Why pay retail when you don’t have to? Whenever I’m shopping for something I need—and that’s pretty much the only time I go shopping, which is really more like hunting—I’ll swing by a store’s clearance section to see if something there will do the trick. Utilizing the resources listed below is the equivalent of taking a quick look in the sale rack to see if you can get clothing, shoes, electronics, toys, or whatever else you’re hunting for at less than retail price.
The list consists of actual stores that sell merchandise, not deal aggregators that’ll send you to another site to close the sale (not that there’s anything wrong with them), nor daily deal or group-buying sites like Woot, Groupon, or LivingSocial (because with one deal a day, they obviously have limited selection, and chances are the item isn’t something you really need), nor the huge wide-open online marketplaces eBay and Craigslist (because sometimes you don’t know what kind of sellers you’re dealing with).
The stores and sites below are reliable for having big selections of brands you probably know (and maybe even trust), and they’re selling for less than the original price—because they’re from last season, or they’re slow sellers, or they’re refurbished, or they’re closeouts, or for some other reason that might not matter to you. I’ve also included some secondhand stores that have multiple locations spread around the country—because lots of neighborhoods have great little mom-and-pop thrift shops, but they don’t do you good unless you live nearby.
I’m not claiming that this list is comprehensive, so if you don’t see your favorite option here, feel free to chime in and tell the rest of us about it.
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