Monday, May 9, 2011

Gymboree.....Great Deals, Smart Steals!


I know it's been a long wait, so I hope this post is worth it! These strategies I have learned and used myself since before my daughter was born (about 8 years). I hope my knowledge helps you in clothing your children in quality clothing at a cheap price!

Gymboree is considered a mid-priced brand, but in Eugene, it ranks as one of our higher end offerings. Gymboree is owned by a company that also owns Janie & Jack (high end) and Crazy 8's (lower end). Gymboree falls in the middle. Each of these stores has similar offerings that will mirror Gymboree's deals. This post will focus on Gymboree's deals.

Gymboree Vocab:
1) Gymbucks, these are offered several times a year. You earn Gymbucks with a $50 purchase (and in increments of $50 past the initial $50). You earn $25 in Gymbucks for a later transaction. To redeem these in the future, for every $25 you have in GB's, you spend $50 and get to redeem $25. So a future $50 purchase would cost you $25. You can redeem and earn as many Gymbucks as you want during any redemption period! I often walk away from the store spending $50, but getting $250 in retail clothing and earning my Gymbucks. Try to stay in increments of $50, if you are at $45, spend $50...if you are at $80, consider gifts or other things to get you another Gymbuck!
2) Gymboree Rewards, this is a FREE program offered by Gymboree. Similar to a loyalty shopping program, it tracks your purchases earning you gift certificates each time your purchases reach $250. They will email these to you so watch for them, they only come quarterly so they can surprise you! The best part of this program is that you get first access to sales and promotions and you will get more coupons! You also get to redeem Gymbucks early, which is good because selection is at it's best early!! Check with your local store, but typically you can shop/hold days in advance netting you the best selection on those clearance rack finds!!
3)Gymboree coupons, these are typically mailed every few months, but I haven't figured out if purchases trigger more coupons (typically they do), so if you need to pick up a pair of socks or undies, it wouldn't hurt to sift through their bargain bins for those items and make sure they use your rewards card at check out. Coupons that get mailed usually include a 30% off regular price purchase, 20% off purchase (full/sale priced items) and a $ off coupon, the last one was $15 off $60. These one can vary. You can use these in conjunction with Gymbucks redemption periods. Gymboree has also started placing coupons in national magazines (Parents, Parenting, etc.)
4) Red Balloon Sale, a great time to stock up! This sale usually brings out merchandise from a variety of seasons/styles (think huge rummage sale) and the prices start at 99 cents, so a great time to stock up! Any sale at Gymboree is good one...pick through racks to see what they have and you might land on some great deals! Many times items aren't always marked down immediately at sale time, so check to make sure the price you are seeing is really the price, you might be pleasantly surprised!
5) Gymboree Outlet, never shopped one? You are truly missing out! These are located at many outlet malls including Woodburn and Lincoln City. What you will find? Major sale racks as well as newer arrivals. They often offer Gymbucks offers, but call before shopping because you don't want to shop outlets without earning them! It's so easy to stock up at outlets you want to earn your Gymbucks there!! The only catch is that Gymbucks can only be REDEEMED in regular retail stores. However, if you use my strategies it's still a good deal! You will typically find prints from lines that debuted in the regular retail stores landing a year later in the outlets. So....if you had a line that you just loved, wait a year and find it at the outlets!
6) Gymboree Sizing/Lines, Gymboree (in my experience) is great for stocking up because they typically run a bit big. It's easy to buy sizing ahead because you know you will find a season in our temperate climate to use it! Gymboree lacks in basic cotton knits as many items are embellished, so if you find basics that are in colors your child likes, stock up! For example, my daughter loves their pull on knit pants, whenever I see these on loss leader racks I stock up!

