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Bargain Shopping:
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FASHION AND ACCESSORIES

Angel Shack offers 25 percent off during the holidays.

Brides-to-be can find solace at Anastasia’s Bridal Salon (3828 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 652-2575). The small boutique offers personalized service while providing a wide selection of wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and shoes. Though sale items aren’t advertised, Anastasia’s always offers slow-moving styles at 50 percent off—a steal on retail prices of $1,100 to $5,500. Owner Luba Cawley says Anastasia’s specializes in finding the perfect fit, so multiple alterations are one less thing to worry about when planning a fairy tale fete.

Save on BCBG, Nicole Miller, Velvet, Ed Hardy, Splendid and Betsey Johnson at Angel Shack (170 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-8630), one of the hippest spots for women’s fashion, when items go for 25 percent off during the holidays.

Aquamarine on Market (205 Second St., Lewes, 644-4550) holds its summer clearance from Labor Day through September, when all summer items go on sale for up to 50 percent off, including women’s shorts, dresses, tank tops and shoes from Mac and Jac, Vera Wang, Tommy Bahama, Betsey Johnson and Dead Sexy. You may want to call a cab for the ride home: Owner Maureen Botti pours glasses of complimentary wine during sales.

Drop into either of two open house sales at Azura Clothing Company (139 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-9650), one in mid-October and one in mid-May. Every item in the store goes for at least 10 percent off. That includes lines from Free People, David Khan, See Thru Soul jeans, Da-nang, Billy Blues, Johnny Was, Sweetees and Tulle. This Mecca for contemporary fashions also carries its own line, Dru Blue. Opt for Santa’s Wish List, where employees will deliver merchandise to your house.

Custom-fit bras make silhouettes shapelier, but the undergarments are pricey. That’s why well-dressed women on a budget head to Bare Essentials (4009A Concord Pike, Wilmington, 477-4888) in November, when Wacoal, Eveden, Chantelle and Le Mystere bras, normally priced at $48 to $100, are discounted 25 percent to 50 percent. Hanky Panky lingerie is reduced 15 percent. Bare Essentials also sells active wear and swimwear, and staffers fit bathing suit tops the way they fit bras. For every $200 spent, a customer gets a coupon for 10 percent off her next purchase.

Bella Luna (127 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-0267) offers unique jewelry lines, including the vintage-inspired Joli, Jan Michaels and Lalo, in addition to unique scents and accessories. Find all of it at a big discount at the New Year’s sale. The storewide sale offers winter and Christmas items, jewelry, accessories, home products, and body products at 30 percent to 50 percent off. The store also gets creative with giveaways, passing along free accessories such as candles with purchases of more than $200.

Bethany Surf Shop (99 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 539-6400) unloads its summer inventory between the end of summer and Christmas. Board shorts, sandals and women’s apparel are reduced 20 percent at the beginning of the sale and spike up to 50 percent off as the months go on. For bigger savings, hit the Bethany Surf Shop warehouse on Del. 26 for last year’s fashions at 50 percent off.

In January, July and August discounts on women’s clothing and accessories abound at Bloom (92 E. Main St., Newark, 454-7266). Clothing by B.B. Dakota, Gentle Fawn, Tulle, Nick and Mo, and Alternative, as well as dresses and coats, are discounted 20 percent to 50 percent. Belts, wallets and handbags are discounted 20 percent to 40 percent. Discontinued body care and fragrance lines are fair game, but only sporadically. Jewelry is never on sale, but owner Mimi Sullivan-Sparks will customize an existing piece of jewelry to fit desired lengths, shapes and colors. Special offers come via postcards.

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The eclectic crowd heads to Blue Streak Gallery (1721 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 429-0506) in January and July for big bargains. Clothing, scarves and jewelry are drastically reduced. Owner Ellen Batholomaus finds fabulous, handmade items from the United States, Italy, South America and “everywhere in between.” The Baby Blue line features handmade bibs, toys, blocks and books. Go for an in-store lottery and win big discounts.

