By: Mary Fran Bontempo


Clearance-Sale-Tips-300x247Somebody needs to stop me.

I’m a fairly reasonable person. Well, I’m not, but for the sake of argument, let’s say that I am. Or better yet, let’s say I’m fairly reasonable about money. I’m conservative, always looking for the best price, constantly searching for bargains and never, ever paying the full retail price for ANYTHING.

Which is the problem.

Come this time of year–the end of a season, at least in retail terms–I’m sunk. In fact, I’m toast at least four times a year, when a new season’s merchandise arrives, and one word appears splashed across store windows, in advertisements and online: CLEARANCE.

It’s like a drug. Eyes glaze over, heart rate skyrockets, palms drip sweat. Everything is about the fix. The fix of scoring something, anything, ON SALE.

It doesn’t matter whether I need the item or not, as evidenced by one too many plaid things hanging in my closet with tags still attached. Need is not in the vocabulary of a Clearance Junkie.

For us, it’s all about the score–of something marked 40, 50, 60, or, be still my heart, 75 percent off. Nothing makes me sing like a red sticker slapped over an original price tag, especially when the total number of digits on the sticker equals three. $6.49 for a pair of sandals, anyone?

As with any addict, we Clearance Junkies are masters of manipulation. Our twisted logic never has us spending money, but rather saving the vast amounts we would have spent had we bought the item at full price. By our calculations, every time we come home laden with bags of clearance merchandise, we’ve saved at least a mortgage payment. And who wouldn’t want to do that?

So yes, I went out today with my daughter and returned with three pair of shoes for under $45. Did I need them? No. Did I want them? Obviously. Do I feel just the tiniest bit guilty that I bought them? Not really. I mean, all told, I figure I saved at least sixty bucks on the transaction.

Which is a very good thing, because I’m pretty sure Macy’s summer clearance sale starts tomorrow.

Are you a “Clearance Junkie?” Click “comments” below and share!