For store sales, certain retailers shout it from the rooftops when they have one (or spend millions of dollars in advertising). There’s no way you could miss Amazon Prime Days, the Victoria’s Secret Semiannual sale or Walmart’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals — those retailers make sure of it.
Other retailers have hidden or members-only deals that only insiders know about. Sometimes you have to subscribe to their newsletters, become a VIP or join a VIP program, or just hear about them from an employee, social media or word-of-mouth.
Such is the case with retailers like Best Buy, Pottery Barn, American Eagle, Target and many other big-box stores. They offer great deals for anyone who wants to sign up for their programs in-store, online or via apps (sometimes, just downloading the app alone scores you access to coupons and deals).
We’re doing the legwork for you by digging up the best super secret retailer sales you should put on your must-shop list right now.
1. Lululemon’s Hidden Sale Section
It’s no secret, this retailer can be pricey. But did you know they have a first-responder, military and medical (nurses and doctors) discount of 15% if you show your badge or work ID? You must verify online first, FYI.
The store also has a secret sale section of overstock items called “We Made Too Much.” Their mistake is your reward, with items significantly discounted (like a $119 pair of leggings, marked down to $19).
Another activewear provider, Under Armour, takes it a step further and offers 20% to all active-duty military, veterans, their spouses, and first responders, plus EMTs too. They even increase the discount to 40% during certain times of the year, so check their website.
2. Salty Mermaid Swimsuits
I feel like this goes without saying, but we still don’t remember to do it: shop for costly items like swimwear at the end of the season (same goes for stocking up on coats, gloves and hats at the end of the winter).
Many brands, like cult-fave Salty Mermaid, offer hundreds of end-of-season items for up to 90% off. It’s the perfect opportunity to stock up for next season. They also have a VIP program that’s not heavily advertised called the Merbabe Program, which offers perks like exclusive discounts and early access to new items and sales.
3. Sandals Resorts
While resorts like The Divi in Aruba, offer amazing deals for Cyber Monday (50% off!), and Excellence Resorts throughout Mexico provide up to 40% off if you book way in advance, Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, and Antigua, offer an additional 10% to first responders all year round. This deal is on top of any other special promotions you might receive, and includes active firefighters, military, police and FEMA members.
After you book your stay, don’t forget to take advantage of these not-so widely known tips for scoring the best airfare deals. I’ve learned that booking approximately three months before departure can yield the best rates. “Be flexible with travel dates, book as far in advance as possible, travel midweek, and depart early and return late,” advises Matt Berna, Intrepid Travel President, North America. “Also, you may want to book connecting flights separately and use multiple carriers,” he adds. Berna’s top piece of advice? Browse flights in “incognito” mode on your device. This way, airline and flight search sites won’t be able to track your searches, and you may find a lower price.
4. Walmart’s Hidden Clearance
While we’ve written extensively about the Walmart Plus program and other ways to save at the one-stop-shop retailer, you may not know about its hidden clearance section. These include everything from candles, to TVs, to toys.
To take advantage, all you need to do is head to your local store and have your smartphone handy, with their app loaded and opened up. Use the “scan price feature” that lets you check the price of any item in the store by scanning its bar code. You must have your location services turned on or connected to in-store Wi-Fi in order to get accurate prices for the store you’re in.
5. Starbucks Secret Menu
Those in the know (read: people who constantly troll TikTok) know that Starbucks has a secret menu. While it may not save you any cash (but their app and rewards program will!), you can find really cool drink concoctions that aren’t on their menu board (such as an ombre matcha pink drink).
The same goes for burger chain In-and-Out. Their “Not-So-Secret” menu serves up specially prepared burgers you won’t find on the regular menu.
Before you drop a dime at any store, stop by RetailMeNot for a coupon. We offer thousands for all your favorite retailers, both in-store and online. And that’s no secret.
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