Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting Items for Less

When I was a little girl I remember going to buy "slightly imperfect" underwear with my mother. It cost about half the price and the imperfection was usually some small little extra stitch in the back. I never understood why it was so discounted.

The truth is that most manufacturers will rightfully not let a product that is not perfect get onto the shelves. Even if the defect in no way changes the properties or quality of the product. This is why every single M and M has a little "M" on it. It's just not acceptable to sell one without it. Yet I would be perfectly happy to eat it! Where do all those slightly imperfect items go? It would be a waste to throw them all out. Not to mention a hit to the company bottom line. Some companies offer these products for sale through non mainstream retail. They are heavily discounted and still just as great as their perfect counterparts.

My favorite example are "Belly flops". These are" jelly belly" company jelly beans that have some slight flaw - often they are a little misshapen or they are missing the "jelly belly" stamp. In some fun cases two jelly beans got stuck together creating a super jelly bean. At their online store these belly flops sell for less than half the retail of regular jelly belly's. Amazon carries them as well. Just see the link on the left. An Entenmanns cake outlet often has items that are 50-75% cheaper than store prices for expiration dates that are often the same as some found in regular store. Plus the cakes freeze well, extending their life. These days I make my own cakes which is an even bigger savings but if you are an Entenmanns purchaser you might want to check this out....

Appliances are another big ticket item that can be had for 30-40% off the sticker price if you are willing to settle for some dents. The Sears Outlet and other stores offer big discounts on slightly dented items. just make sure the manufacturers warranty is intact. I have scored huge deals on gifts from people's registries and items I need for the house by cruising the Bed Bath and Beyond "as is" section. Often these items are floor samples in perfect condition or items that are "part of a set" and one pice of the set is missing. Someone bought me a 250$ completer set for my wedding China. I returned it and found each piece in that section on its own as "part of set" at some point or another. I made about 150$ on that move.

If your Grocery has a slightly imperfect bin, give it a try. Often these are produce items that are still good but have a little dent that can be cut away. My super fancy area stores do not have such a section. To find a store that sells dented cans or other "substandard" yet perfectly good items try the listing at ExtremeBargain.net

Have you purchased slightly imperfect in order to save?


Penniless Parenting said...

I buy things from the reduced rack all the time. Fruits and veggies, and I used to buy baked goods and chicken for half price from the reduced rack at the various stores. So worth it!

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