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No one likes to pay full retail price, especially when there are dozens of great sales throughout the year. But a little bit of planning goes a long way, since many retailers don’t announce their sales until weeks or even days before they happen.
To make sure you don’t miss out on any savings in the coming year, here are 16 sales to put on your calendar. You can thank us at the register.
1. Backcountry Semi-Annual Sale
When: February and August
Backcountry, the purveyor of brands like Prana and The North Face, offered a semi-annual sale in February and August of 2016 and is expected to do so again in 2017, said Kerry Sherin, senior content manager at Offers.com.
"The retailer features deals of up to 50 percent off a selection of apparel, shoes, camping gear and more during its sale," she said.
2. Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale
When: January and June
Bath & Body Works holds many sales throughout the year, but the best prices are reserved for the semi-annual sales. The Bath & Body Works semi-annual sales occur in January and June, and last about a week, said Jon Lal, co-founder and CEO of BeFrugal.
"Discounts will steepen after the first few days," he said. "Some of the items you can find the best discounts on are scents that are being discontinued, so the low prices allow you to stock up on your favorites."
3. Bloomingdale’s Friends & Family Sale
When: April, June, September or October, November
Bloomingdale’s hosts four Friends & Family Sales every year — two in the spring and two in the fall, said Kendal Perez, savings expert at CouponSherpa.com. The spring sales typically occur in April and June, while the fall sales occur at the end of September or early October, and November, she said.
"The sale often offers 25 percent off most items, with some brands and lines excluded, plus extra value for members of the retailer’s rewards program," said Perez. Online shoppers are often treated to free shipping during these events, too.
4. Coach Semi-Annual Sale
Coach is famous for its outlet stores, but the purse and accessories retailer offers customers other ways to save with semi-annual sales. Lal said that, in the past, the semi-annual sale carried discounts up to 50 percent off with prices starting as low as $25.
5. Dolce&Gabbana Sample Sale
When: Winter or spring, and fall
For those with designer desires but without the deep pockets to splurge, Dolce&Gabbana hosts sample sales. The sales are rarely announced far in advance. But in 2016, Perez said one was in late February and another scheduled for mid-October. So, look for sample sales this winter or spring and fall of 2017.
"Many high-end designers host sample sales to offload previous-seasons' samples to eager shoppers," she said. "Discounts range from 50 percent to 85 percent off, with the larger discounts available on the oldest items."
6. Forever 21 Semi-Annual Sale
The Forever 21 semi-annual sale is another event you'll want to watch for. The retailer has two semi-annual sales, said Perez.
"During Forever 21’s semi-annual sale, look for deep discounts on beauty products and lingerie. In the past, the sale has featured beauty items for just 50 cents, as well as bras priced at $4 and panties priced at $2 or less," she said.
7. Lord and Taylor Friends & Family Sale
According to Perez, you can get up to 30 percent off your purchase during Lord and Taylor's Friends & Family event. Most items, she said, were marked down at least 25 percent. Those discounts can be on some of the same name brands you'll find at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's.
"Earlier this year, the department store offered 30 percent off women’s sportswear and dresses, 25 percent off everything else for women, men and children, including shoes, and 10 percent off beauty and fragrance," said Perez.
8. Macy’s One Day Sale
When: Throughout the year
Macy’s is famous for deals and one-day sales, which usually last "a little longer than a day, as they offer a 'preview' of the sale so you can see what items will be featured," said Lal. "Then, the sale is often 'extended' for a few hours after."
To maximize your savings at one of Macy's one-day sales, Lal recommended using a Macy's card.
"Macy's sales are very 'stackable,' meaning you can often combine a One-Day Sale item with a coupon and even additional savings when you use your card," he said. "Just look for exclusions on any coupon before you use it."
9. Molton Brown Friends & Family Sale
The luxury candle, lotion and personal product retailer hosts a Friends & Family Sale every October, said Perez.
"This year, they offered 20 percent off all orders, plus free shipping, while in 2015 the discount was a bit higher at 25 percent," she said. While no one knows what next year will bring, it’s probably worth marking down on your calendar.
10. Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and Half-Yearly Sale
When: July, spring and fall
Nordstrom holds two major annual sales. The anniversary sale is in July and has great deals on seasonal apparel, said Sherin. Nordstrom also throws half-yearly sales in spring and fall, and many holidays as well, said Sherin.
Nothing beats the July event, however, so mark that one in red.
11. REI Anniversary Sale
If you’re the outdoorsy type rather than a fashionista, REI’s sale is perfect for you.
"Starting every year in mid-May, REI Co-Op hosts its Anniversary Sale with deals like 25 percent off CamelBak, 20 percent off Yakima and Thule racks, and 15 percent off full-priced bikes and boats," said Perez. The sale lasts 10 to 12 days and represents one of the best deals offered by the outdoor retailer, she added.
12. Saks Fifth Avenue Semi-Annual Sale
Saks Fifth Avenue is known to put on a good semi-annual sale, and summer is the prime time to head to the store, said Lal. He said discounts of up to 65 percent off during its semi-annual sale can be expected.
13. Sephora Semi-Annual Sale
When: April and November
Sephora hosts two big sales every year, one in April and one in November, said Perez. Savings are for Beauty Insider members, which is the retailer's free-to-join rewards program. VIBs, or Very Important Beauty Insiders, see even bigger savings.
"In April, Sephora’s semi-annual sale features 10 percent off for Beauty Insiders and 15 percent off for VIBs, while the November semi-annual sale is richer, providing a 15 percent discount to Beauty Insiders and 20 percent off for VIBs," said Perez.
14. Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale
When: June and December or January
The Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale is one of the most anticipated of the year. It typically occurs twice, once in June and once in December or January, and usually lasts three weeks or more, said Perez. But if you have your eye on something special, you’ll want to get there early.
“While discounts can reach up to 75 percent, inventory is fairly picked over toward the end of the sale. If you have something specific on your list or you know your size is popular, be prepared to make a purchase within the first week of the sale,” said Perez.
15. White House Black Market Semi-Annual Sale
When: June, December or January
White House Black Market, which sells fashionable women’s clothes, is new to the semi-annual sale, said Sherin, but offers good deals on many brands.
"White House Black Market held their fist semi-annual sale in June and is expected to repeat the event in either December or January," she said.
16. Zara Semi-Annual Sale
When: June and December
Fashion retailer Zara offers great deals on clothes, but its semi-annual sales offer multiple markdowns over several weeks. They typically happen near the end of June and December, said Lal.
And, they "last longer than many other sales, as they try to completely clear inventory," he said. "If you're looking for the deepest discounts on already inexpensive clothing, wait a few weeks in."
But be warned: Lal said popular sizes sell out quickly.