Carltons (31 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7990) kicks off its fall savings spree during the Sea Witch Festival at the end of October. Save 20 percent to 40 percent on men’s and women’s fall clothing from Tommy Bahama, Vineyard Vines and Burberry. Fun weekend events are the norm at Carltons, so stay on the lookout. The store often teams up with local restaurants to offer customers refreshments and food, plus little giveaways such as pens, footballs, bottle openers and gadgets.

Sales happen often at Christina’s Unique Accessories & More (3646 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 478-7202), but its biggest general merchandise sales occur in January, June and August. Great deals can also be found at trunk shows in March and October. Handbags by Rampage, Murval, Elite Modeling, Melie Bianco and Hobo International, normally priced from $29 to $250, are reduced 40 percent to 50 percent. Clothing by Parameter, Sledge, Yogi and more is also cut about 50 percent during trunk shows. Buy three Troll Beads or Chamilia charms to get one free. And every $100 purchase gets you a free bracelet.

After proms in May and weddings in September, the dress race ends. Smart gala goers find the best deals on gowns at Claire’s Fashions (1312 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, 798-1312) in the summer, then again in early fall. Save 25 percent to 90 percent on gowns, separates and cocktail dresses. We’re talking serious brand-name leftovers. Claire’s also stocks clearance racks with separates, eveningwear and bridal wear. About 3,000 customers on the mailing list are privy to extra savings year-round. Claire’s prom dress registry helps ensure that no other young woman will wear the same gown at the same event. “We won’t even sell the dress in a different color for the same prom,” says CFO Darrin Wilson.

Shoe lovers in search of designers such as Taryn Rose, Stuart Weitzman, Ugg, Cole Haan or MBT should head to Dale’s Shoetique (4023 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 655-6003) in late June and late December. Shoes normally priced up to $450 are discounted 25 percent to 80 percent. Handbags by Cole Haan, SZ collection and Donald Pliner, as well as jackets, scarves, jewelry, wallets, key chains and hosiery, are also available at reduced prices during sales. Dale’s ships anywhere.

Deanna’s (113 Second St., Lewes, 644-1112) and Piccolino (111 Second St., Lewes, 644-7611) are a one-two boutique punch that offers huge sales the day after Christmas and the day after Labor Day, when almost all the clothing in the stores goes for 50 percent off. That means beaucoup savings on Tribal, Willow, Skytops, Hobo, Hanky Panky, Scrapbook and Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, which can’t be found anywhere else in Sussex County. In January Piccolino will hold a ladies night featuring wine, refreshments and 50 percent off all clothing.

Score big in February at Delaware Running Company.Sprint to Delaware Running Company (3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 655-7463) February 2-24 to score on men’s and women’s clothing by Asics, Saucony, Nike, Adidas, North Face, Mizuno, Prana and Lole. Reductions start at 25 percent and reach 50 percent the longer items sit on shelves. Hit the store on Father’s Day weekend for discounts up to 70 percent on shoes by Nike, Adidas and Brooks. Last season’s leftovers, or items owner Mike Monagle calls “old styles,” are great buys. Staffers inventory shoes on Mondays, so shop Tuesdays for great pickings. Women sizes 7 through 9 and men sizes 9 through 11.5 go first.

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The best time to find big savings at Downtown Cowgirl (146 Rehoboth Ave., Suite 3, Rehoboth Beach, 227-1917) is right after Christmas, when prices on jeans, tops, dresses, jewelry, bags and accessories are cut 50 percent. The boutique carries lines from Mavi, Buffalo, B.B. Dakota, Junk Food, Gentile Fawn, Loyal Army and Sweet Pea, and it is the only place in Delaware to find funky Harveys seatbelt bags.

The best time to shop at Elegant Slumming (33H Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-5551) is after Labor Day through fall, when the shop holds weekly spotlights of great designers and marks down its products up to 30 percent for jewelry. A full-service retailer, Elegant Slumming offers appraisal services, personal shopping, special orders and a gemologist on hand full time. Check lines from J.J. Marco, DA Gold, OGI, Nikos Jewels and Marco Bicego.