A couple of strategies for Gymboree....10 to be exact:

1) Sales + Coupons + Earned Gymbucks = Great Deals!
Gymboree runs some incredible sales (be early!) either in store or online, remember that being on the West Coast is a bargain shoppers dream! When sales go live on the East Coast (usually around Midnight), we get it at 9 p.m. (while the East Coasters are sleeping you get first dibs!). Look for sales when you have coupons. Gymboree typically mails out coupons so it is essential you use these in addition to existing sales. When you combine existing sales with great coupons and earn Gymbucks then you have a winning combination for a good deal!
2) Gymbucks redemption is always scheduled with the latest line debuting for that season (holiday outfits, season changes, etc). If you really want to splurge use your Gymbucks on the newest lines, but if you want to save money, head to the sale rounders! This is a great time to stock up items you need in the future (think 1 year ahead). If redemption happens in the Summer, the Winter (deep discount) and Spring lines will be on decent markdowns, typically 40-60% off retail before your Gymbucks, I always stock up on pieces for the following year. Gymbucks can be redeemed online or in store!
3) I will tell you this only because I have seen it done (depending on your desire to be ultra-ethical, this is a bit of a gray area). You can buy and/or sell Gymbucks. They typically sell for about 1/2 of the face value. If you have a $25 Gymbuck, they usually sell or you can buy for $12.50. Makes a bit more sense to use it, but if you just don't want to, consider this route!
4) All stores offer extra perks to their card holders. I don't have the Gymboree Visa, but I will say that it is wise to find a credit card that gets you perks for items you normally would get (always pay those cards off!!). If you are looking to get some nice perks and have a limited clothing budget, this might be something to check into.
5) Don't buy anything at Gymboree that isn't on sale. They have enough items that get marked down that it never pays to pay full price at Gymboree...items hit the sale rack so quickly that it's worth the wait. It never hurts to ask if they have back stock (in the back of the store) for an item you are looking for. I have notices substantial pricing differences between items in store and on-line, so it doesn't hurt to do a bit of price comparing. I will say, that typically the store has the lower priced items and more selection of lower priced sale items. You will typically find the best items at the cheapest prices at the brick and mortar location. If you buy a full price item, find out what the period of time is you have for a price adjustment if it goes on sale, this store has such fast turn around on new lines, you might be able to get an adjustment!
6) Meet and schmooze (kindly) associates. This is a good rule anytime you shop! If the associates start recognizing you, they will typically offer you services that the general public may not get. They may offer sizing or pieces that can't be on the floor that are deeply discounted, if you offer to send in a written compliment they might offer you a's worth a request or a check! As a past retail associate, I have played both sides of that deal and it works well for both parties!
7)Gymboree items are great on the resale market, so if your items are in good quality after use, then sale away!
8) You can buy coupons on eBay for Gymboree and might be worth it if you hope to make a larger purchase!
9)Gymboree often times runs weekly specials in the Spring, Summer, Winter that are for specific items (tanks, pj's, outerwear, etc). This is when they typically discount a category of clothing in hopes that you purchase complimentary pieces. This is called "loss leading". They take a loss on an item, hoping it will result in additional sales, don't let it! Buy what is on sale (if you need it) and supplement with other clothing lines or coordinating pieces when Gymboree puts them on sale, typically within a month of the deal.
10)Gymboree offers the best sale of the year the day of Thanksgiving (online) and in store the day after. For the record, I HATE POST HOLIDAY I love online options! If you have read well, you will remember that online sales open at 9 p.m. PST, so you can shop the Turkey Sale on Wed. night at 9 p.m. Last year the sale was disappointing, but for the previous 6 years, the sale has been phenomenal! Save a coupon for this sale as many items are deeply discounted (typically fleece separates) and you typically can earn Gymbucks during this sale too, so you get items cheap, you get them cheaper with coupon and you earn Gymbucks, it's the best combo ever and a GREAT time to stock up!

In addition to this post, I have 2 fabulous coupons for the first 2 readers that comment on my Facebook page about what they learned by reading this post!

Happy Saving!


1 comment:

Michelle said...

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