The Power of the Pre-Sale

A pre-sale is when a store allows you to purchase an item prior to that item going on sale.  So say you find a gorgeous cashmere sweater for $99 on Monday, but you know that it’s going to be on sale for $79 that Thursday; you can ask the sales associates if you can “pre—purchase” the item before the actual sale for the sale price, in this case $79.  You won’t be able to walk out the store with the garment; most likely you will need to have them hold it or send it to you via postal mail until the start date of the sale, but this tactic can save you a significant amount of money.

Availing of Pre-Sale

Although they don’t advertise it, several major department stores, like Macy’s, offer this option to shoppers, and some smaller boutiques offer this option. Most non-department store mall-based stores (like Gap) don’t offer this option. Some may limit it to store cardholders only.

A pre-sale shouldn’t be confused with a price adjustment. Price adjustment occurs when you purchase an item, and it then goes on sale within a certain period of time and the store gives you the difference. The rules vary from store to store, with some stores requiring you to bring receipts and/or the actual item purchased back to the store for the adjust.

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Catherine Brock

Style Editor at The Budget Fashionista
Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on, and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.
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