Put away those Halloween decorations and bring on the jingle bells; holiday season has arrived. And if you’re anything like me, it’s time to start Christmas shopping.

I’ve spent my entire career in a retail/fashion environment. I’ve worked in stores, corporate offices, Buying Departments and even as a Liquidator. So I’d love to share some best kept secrets to make your shopping experience a great one!

  • Monday’s are the best days to shop. Stores complete new floor sets on Sunday after the mall closes. So make time to shop on a Monday. You can find new, un-shopped product with ease.

  • Want additional savings, go to www.retailmenot.com. Type in the store you’re shopping at and that discount can be used in addition to what’s already on sale in the store. No registration required!

  • Outlet shopping is worth the trip. High end companies don’t house sale/clearance merchandise in store, they transfer to the outlet. So if you’re not pressed for time, wait until it arrives to outlet.

  • Got free weekends? Get a seasonal job at your favorite retailer. Right now, EVERYONE is hiring. Salary may not be much, but your employee discount is worth it.

  • Ask about shipment schedule. That’s not a secret guys. Stores that get shipment daily will fill the sales floor first thing in the morning. Keep in mind, employees “hold” items for themselves when product arrives. LOL, it’s a fact. So if you’re a size that sells out fast, get there when product comes in.

  • Shop AFTER Black Friday. Promotions are going to run the entire weekend. Avoid the hassle of traffic, long lines and crazy folks.

  • Shop your off-season now! Stores need to make room for cold weather merchandise so they are basically “giving away” summer items.

  • Do not join the email list. Instead become a “client”. Have a member of the store take down your contact information and product requests (items, sizes, color pref., etc.). They’ll contact you as soon as what you want arrives.

  • “Going out of Business” stores. Perfect place to save money. The discounts usually change weekly. The last week of business is normally 80% off! But if you see something you truly love, buy it then. Items are sold so fast that I’m positive that it won’t be there when you go back.

  • Can’t find your size? Request that the store find it at another location. In most cases, they’ll waive the shipping.