Forget Black Friday. January 1st at Dillard’s is the pinnacle of shopping deals. All clearance items, already 35% and 65% off, are an ADDITIONAL 50% off. On top of that, all Christmas decor is 75% off. So, as one might expect, this event gets wild very quickly and the Karens of the world flock from far and wide. There are stampedes to get in. The escalators overflow. People lose their minds.
Last year I went to my first ever New Year’s Day sale at Dillard’s. I went all out and by the end of the day, I had visited three different Dillard’s in the Tampa Bay Area- and only spent $100. This year I am driving two hours to my closest Dillard’s in the midwest just for this sale. Yes, it’s that amazing. But it’s only one day, so use some of these tips to have your best shopping experience on the greatest sale day of the year.
1.) Go a day early.
Browse the day before to see what holiday decor you like, where the sale racks are, and what areas you can bypass so you know exactly where to go. This will help keep you organized and more likely to get goods in multiple departments quickly. If you are looking for clothing, it is nearly impossible to try things on during the sale. Try things on the day before and take a picture of exactly what size you wanted in the item- this way you will be able to grab it and go. While other people will spend time browsing, you can capitalize on that time by going straight for the items you know you want.
2.) Bring your own bags.
There’s no shopping carts. There’s no bags to carry stuff around. This is the day you need to pack your nicest reusable bags to get around the store. It’s just not possible to carry hanger loads of clothes while picking up Christmas ornaments. You will see people who forgot to bring bags taking suitcases from the travel section around the store to tote their things around in out of desperation. Avoid this by bringing some large totes that are easy to pile items in.
3.) Get there early.
This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s easy to be a few minutes late and miss everything. Now, it is not necessary to get there hours early- 20 minutes is enough to still get you in the door with the front of the crowd. This isn’t usually a scary amount of people, but it only takes 10 Karens to wipe out all the good stuff.
4.) Shop the holiday decor and handbags first.
These two sections are by far the busiest and will clear out in the first 15 minutes. You may have to choose between the two. I chose the holiday section, but many women went specifically for handbags, which are limited in the amount people can purchase because they are so popular. People get pre-lit trees, entire racks of Christmas ornaments, yards of garland- it is like a miniature Whoville. If this is a department you are interested in, hit it before anywhere else.
5.) Decide later.
When in doubt, put it in your bag while you continue shopping and decide before you go to the register. This being said, try not to hoard items from others. There is nothing you will die without, so be considerate of those who may want that item. But, if there is an item or two you just need to think on for a minute, pick it up and keep going. (Also, please put it back in the rightful department if you choose to not purchase so that someone else will have the opportunity and it prevents the store from turning into further disarray.)
6.) Decide later-er.
Most Dillard’s allow a 3-day return policy on the January 1st sale items. Be cautious that three days includes the day you shopped, so the last day for returns is January 3rd. Some Dillard’s are final sale, so check before purchasing!
7.) Pay and repeat.
If you really prospered and your arms are falling asleep from the weight of your goods, pay for your things, run them out to your car, and go back in. This is especially worth it if you have fragile items.
8.) OPTIONAL: Take an “assistant.”
Spouses, children, siblings- having another person who can help you at the store really takes you to the next level. They can run items to the car, stand in the long register lines, and watch your other goods while you try things on. Buy them a fancy coffee as a thank-you to entertain them while they wait on you.
This day is a lot of fun and the deals are impressive- but none of it is a necessity so be kind and help your neighbor! Enjoy your shopping!
-The Cheap Shopaholic