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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Secrets of Toys"R"Us

Did you know that you could be getting a great deal at Toys"R"Us (or Babies"R"Us) and you might be skipping right over it? Although I won't disclose the name of my contact at the popular children's retailer, let's just say that she and I share a love of finding a good deal. Here are a few small tips that she has shared with me about when and how to shop at Toys"R"Us:

1. Look carefully at the price. Did you know that you can spot close-outs at Toys"R"Us just by looking at the price? Anytime a product is going to be discontinued from their stores, the price will end with "98" instead of "99". This can be very helpful if you are trying to get a good deal, and especially helpful if you are trying to decide whether to buy now or later. This is also something to keep an eye out for if you are thinking about buying something that comes in the set. Make sure that the items you want are still going to be carried before you invest a lot of money in them! Examples of things that you don't want to start buying when they are about to be discontinued are bottle sets and re-useable diapers. If you happen to need a new bottle top, or extra liners for your diaper set, you might be out of luck!

2. Not all stores carry the same deals. Although the retailers are commonly thought of as being basically the 'same' company, Babies"R"Us & Toys"R"Us run their deals separately. When I popped into the local Toys"R"Us a few months ago to purchase a booster seat for my son, my inside-friend quickly informed me that I should head over to Babies"R"Us instead because they were running a deal on it! Don't be afraid to ask a store clerk if they happen to know (or have a way to find out) if the closest Babies"R"Us is selling what you want for cheaper!

3. Clerks can check inventory from other stores. Shopping for a necessity item that you need fast? Don't settle for a design or color that you don't want just because you gotta-have-it-now. Head over to the customer service counter and ask if they can search through the inventory. You could be just a few miles away from the item that you really want.

4. The coupons have limitations. Heading to the store with your coupon book in tow can be an exciting prospect, especially when you think you're about to get a great deal. But uh-oh... don't forget to check out the fine print on those "R"Us coupons! Almost all of the time, there will be a laundry list of things you can't buy, which more often than not includes things like toys! Don't get to the check-out station without thoroughly inspecting your fine print. You could be setting yourself up for an embarrassing moment at the check-out register when the coupon you thought was going to land you a big discount ends up not working at all!

5. Don't have any coupons? Ask for a discount. Shhh. You aren't supposed to know this... but the check-out clerks can frequently give you a discount, even if you don't have a coupon. And this isn't just limited to the "R"Us stores. Anyone who has worked in retail can tell you: they have the power to give a discount. The coupons that float out the door on the end of receipts and in flyers never all make it back, but the same discount button is used for all of them. Asking nicely and being polite to your check-out clerk can make a world of difference when it comes to the total on your bill. More often than not, they will be more than happy to give you the same discount that they are giving to those who remembered to bring a coupon from home.

6. Stay in the loop. You can learn a lot just by checking up on the Toys"R"Us website from time to time. Keep their info center book-marked so that you can click through it once a week. See a great deal or sale coming up on something that you want? Put it on your calendar so that you remember to take advantage of the savings.

7. Buy in bulk for the biggest discount of all. Did you know that if you take out a credit card with Toys"R"Us, they give you a discount that isn't subject to the same rules as the usual coupons are? You can get a huge (and immediate) savings by waiting until you are ready to take out a credit card to make all of your purchases. Get your one-time discount to really matter by making your big purchases or buying a year's worth of gifts all at once. Don't want an extra credit card? Make sure to pay off the balance when you get your first statement, or break it up into three equal payments and get rid of the balance in three months' time - just like layaway!

You can connect with Toys"R"Us or Babies"R"Us on their website. Or stay connected with them through social media on their Facebook and Twitter accounts!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post, and as always, my opinions are purely my own.

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