11 Secrets Big Lots Doesn't Want You to Know
Retail experts say these tips can translate to some serious savings at the furniture giant.
Big Lots may be known for furniture and home decor, but the truth is, this store is also a treasure trove of electronics, seasonal items, pet supplies, and food. Whether you like to hit this retailer for everyday essentials, back-to-school supplies, or holiday decorations, it's a good idea to go in with a plan to save as much as you can. True to its name, Big Lots is, well, big, meaning a shopping excursion can quickly get overwhelming. In order to make sure you get the most out of your experience, you'll want to heed some advice from the experts who are well-versed in deal hunting at this retail giant. With that in mind, here are 11 secrets Big Lots doesn't want you to know, according to retail pros.
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11 Big Lots Savings Secrets
1. Joining the free loyalty program can help you earn big rewards.
Especially if you're a regular shopper at Big Lots, it's worth signing up for the Big Rewards Loyalty Program, says Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com. It's free to join, it only takes about a minute, and you can sign up either online or at your local store.
"This program comes with a fair number of perks like a 15 percent off joining bonus, a $5 reward after every three purchases, a $10 bonus for every $200 spent on furniture—plus some random coupons throughout the year, 'Free Item Weekends,' and a birthday bonus," Ramhold tells Best Life. Best of all, the rewards you earn from joining the loyalty program can be combined with most Big Lots coupons.
"These rewards also don't expire for 12 months, so unless you have something in mind to immediately use it on, consider saving them up to stack for even bigger savings," adds Ramhold. "For example, you can save up a few $5 rewards to take $15 off a $75 purchase."
2. You may be able to capitalize on some shipping discounts.
On the hunt for a new sofa, media console, or set of patio chairs? Shipping fees can seriously add up on large and heavy items—and due to a special program at Big Lots, you may want to buy them all at once.
"One secret that Big Lots doesn't want you to know is that they offer discounts on shipping for furniture orders," says Andrei Vasilescu, CEO and founder of DontPayFull.com.
By taking advantage of the BIG! Delivery program, you can pay a flat rate of $149 for your entire order, and that rate applies to unlimited items.
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3. You should save your manufacturer coupons for other stores.
Unfortunately, Ramhold says Big Lots doesn't accept manufacturer coupons. So, avoid buying anything at Big Lots that you could use a coupon to buy for less elsewhere—and stash those manufacturer coupons to use at other retail giants like Walmart or Target.
4. There are usually two 20 percent off sales every year.
According to Ramhold, Big Lots has two annual 20 percent off sales a year, usually around April and October. If you want to capitalize on some massive deals, keep a lookout on the website and at your local store around these months since this type of discount can translate to hundreds of dollars in savings when you're investing in big-ticket items like furniture and electronics.
5. End-of-season sales entail discounts up to 70 percent off.
Patience can pay off when shopping at Big Lots. Consumer savings and smart shopping expert Andrea Woroch says that if you shop at the end of the season, you can save a lot more. "This is when Big Lots hosts clearance events on seasonal items with 50-70 percent off."
BlackFriday.com shopping expert Mackenzie Shand adds that Big Lots often has "Buy More, Save More" events during which you can save hundreds of dollars. "Always check the deals tab on the website to see if this promotion is running at any given time."
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6. It's smarter to make big purchases on your first shopping trip.
New to shopping at Big Lots? Here's something to keep in mind. "Big Lots offers discounts on first purchases, so take advantage when you shop there for the first time," says Vasilescu.
In other words, the more you buy on that first shopping trip, the more you'll save, so make it count with bulk purchases or big-ticket products.
7. The store honors price adjustments.
After you make a purchase at Big Lots, Ramhold recommends keeping an eye on the price for a week or so because the store honors price adjustments within 10 days of your purchase. "So if you happen to see the price on something you bought drop even further, head to your local store with your receipt."
Once you provide the Big Lots associate with proof of purchase and of the lower price, they'll refund you the difference.
8. Big Lots also has a price match guarantee.
The prices on Big Lots furniture and other items aren't necessarily always the same on the website and in stores. So, if you notice that a particular item is less expensive online, let the store associate know before you check out so they can honor the lowest price.
The only cases where this doesn't work are for certain "online exclusives" or any special promotional discounts that are for online purchases only.
And since Big Lots also offers price matches for competitors, Ramhold notes that it's worth browsing other retailers before making any purchases. As long as an item is identical in all respects and has the exact same features and condition, and you can provide proof of the competitor's item and price, you can request a price match when you check out at any Big Lots store.
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9. You can hold the price on out-of-stock items.
When you find something you love at Big Lots but it's out of stock, make sure to take advantage of the Price Hold program. Essentially, this allows you to freeze the current price of an item so that when it is re-stocked at the store, you can make sure you don't end up paying a higher price for it.
According to Shand, Big Lots' leasing program allows you to put down $49 on a product and then make payment installments over time—and that price hold will still apply. There's no credit involved, and once your payments are complete, you own the product. Note, though, that the Price Hold program is only available in Big Lots stores that carry furniture.
10. Signing up for the newsletter gets you a discount.
There are multiple reasons why you should consider signing up for the Big Lots e-newsletter, says Shand. "This is a great way to stay in the loop on sales and promotions being offered. Plus, you'll also get a 15 percent discount to use on your first purchase after signing up!"
11. Taking photos of your receipts can earn you free gift cards.
Woroch likes using the Fetch rewards app, and it's easy to see why. Just snap and upload photos of your receipts from Big Lots, and you'll earn points. Then, you can redeem those points for Big Lots gift cards to use on your next purchases.