Camp out at Ellie (4017 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 656-8800) in mid-January and mid-June for sales that last until merchandise sells out. Jeans by True Religion, Citizens of Humanity and 7 for All Mankind come at a 30 percent to 50 percent savings. Mailing and email listers receive an extra 10 percent off select items anytime. Ellie has another location in Strafford, Pennsylvania, so if a certain size is not available in Delaware, it may be in Pennsylvania.

No-nonsense shoppers are in for a treat at Femme Fatale (423 N. Broad St., Middletown, 378-9800). Though the boutique offers a wide selection of jewelry, handbags and other accessories, the March and July sales are strictly about the fashions. Discounts up to 50 percent are applied to designer jeans, tops and dresses, which usually sell for $39 to $200. In a time crunch? Owner Mary Jane Church will set up an in-home shopping party—with serious perks for the hostess.

In June, July and January, timing is everything at Flirt Boutique (1608 W. 16th St., Wilmington, 656-7467). Jewelry, accessories and scarves start at 20 percent off, then they’re knocked down even more as the sale goes on. Paige Denim, Ella Moss dresses and shirts, Rachel Pally dresses and Genetic Denim are reduced by 50 percent during Flirt’s summer sale. But in January, dresses and fashion tops are cut 50 percent, too. Flirt’s best-kept secret: The huge denim selection guarantees a “fit for everyone,” says owner Kellie Toth. The boutique offers jeans in a 32-inch waistline, a rare find in other area stores. Get on Flirt’s mailing list for secret sales and Toth will open the store early for you. Regular shoppers with specific preferences can have items set aside. Flirt will also register items. No two people will wear the same dress at the same event.

Fun to Fine Jewelry (First Street Station, 70 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3770) is not your traditional, stuffy jewelry store. Twice a year, the shops hosts great sales—one in February during Presidents Day weekend and another in November during Black Friday weekend. Savings change depending on inventory, but owners have offered as much as 50 percent off the entire stock in the past, on brands like Chamilia, TeNo, and Boccia as well as private label gold and silver lines. Visit www.funtofinejewelry.com for coupons and pop in any day for complimentary vino.

Head to Grass Roots (1250 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 489-2501; 93 E. Main St., Newark, 453-9751; 1406 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 777-2050; 1708 Foulk Road, Wilmington 529-0553) in April, July and October for 20 percent savings on any purchase over $10, even sale items. On Black Friday, Grass Roots stores open at 6 a.m. for early bird discounts on clothing by Free People, Velvet and Hazel, on shoes from Birkenstock, Reef and Clarks, and on jewelry from Far Fetched, Angie Olami and Zarah. Spend $350 anytime to earn a 5-percent discount, $700 for a 10-percent discount, and $1,000 for a 15-percent discount.

Go nuts at Hansel and Gretel (3606 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 478-0383) around Christmas and July Fourth. The discount on children’s shoes and clothing starts at 20 percent, then increases as sales continue. Missing the sale doesn’t mean missing out on savings, however. There is always a table full of shoes and accessories reduced by 50 percent. Hair accessories for girls are a big seller, and at $3 to $8 for bows, it’s no wonder. A trunk show during the second weekend of February features flower girl and communion dresses, with one lucky show-goer receiving a free dress.

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Family-owned Harris Jewelers (1812 Marsh Road, No. 309, Wilmington, 475-3101; 4377 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 999-9901) hangs its sales around holidays such Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas. Discounts vary, but the most common is 50 percent off. That equates to big savings on antique and estate jewelry, plus lines such as Natalie K., Pulsar, Morado, Yehuda and Seiko.

Heidi Lowe Jewelry Studio (328 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-9203), home to brilliant handmade jewelry, holds its Multiple Show from the second week of November through the second week of January. On opening night, November 8, Lowe will offer 10 percent off her personal works. The Multiple Show will also showcase limited-edition, one-of-a-kind jewelry from 25 artists.

