Friday, July 17, 2009

Save on more than groceries! How to shop the GAP on a budget!

Gap Coupon Secrets- Revealed!!

Much like I stack coupons at the grocery store, I also stack discount codes in order to afford name brand clothes for my kids. In Gap stores, you cannot apply multiple discounts, but online you may use up to 5 codes on one purchase.
Not all codes stack. Usually a % off discount will stack with a $ off discount.
Spend $100.00
15% off
$15 off $75
Final Price: $60.00
Here are some discounts and strategies I use to shop at the Gap:
Gap brand might not be your thing, the point is, if you're willing to do the research, you might be able to afford name brand for cheaper than generic- just like at the grocery store!

$15 off $75 code: "Sign up for GAP emails and get a special welcome offer!" Enter your email address to receive coupon for $15 off $75 purchase. Don't want GAP emails? Use a 10minutemail temporary email address! Best way to use this coupon: buy exactly $75 or as close as you can get, to maximize the discount.

Kids Backpacks Currently 30% off- no code necessary

Extra 25% off sale prices: Very frequently, GAP runs promo for extra 25% off in store and sometimes online. Current online discount code: SALE25

30% off Gap, Banana, Old Navy and Piperlime
July 30-Aug 2 Give and Get
This is a great time of year to buy from any of the Gap family brands. Sign up to receive Gap emails and you'll likely receive an individual coupon via email. Or get one in stores beginning now! Ask a sales associate! I always look forward to seeing what codes will stack with this event.

Price Adjustments:
Gap and it's partner companies, Old Navy and Banana Republic all offer price adjustments for 14 days after purchase. If the price of the items you bought goes down, they will give you back the difference, either on your card or in cash. The best way to do this would be to have a routine shopping day every two weeks, like every other Tuesday.
A few tips for taking advantage of price adjustments: Don't buy a brand new item hoping for the price to drop within 14 days. You must wait as long as possible to buy, at least a month! The strategy is: buy after the 1st or preferably the 2nd markdown. Then take your receipt back and get your price adjustment once the item is on clearance.

Survey Codes:
The equivalent to a "catalina", at checkout you'll often receive a coupon good once you fill out an online survey. After completing the survey you'll be given a code to validate our coupon, good for 90 days.
April code: REDEFINED; May-June: CASUAL; July: COOL

Stockpile clothes:
I'm often buying for next year since I wait until things reach clearance prices. I already have my daughter's entire wardrobe to get me through til next summer, and my son's isn't far behind. Buy clothes ahead of time when they're on sale instead of when you need them. Sounds like a familiar concept, right?

Selling Out:
In order to successfully shop Gap on a budget, you have to remain unemotional about your dream outfits. {easier said than done} Some clothes will sell out before you can get them at the price you're willing to pay-- but all isn't lost yet. Larger sizes will sell out first. Generally things in toddler Gap will sell out first in 5T and then move on down. Gap Kids sell out of the smaller sizes, usually. The easiest size to shop for on clearance is 12-18 months. Don't pay full price for 12-18 month Gap clothes EVER! They ALWAYS go on clearance!

My Secret Strategy:
The best kept secret and my biggest tool in getting clothes for CHEAP is to let them sell out! What?! I'm serious! If your item never comes down to an acceptable price, roll the dice and let it sell out. It's still not too late if you're willing to search!
First rule, make sure you write down the sku # of the items you can't live without before they sell out. The sku is a 6 digit number, found online, on the price tag or the clothing tag of the garment. After it's sold out, call 1.800.GAPSTYLE and give them the sku and the color and size you need. Ask them to do a search of stores to see who still has is in stock. They will search the inventory of many stores and give you phone numbers of the stores that have the items in stock. (I try to wait to make these calls until an extra 25% off sale period, so I get that discount applied)
This can be time consuming, so it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Gap Silver Card members receive free shipping. {you have to spend $800 in a year to reach silver status. I've done so by buying and re-selling on Ebay. Find a friend with a silver card or join an online forum to find someone willing to order for you- they'll get points for your purchases so it's easy to find a willing body}

Here's an example of an outfit that I let sell out before I bought it from 3 different stores across the US on clearance. $27.00 is more than I'd pay for an average outfit, of course. This lot on Ebay will resell for at least the price I paid.
My daughter's 2009 Christmas Dress, purchased Feb. 09
Brocade Dress:
retail $49.50, I paid $9.97
Gold Sweater: retail $29.50, I paid $11.23 ($14.97 during extra 25%)
Ballet Flats: retail $26.50, I paid $5.97
Total Retail: $105.50, I paid $27.17
75% off
Keep Perspective:
Never get so attached that you make a decision you regret! Just like any grocery promo, sales and styles cycle through. The best way to dry my tears from missing out on my dream dress for my daughter is to look ahead and find my next dream dress! Peekasku is a website that showcases upcoming lines for Gap, Gymborree, Janie and Jack and Crazy8. Watching the upcoming skus helps me to ONLY buy things that I absolutely LOVE! I prefer to have fewer quality pieces than a large quantity of cheaper items.

Customer Service Codes:
If you have a problem in the store or with a purchase. Call Gap customer service and make them aware and they often give you a 'CS code' for 10-20% off. These CS codes are great because they stack with absolutely EVERYTHING!

Prices I generally pay for my kid's clothes from the Gap:
Shirts: $4.97-7.99
Shorts: $4.97-9.99
Skirts: $7.97-9.99
Winter coat: $9.97-24.99 {only cause I know these resell for $35 when they're 1 yr old}
Accessories, hats: $2.97-$5.00

Gap Credit Card:
For me, holding a Gap credit card opens up doors for more great savings. More discounts and coupons, free shipping and rewards in the form of in store credit to any Gap, Old Navy or Banana Republic store. I, of course, pay my balance every month and an additional credit card isn't for everyone. If you have a brand to which you are particularly devoted, look into the benefits of holding a credit card to their store. When I'm spending my "rewards dollars" I allow myself to buy more expensive items for fun!

