Uncle Bobs Tips

How To Save Time and Money at The Gap

How To Save Time and Money at The Gap

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Some stores are intended to be discount stores; others are not. While The Gap belongs in the second category, there are ways to save time and money while shopping there that can give you a lot of bang for your buck. Phrased differently, perhaps, you'll be able to get designer clothes at designer savings.

And it's not that hard, either.

The first way to save time and money at The Gap is, of course, to sign up for their email newsletter. It'll keep you updated on all Gap sales and special events, both local and national, and you'll know about them ahead of time. That way, you'll avoid buying that great sweater you saw in the window two days before it dropped to half-price.

However, before you register for The Gap's newsletter, consider applying for a Gapcard. If you do, you'll get an automatic 100 bonus points when you sign up for their email.

But that's not the only reason a Gapcard might be a good idea, even if you usually don't like having a separate credit card for each store you shop in. The Gap not only owns all the Gap-related stores - babyGap, GapKids, etc. - they also own Banana Republic and Old Navy, and the Gapcard is valid at all of them. Upon receiving your Gapcard, you'll get 10% off your first online purchase at any online store that's Gap-affiliated, and the reward points can be accumulated at all of them as well.

Here's how the reward points work: For every dollar you spend at The Gap, Banana Republic or Old Navy, you get one point. Once you've earned 200 points, you get a $10 reward certificate. And they don't have to be used immediately. You can save the certificates (just make sure they don't expire), and use them all at once for a major discount at any store. In addition, you get free shipping on all Gapcard purchases of $50.00 or more at gap.com, BananaRepublic.com and oldnavy.com. All you have to do is enter FREESHIP at checkout. In addition, you'll be notified of invitation-only special events, and you'll even get a birthday gift, plus 10% off on the first Tuesday of every month (only at The Gap and gap.com).

If buying clothes online gives you the jitters (how do I know it'll fit?), you can relax. Gap.com offers detailed size charts for everyone - men, women, boys, girls, and even babies! Included are tips on how to measure yourself (or your child) accurately, and how to choose your size. If, despite all your efforts, your purchase arrives and it still doesn't fit, don't panic. All online purchases can be returned to your local Gap store, in person or by mail.

Another way to save time and money at The Gap is their hassle-free gift policy. Let's say you want to send a baby gift. Just click on the babyGap link (it's even categorized by gender) and choose the outfit you want to send. For an extra $5.00, you can have your gift packaged beautifully in a signature Gap box, complete with tissue, ribbon and a gift card with your personalized message. Just click the premium gift box option when you check out. And if you want to wrap it yourself, The Gap will send you a complimentary gift box, shipped flat and ready to assemble.

To make life easier for the lucky recipients of your gift, there is a "gift receipt" option, too. This means that an itemized receipt will be sent with your gift - minus the price listing, of course - so that if it doesn't fit, it can be returned like any other purchase. And if you don't know what to buy, a Gap gift card is always an option. They have no expiration date, and can be redeemed both online and at any U.S. Gap store (not including Banana Republic and Old Navy - they have their own gift cards). Shipping is free, there's no sales tax, and you can add value to your card at any store. They're offered in a number of varying styles and prices. If you would like to order a card in a denomination that doesn't appear on the website, just call 1-800-GAP-STYLE. There are corporate gift cards available as well, that are redeemable in Banana Republic and Old Navy as well as all Gap stores.

So if you ever thought that The Gap was beyond your means - or that you could get more for less somewhere else - try some of these tips. You might be pleasantly surprised!

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