East meets west at Honey Kamali (4001 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-4058), where Thai silks and European fashions make up the lavish selection of designer threads. Mid-July and mid-January are great times to score 30-percent to 50-percent discounts, and with a seamstress on hand, every fitting room woe can be mended. Co-owner Carol Sheehy will specially order a garment, even if it is not carried in the store. Trunk shows throughout the year showcase hard-to-find designs. Ask when the store will offer discounts in exchange for donated clothing. Those opportunities happen throughout the year.

June, July and January are the times to shop at Houppette, (3842 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 421-9036). Accessories by Colette Malouf and Frank & Kahn are reduced 50 percent. Seasonal lingerie from Free People, Scanty and Cosa Bella gets a 50-percent to 70-percent markdown. Discontinued products or colors are always half off. Houppette also offers makeup applications. Enjoy one regular application priced from $60-$85 and a friend’s application is free. The store’s mailing list offers discounts on products not usually on sale, as well as extra discounts on sale items. Markdowns are applied a day before the advertised sale is scheduled to begin, so early birds get the deals.

Hula Sue marks everything half off on Black Friday.Hula Sue (149 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1012) goes big on Black Friday, marking its entire selection (except denim) down 50 percent. That includes trendy and classic gear from Lulu’s, Miss Me and Freedom of Choice. Owner Christy Hamer sends out mailers notifying customers of additional sales opportunities. (To get on board, shoot Christy an email at hulasue@earthlink.net.)

J. McLaughlin (4001 Kennett Pike, Suite 136, Greenville, 654-2919) holds two major sales a year: after Christmas through January, and July through August. Outgoing seasonal items, as well as men’s and women’s clothing, are reduced 25 percent to 35 percent. As the sale progresses, discounts deepen to 50 percent to 70 percent.

It’s cold in January and February, which is a good reason to make a deal on fur at Jacques Ferber (4001 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 426-4340). Mink, shearling, casual and evening fur coats and accessories are discounted 20 percent to 50 percent. The store manufactures more than half of its garments, so special orders and custom pieces are available upon request. Mailer coupons alert customers to sales and often provide additional savings. Can’t afford a new mink? Ferber will also transform old pieces into a modern style.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (4001 Kennett Pike, Suite 108, Greenville, 656-6710), a fine clothing shop for men, offers two sales: the Tuesday before Father’s Day and the Tuesday before Christmas. Prices on business wear, business-casual, sports and formalwear, shoes and underwear are slashed 50 percent, and store hours are extended. Ask manager Jay Steimle about $25 vouchers.

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Mark your calendar for January and June for discounts on women’s apparel from Vince, Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg, Milly, J Brand Jeans, Joe’s Jeans and Alexis Bittar jewelry at L Boutique (3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 655-8403). In January the boutique reduces fall and winter merchandise by 50 percent. Leftover spring and summer merchandise is discounted 50 percent in June.

There’s always a rack of slow selling but beautiful lingerie discounted 30 percent to 50 percent at Le Papillon (4001 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 656-3348). But its biggest sales happen in July and January, when luxury bras, robes and nightgowns go for 30 percent to 50 percent off. If you have your newly purchased bra fitted around the holidays, you’ll probably be served chocolates and liqueur. Owner Judy Sullivan takes special orders from clients and buys most of her lacy merchandise in New York City. Free gift wrapping is a plus.

Liquid Surf Shop (19406 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7130) offers an interesting twist to Black Friday shopping by bumping the sales up a day. On Thanksgiving night, shoppers can get some great deals on clothing, accessories, hats, headbands and bags. Depending on the sale, items are discounted 10 percent to 50 percent. Check back often for updates on the store’s in-house fashion shows, art shows and music festivals with neighboring Coastal Café.