To Store or Sell?
I sell and store my kid's clothes. If I buy 'premium' outfits like my daughter's Christmas outfit or pay $24.99 for a winter coat, it's because I plan to sell on Ebay. I can usually recover ALL my money, or at least 75% of what I paid. Classic pieces of clothing, I keep for hand-me-downs. Learning to buy the 'hot items' and buying multiple pieces of the same line help resale price.

What are some creative ways you've found to buy nice things on your wish list without bending your budget?


Sarah said...

Thank you sooooo much for this post! I am a very loyal Gap/Old Navy shopper and I have been looking for ways to save money on the items that I buy from there.

Since the 4 stores are now 1 online, then do the codes still apply if you have items in your bag for more than just Gap? Also, does it apply to women and men clothing? What are your price points for these clothes?

Joanie Demer said...

I'm glad this info is helpful to you. I know it won't be for everybody, but I'm glad it helped you out. If your whole family shops Gap, Old Navy or BR, I think the credit card is something to consider.
The Give and Get 30% off coming up is for All the brands. The other codes are Gap specific.
$15 off $75 and extra 25% of sale prices is good ANYWHERE in Gap, adult, kid, baby, body. . . don't know about home.
Old Navy sends you a discount for signing up for their emails, I think. And Banana Republic has surveys and codes like Gap, but they are different. I pay more for adult clothes because they last longer. I don't pay full price at Banana Republic, or anything, but I don't have set price points, I have come across an occasional steel at BR. If you're a size 00, it would help! grrrr! Over the last 2 years I've cut back my wardrobe, on purpose. I have fewer pieces, higher quality. Example, maybe this is gross to you, but I only own one pair of jeans, (and I always wear jeans). I'd rather have one nice dark wash pair and do laundry than 3 or 4 cheap pairs. I like to spend my Gap rewards on myself at Banana when I can! My husband wears a lot of Old Navy and some Gap. Cargo shorts are cargo shorts, wherever they come from, right? :)

Gap has a clever strategy with the credit card and rewards. I got the card for the kids clothes. Hubby and I used to shop elsewhere for clothes and now we generally stick to that family of stores. tooshay gap!

Sarah said...

Actually, when I got pregnant with our first child we signed up for a GAP card to save on maternity clothes. We use it all the time and then pay it off when the bill comes. I just never knew about all the other great coupon codes, stacking and even the sell out strategy. They were all GREAT pointers!

I don't think you are gross with the jean thing. I decided to do that a few years ago and since have acclimated quite a jean wardrobe. They're what I live in!!! I agree with you on smaller quantity, but better quality thinking. Both my hubby and I have been wearing Gap and Old Navy for since high school and I can't find better quality for the price. Occasionally we do shop at Kohl's to get the things we need on sale and for very inexpensive, but we find that they don't last too long.

P.S. You and Heather are doing a wonderful job with this blog! I tell everyone I know about it and both myself and the others I tell just can't get enough of it! I considered starting one myself, since I live in So. Cal and the prices/sales are a bit different, but I guess it's a little overwhelming and scary. So, again... thank you for what you are doing. It is very much appreciated and I pray that you both would be blessed mightily for what you are doing for so many people!

Niki H said...

You are a goddess! I would have never thought to stack discounts and I'd never have thought to call looking for an item that was out of stock. I usually buy used name brand from places like other mothers. Thanks for the tips, I'm going to try it out.

Rosie said...

I'm having such a hard time getting a stock pile of clothes for my DD going... its so hard to think a year ahead to next summer/fall when I know that she currently had nothing for this fall (and I can't afford any of it, because we're staring impending unemployment, due to graduating from college, smack in the face). I'm hoping to start stock piling for my son (3 month) soon so that I don't face this same problem with him...

andrea.roche said...

:LOVe LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Clothes snobs unite. Joanie. Will you be our personal shopper? I'll pay you in tuna.

Jennifer said...

ooooh, I LOVE GAP/ON!!! Its pretty much all my kids wear. I ALWAYS shop clearance and sales and get the best deals. My price points are similar to yours. I rarely pay more than $6.99 for a t-shirt or $12.99 for jeans. I have lots of boys so I do some serious stockpiling when things go on sale--it will fit someone someday is my motto! I don't sell on ebay because by the time it goes through my boys its pretty much trashed, if not I give it away.

I LOVE MY SILVER CARD!! Its the only store card we own and we pay if off every month. The free shipping is the best. Its hard to get to the store with so many kids, so free shipping rocks. I also love the $10/$20 gc you get. If you have a large family and you pretty much exclusively shop gap, ON, and BR its not hard to hit the limit.

Thanks for the info on stacking. I knew I could stack the freeshipping but both % and $ off codes--sweet!

Nice to know I'm not the only ON/GAP girl out there. :)

Shelley said...

Great post!

Joanie Demer said...

Thanks Shelley,
Your gonna be expert after a year with those GORGEOUS girls. Congratulations!

All About The Girls... said...

I was out on a date with my hubs tonight and stopped in at Gap to grab a pair of shorts for my little guy on Clearance because it was an additional 25% off clearance prices. After paying $2 for the shorts I was given a coupon at the register for 40% off any regular priced item from Aug 3 -7. I was pretty excited about that.

Ashley said...

Love these tips! I adore Baby Gap but it can be difficult to find great sales there. Thanks!
Come on over and enter some fun giveaways on my blog!