since 2004, when we began participating in the program, we have brought over $700,000 back into the state," Troy Thompson of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, told ABC News.

How can you cash in? Visit these sites to see where you can buy TSA-confiscated items in your state:

Budget Travel

Eyeflare Travel Info

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Times Are Tough! Ideas for Fun, Affordable First Dates

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's summer and love is in the air. While true love might not cost a thing, dates are another matter. Given the uncertain economy, it's important to stretch your dating dollars.  Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and ABC's Good Morning America personal finance contributor, has dating tips that will help you have a good time without breaking the bank.

Q: How much should I spend on the all-important first date?
A: Mellody thinks ... You shouldn't spend more than you can afford. A Recent survey found out that more than 50 percent of men spend more than $50 on their first date. Make a budget for your dates and do not exceed that. There's no need to be lavish in order to impress your date, and don't forget that going all-out financially on the first date heightens your date's expectations for future get-togethers, making it hard to spend less on other dates.

Q: How much should women spend on a first date?
A: Mellody thinks ... Women usually have it easier when it comes to spending money on the first date, but where they really go overboard is on getting ready for it. Fifty-three percent of women say they spend money on buying new dresses and grooming for first dates. This is unnecessary. Wear the clothes and jewelry that you own.

Q: Do you have any cheap-date ideas?

A: Mellody thinks ... You can have a date for virtually nothing. Many museums in major cities have free or discount days where you can impress your date with your knowledge of art. Many cities and towns have free concert series in their parks. Don't forget about the attractions of the great outdoors. Hikes in parks and other outdoor activities are easy to do, free, and are a great way to have your date's undivided attention.

Q: Who should pay on the first date?

A: Mellody thinks ... This is always a controversial question. In my own, old-fashioned, personal opinion, the man should definitely pay for the first few dates, but there are a number of factors to consider. Who invited whom to go out? The younger generation is more likely to be OK with going Dutch. If you've been dating someone for a while and you earn more, you might consider paying, although you shouldn't do that to the exclusion of your other financial obligations, including student loans, credit card debt and living expenses.

Q: What is a great, free date activity that will really impress my date?
A: Mellody thinks ... You can consider taking your date to volunteer. For example, take your date to work in a soup kitchen, or help build a home in a community, or help out at a pet shelter. This might not be best for a first date, though, but it might be a good, cheap option for, say, a third date. This idea might not be for everyone, but it could be a great way to spend quality time with someone you are trying to get to know, and it will look great in the eyes of your date.

Q: I just want to take my date out for drinks, or dinner. Is there a way to do that economically?
A: Mellody thinks... Taking someone for dinner or drinkers can be expensive, but many restaurants are now offering special promotions, such as one deal per week, half-price appetizers or discounted drinks. Some restaurants even offer different daily specials. Don't be afraid to take your date to these places, especially if they are discounting something he or she really enjoys. There are good websites, such as Metromix, that you can check to learn more about restaurant promotions in your area.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Have Your Slurpee and Drink It, Too: Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven

Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Slurpee enthusiasts unite.

The nation’s largest convenience store chain, 7-Eleven is expected to give away five million -- roughly 1,000 per store -- 7.11-ounce Slurpees to celebrate the chain’s unofficial birthday: 7/11.

The birthday Slurpee giveaway proved a successful marketing tactic last year, when 7-Eleven handed out 4.5 million icy beverages in exchange for a 38 percent sales increase.

The campaign also leverages social media sites Twitter and Facebook to draw traffic to the stores and to the company’s website,, where fans can download hats and confetti to join the celebration. 

Like other national chains, 7-Eleven has found freebies to be very lucrative.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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