In June and January, women’s clothing, including designer jeans, jackets, casual dresses and evening dresses, are 20 percent to 60 percent off at Lolita (3830 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 656-4049). October through December, Lolita offers a “girls night out” for women to visit and create holiday wish lists. Men are invited to purchase what their better halves request.

Owner Maxine Lewis of Maxine’s New York Fashions (204 W. Loockerman St., Dover, 678-9958) shops in New York weekly for the latest styles from Design Today, Tiffany and Natasha. She hosts a summer sale on all men’s suits, which dip 30 percent starting in June. Lewis sends customers in need of alterations to Top Notch Sewing Connections, which gives a 10-percent to 15-percent discount.

Stylish but budget-conscious men and women know that January and February are the months to hit Mystique Fashion Boutique (1408 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 429-8755) for fabulous deals on fashions for men and women, jewelry, outerwear and accessories, all reduced 30 percent to 60 percent. They also know that the first week of August means good sales, since the boutique is gearing up for the new season. Most shoppers think of Mystique as a women’s spot, but menswear, especially Robert Graham dress shirts and Jack of Spades jeans—both reduced 20 percent to 40 percent—are major draws. Customers on the mailing list are privy to sale dates and extra discounts.

Score exquisite ethnic jewelry and garments at Nzinga’s Cultural Connection (827 Market St., Wilmington, 427-9426) two weeks before and after Christmas and the week of Kwanzaa. Handmade garments made of natural fibers from Africa are normally priced from $15 to $200, but discounts are 20 percent to 50 percent. Jewelry sells for $5 to $50. Household items, accessories, body care items and gift trinkets are also discounted. Get a free bottle of body oil for every two purchased during sales. Incense is $1 for 10 sticks. The Connection offers a 10 percent saving on every purchase over $10—all the time. Picture Prices means additional savings during sales by letting buyers draw coupons from a basket.

The concept behind Once Upon A Child (4724 Limestone Road, Wilmington, 633-3336) is to sell gently used name-brand children’s clothing at great prices year round. But visit in July and January for major clearance sales. Sale items are discounted 50 percent.

If you dress the little ones in fine duds from Oranges & Lemons (3828 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 427-0323), you’ll get more for your money in July and January. Depending on the season, children’s fashions by brands such as Mimi and Maggie, Bella Bliss, E. Land, Paul Frank and Splendid are reduced by 30 percent.

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Semi-annual sales in June and January mean 20-percent to 70-percent savings at Peter Kate Shoes (3830 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 656-7463). Designer names such as Yellow Box, Michael Kors and Thierry Rabotin, are just a few of the many discounted items. Email lists alert members to sales and sporadic discounts. The store offers weekly 10-percent discounts on select brands as well, says manager Amanda Chandler.

Plato’s Closet (4754 Limestone Road, Wilmington, 992-9798) sells gently used clothing for boys and men, boasting brands such as Gap, Old Navy, Carter’s, Arizona, Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle and Hollister. Find deeper discounts in January and July, when the store clears the shelves to make way for seasonal wear. Plato’s frequent buyer card allows customers to reap 20 percent discounts when they spend $10 or more.

Madness is the symptom at Quiet Storm (126 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2747) during the first two weeks of August, when the store’s madness sale slashes prices 20 percent to 50 percent off Tommy Bahama, Hurley, Luca and Reef for men; Free People, Roxy and Billabong for women. For kids, co-owner Kelly Loeser says employees hand out free gifts like posters, stickers and purses with purchases.

The whole idea behind Rags To Riches Upscale Resale (5801B Kennett Pike, Centreville, 654-5997) is that used designer labels such as Fendi, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are always reduced. But even deeper discounts can be had in March and August, when owner Jodi McLaughlin makes space for seasonal inventory. Sale items are marked down 50 percent. Customer appreciation postcards offering additional 10 percent to 15 percent savings are mailed quarterly.

