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This post comes from Louis Ramirez at partner site DealNews.
Though it’s not an official holiday, Valentine’s Day is still a big day for many retailers. And while we’ll see discounts on everything from roses to jewelry, not every promotion is worth your time or money.
To separate Cupid’s hits from his misses, we researched past Valentine’s Day sales to help you purchase your significant other the right gift at the right price.
Search for coupons before buying jewelry
Nothing says “I love you” like diamonds and gold. At least that’s what retailers want you to believe. Last year, jewelry was among the first items discounted in the weeks leading up to February. Naturally, this year you can expect more jewelry deals, with the first Valentine’s Day sales appearing last week. Amazon kicked things off last year with a sale that took up to 87 percent off select jewelry.
In the two weeks leading up to the big day, you can also expect to see sales from ICE.com, Blue Nile, Szul, and Zales, with discounts ranging from 20 to 85 percent off. Some stores like Tiffany and Kay Jewelers will offer free or expedited shipping. But for maximum savings, we recommend using stackable coupons to further increase your savings.
Limoges Jewelry, for instance, has traditionally taken 20 to 25 percent off marked-down jewelry via a stackable coupon. Last year Zales also took $40 off orders of $200 or more with one of its coupon codes. So while you’ll see plenty of standalone Valentine’s Day sales from the majority of jewelers, it’s the sales with stackable coupons that offer the best value.
Woo them with wine, save the chocolate for later
No Valentine’s Day is complete without a little chocolate and wine, but you may want to save the former for after Valentine’s Day. Retailers know that chocolate will be in high demand in February, so many pre-Valentine’s Day chocolate sales will be anything but rich.
It’s not until the day after Valentine’s Day when you’ll see the killer chocolate deals from names like Godiva, which in 2013 took 20 percent off chocolates before Valentine’s Day and 50 percent off chocolates and gifts after Valentine’s Day.
Nevertheless, if you’re V-Day isn’t complete without at least one chocolate, we recommend Ghirardelli. In previous years the chocolatier has taken between 10 and 20 percent off its sweets on Feb. 13.
Instead of chocolate, you may want to toast your significant other with Wine.com’s Valentine’s Day sale, which last year took up to 33 percent off Valentine’s Day gifts with an extra 10 percent off via a stackable coupon. While that sale wrapped up by the end of January, procrastinators were able to take advantage of the site’s 1-cent shipping offer (applicable to all orders), which ended just days before Feb. 14.
Keep them warm with discounted winter apparel
In February retailers start shedding their overcoats for lighter spring apparel, so if you play your cards right, you may be able to snag some stellar deals on winter apparel. L.L. Bean and Lands’ End had end-of-winter sales in early February last year, taking up to 70 percent off select winter apparel. The latter took an additional 25 percent via a stackable coupon.
Other merchants to keep an eye on include Fossil, Juicy Couture, Jos. A Bank, Columbia Sportswear, and Brooks Brothers, all of which had winter apparel discounted between 50 and 86 percent off just days before Valentine’s Day.
If your ideal Valentine’s Day apparel includes lace and bows, we have semi-bad news. Lingerie stores like Victoria’s Secret and Frederick’s of Hollywood didn’t offer much in terms of sales last year. Victoria’s Secret offered 20 percent off bras early in February and later offered free two-day shipping (on orders of $100 or more), whereas Frederick’s of Hollywood offered a slightly better 20 percent off sitewide with free shipping on any order.
Beauty sales to the rescue
Procrastinators will be glad to know that based on last year’s sales, beauty deals are abundant in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The Body Shop, FragranceX, and Elizabeth Arden are just a few retailers that took up to 80 percent off beauty items. And these sales were spread through the first two weeks of February, with deals coming in as late as two days before the big day.
If planned right, you can have a successful Valentine’s Day without going over budget. Just avoid some of the stereotypical items like chocolates and lingerie, and look for coupons that can be stacked onto existing sales. And while you may see some last-minute deals, we still suggest shopping early and adding some extra days for your gifts to arrive on time.
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