Hundreds of millions of people shop at Macy’s. The department store chain uses its 750 retail locations plus Macys.com to deliver a wide range of fashion, beauty and accessory items to fashionistas and fashionistos around the world. What Macy’s gives us huge selection and big sales — but the sales come so fast and furious that it’s a tad overwhelming. For that reason, I’m sharing this ultimate guide on how to shop Macy’s.
To get huge value out of your Macy’s shopping sprees, follow these 8 rules.
#1 Join Plenti
Macy’s has two loyalty programs, Macy’s Star Rewards and Plenti. I’d advise against Star Rewards, because it’s associated with your Macy’s credit card — and I don’t believe in store credit cards. (It’s way too easy to spend too much when you have a different credit account for every store.)
You can join Plenti without having a Macy’s credit card. Plenti is a coalition loyalty program, which basically means you can earn and spend your loyalty points at multiple places. For example, you might earn points at Rite Aid and spend them at Macy’s. As a Macy’s shopper, you’ll do well with Plenti because:
- You’ll earn double points when shopping at Macy’s.
- You can use your points at the register to cover all or part of your Macy’s purchases.
#2 Shop a Season Behind
Macy’s carries a ton of inventory, and that means big after-season sales. I once purchased a versatile and warm Calvin Klein winter coat in February for $50. The coat has served me well, too — it’s been my go-to outerwear between December and March for two years running.
#3 Go to the Clearance Racks First
Before you head to the regularly priced goods, hit the clearance racks. And, if you’re really ambitious, head to a Macy’s that’s a little outside the beaten path. The clearance rack selections are often better at the Macy’s locations outside the city.
The trick to clearance-rack shopping is patience. Make sure you’re not in a hurry and keep looking. Assume that something in your size was put in the wrong place and do a spot check of other sizes. This attention to detail is almost always rewarded with a gem of a deal.
#4 Use the Price Scanner
Any store with a lot of inventory is going to have pieces put away in the wrong places. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress that you think is on sale, only to be met with a surprise at the register. Always (always!) check the price of everything before you try it on. If the price is outside your budget, return it to the rack before you walk into the dressing room.
#5 Skip the Shoes
Macy’s is my go-to store for deals on clothes, but I haven’t done very well in the shoe department. I usually spend too much time looking for a deal and then leave with nothing. (If you’ve had a different experience, share in the comments.) Skip the shoe section entirely and spend your time working the sale racks.
#6 Check Prices Online
After you’ve picked out your favorite pieces in the store, check the prices of those items on Macys.com. If there’s a lower price online, ask at the register if they’ll honor the web price. Clearance items will be difficult to find online, but you might uncover some good savings on regularly stocked items this way.
#7 Connect to In-store Wi-Fi
I learned this trick while waiting for my hubby to try on clothes. Log in to Macy’s Wi-Fi and you may (cross your fingers) be offered a coupon on the spot. It only takes a few seconds — well worth it if you’re rewarded with a 10% off coupon.
#8 Ask for Coupons at Checkout
No one knows what’s on sale better than the hard-working folks at the register. Ask them what’s on sale and if they have any coupons they can apply to your purchase. You’ll be surprised how often you get a positive response.
Fashionistas, do you have any other tips to share about shopping at Macy’s?