Find great sales at both Sole Boutique (110 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6500) and Sole Kids (110 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach 227-6622) at the end of each season. Winter items go on sale for up to 50 percent off in January, and summer items also go on sale in mid-August through September. At Sole, that means women’s lines from Tory Burch, Milly, Trina Turk, Diane von Furstenberg and James Perse. Sole Kids, a one-stop kid’s and baby boutique, sells bushels of cheeky baby gifts like Rolling Stones onesies and T-shirts that read, “I only date models.”

South Moon Under (120 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3806) carries brands many other stores just plain don’t carry, such as Seven, Citizens, Juicy, and Mark Jacobs. Hit it up during the first week of July and right after Christmas, when men’s and women’s swimwear, jewelry, shoes and accessories go on sale for up to 50 percent off.

The Swim Shop (2115 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 575-1224) offers a variety of swimwear for everyone from the backstroke champ to the sunbathing beauty, so fashion suits and competitive swimwear hang under the same roof. Both start around $60. The last week of August into the beginning of September is the time to grab a suit discounted 20 percent to 25 percent or accessories such as goggles, which sell for $7 to $25. The Swim Shop also specializes in Roxanne plus-size suits for $80 to $90 and chlorine-resistant suits for $50 to $70. For an added bonus, the store usually offers a 20 percent discount on Reef sandals.

That Boutique! (40 N. Walnut St., Milford, 424-3430) cuts down on confusion by being the only boutique in Milford, and keeps customers coming for gowns and apparel, local artisan handbags, hand-knitted sweaters and scarves. The store has seasonal sales during the first week of November, January, June and August, when prices on select items are reduced 20 percent to 50 percent. Do you live between Dover and Milford? Save dough thanks to your mailbox at That Boutique!, where locals receive 10 percent off on lines such as Boho Chic, Frank Lyman, Hanna and Tummy Tuck jeans.

Tickled Pink!
(235 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7575), Delaware’s only Lilly Pulitzer signature shop, features the entire Lifestyle Collection. The store also carries brands such as Molly B, Tibi, Shoshanna, Alice & Trixie, and Sharon Gill. Find everything 20 percent to 70 percent off from late-July to early August, plus various giveaways (think key chains, cosmetic mirrors and quilted hangers) throughout the year.

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Find designer handbags $10 off at any Tiger Lili (127-C The Mews, Rehoboth Ave., 226-1853, other locations) during its July Fourth and Labor Day sales. Sales tend to vary in time and stature, since owner Lili Kohr keeps the inventory small and fresh, but coupons can be had through Tanger Outlets flyers. Birthday girls receive a $10 coupon in the mail.

Drop into Tech Fest at Trail Creek Outfitters (507 Wilmington Pike, Glen Mills, Pa., 610-558-4006), which holds one in spring (usually the first Saturday in April) and one in fall (usually the first Saturday in November). During the celebrations, customers go to the counter with their purchases and draw out of a hat that contains discount increments. The minimum discount a customer can receive is 10 percent, but savings go up to 100 percent off. (That’s free, folks.) There are dozens of door prizes during Tech Fest, including jackets, sweaters, and fleeces from brand names such as Acorn, Merrell, Columbia, Patagonia, North Face and Ugg.

Twila Farrell (122 Second St., Lewes, 645-7007), home to comfortable shoes by Naot and Pikolinos, holds two sales a year: one at the end of July to clear out summer inventory, and one right after Christmas to unload winter items. Save big (30 percent at first, then sliding to 60 percent) on women’s sportswear, pants, tops, jackets, skirts, dresses, hats, shoes, and jewelry from Canvas Back, Nomadic Trader, Maralyce Ferree, Alberto Makali, Xiao and Barbara Lesser.

Very European Boutique (125 Second St., Lewes, 644-7778) is sensitive to rising gas prices and the perils of street parking, so it holds specials frequently—and offers customers change for parking meters. That should leave them with a couple extra bucks to spend on BCBG, exclusive lines imported from Scandinavia and Italy, plus custom-altered jeans. Weekly sales feature 10 percent to 15 percent savings and, as always, Very European Boutique has a half-off rack.

