Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Savvy shopping at Walmart: Beyond the everyday low price

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While Walmart may be the biggest retailer in the world, many shoppers mistakenly believe that its everyday low prices are the best deals they can find.

Sure, there are tried and true methods like using the app, couponing, price matching and buying generic, but one shopping wiz decided to see what he could find beyond those blue vests in the way of secret shopping tips.

Kyle James at Rather-Be-Shopping says there’s more to saving money at Walmart than those methods. In fact, he found nine clever ways to stretch your dollars even further. Here are four that ConsumerAffairs thinks might have the biggest impact.

Look at the store’s price tag code

Below every item is a yellow sticker – a “price tag code” – that lays out everything you need to know about whether a price is the original sticker price or a discounted price.

Prices that end with a 7 are original prices. For example, $3.97 means you’re paying full price.

Prices that end with a 5 or a 0 are “first markdown prices,” like $5.25.

Prices ending with a 1 are the final markdown price. Examples include $4.91 or $57.01. “This is the holy grail at Walmart and is the cheapest price the item will go,” James noted, adding “If you find a product with an ending price of 5, and there is ample inventory on the shelf, it will probably be worth your while to wait and come back when it is even cheaper.

Look outside the clearance section for electronics deals

“So this tip is gonna sound a little counter-intuitive. Don’t go looking for the best clearance deals in the actual clearance section at Walmart, especially when shopping for consumer electronics,” James said.

“Instead, look down low in the glass cases/cabinets in your local Walmart’s electronics section.” Why there? Simple: the cabinets are where they store excess inventory, and Walmart also uses the glass case as a deterrent against theft.

Shop for ‘refurbished’

ConsumerAffairs recently reported on Amazon’s warehouse/refurbished section, but it appears that Walmart’s doing the same.

At Walmart, they call it “restored” and not “refurbished,” but it’s got tons of items, some with one-year manufacturer’s warranties and 90-day free returns, too. We found…

To find these deals, just go to Walmart.com and type in “Refurbished” in the search bar.

Meat gets marked down in the morning

One of the first tasks that Walmart butchers have is to find any meat products that are moving toward the “sell by” date and mark them down. 

So, if your family are carnivores, get to Walmart no later than 9 a.m.

James says it’s not just meat, either – that the other store section leaders also cut prices early in the morning: bread, fruits, and vegetables.

James tossed in a special “hack alert,” too. “When shopping for meats, look for packaged meat that has a Sell By Date of today’s or tomorrow’s date and politely ask an employee if they can mark it down for you.”

“99% of the time they will print out yellow clearance price tags to put on the meat, which will save you a whopping 40% off the original price.”

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