Wright & Simon (911 N. Market St., Wilmington, 658-7345) is no discount emporium. The store carries classic, high-end men’s suits and sportswear from lines like Burberry and Hart Schaffner Marx. And because that top-quality clothing is serviced on site, it will hold up for years, saving customers money in the long run, says owner Leonard Simon. Still, the store holds two month-long sales: one in July and one in January, when customers can save 20 percent to 30 percent off regular retail price storewide.
 

FURNITURE AND HOME ACCESSORIES

When The Resettlers closed two years ago, few knew that new owners took over the business. The Annex (1005 W. 27th St., Wilmington, 427-2669) still works on the same principles: sales every other weekend, great deals on furniture, art, jewelry and myriad household items. Furniture ranges from $9 to $2,000. Dish sets are $10 to $300. Collectibles are discounted, with periodic markdowns ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent. The Annex always carries a good selection of discounted china. Why so cheap? Furniture comes to The Annex when folks downsize or move. Estate purchases and buyouts also make for great deals. Fill out a questionnaire and receive an extra 10 percent off your next purchase. Want to sell an item to the Annex? Just call. The business covers packing and transportation.

Everyone loves a good sidewalk sale, but few do sidewalks better than Apropos (4001 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 656-4880). Hit the pavement in May and September to find savings of at least 50 percent on gift wrap, baby bags, picture frames and more. Slightly damaged goods are marked down 75 percent. The boutique houses hard-to-find Votivo candles, coats, accessories and Murval bags. (Murval is known for creating affordable replicas of big-ticket items.) The trick is to study the scene. Manager Janet Jornlin likes to move merchandise quickly, so if a new item doesn’t sell in two weeks, she’ll cut its price in half.

During the first week of July, furniture and home accents store Carolina Street (503 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-2405) celebrates its anniversary with major discounts—anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent off selected items. That means big savings on high-end home accents owner Dee Dee Phillips and husband Paul collect from around the country, such as furniture by prestigious Lee Industries.

The Cottage (142C Second St., Lewes, 644-1544) is a cozy spot for bedding and home accents that sheds its summer inventory in mid-July. “We don’t like to have summer stuff during the fall,” says owner Shelly Kennedy. Bedding from Pine Cone Hill and Isabella’s Linen Closet, as well as pajamas and candles, can be had for 20 percent to 50 percent off. Look for a similar deal closer to Christmas.

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Mother’s Day weekend is the best time to buy picture frames, photo albums, wooden art pieces, and fine indoor and outdoor furniture at Creations Fine Woodworking Gallery (451 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin, 235-2310). The store offers more than 2,500 items, all of which are discounted close to 20 percent during the sale. Spend $20 in the gallery and play pinball. A good score earns coupons. All stores at Hockessin Corner participate in a strip-wide sidewalk sale in June. Guests who buy from the gallery’s outdoor selection receive a discount inside.

Discounts on sterling silver, Guatemalan handmade pieces, soaps, candles and home decor items can be found in October and May at Eclectica (800½ Brandywine Blvd., Wilmington, 888-1824). Frequent buyers on the mailing list are privy to private sales in September and get 10 percent discount coupons good for December. Don’t miss the Bellefonte Shop Hop the last Friday of every month. Eclectica serves wine and hands out raffle prizes.

Labor Day through fall, Elegant Slumming (33H Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-5551) marks down home accessories up to 40 percent.

Open houses at Everything But the Kitchen Sink mean savings on holiday items.It’s easy to find great buys at 15,000-square-foot Everything but The Kitchen Sink (425 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin, 239-6664), but seek extra savings for the holidays during the shop’s two open house sales, November 9 and 16. All Christmas merchandise such as ornaments and collectibles from Byers’ Choice, Department 56 and Raz Importers go 20 percent off. From fall until Christmas, all wrapping paper and ribbon go for 40 percent off.

Since gardens look tired in July and August, Magpie Tea Garden (1715 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 654-2911) holds its biggest sales then. Find garden ornaments, soil decorations and wind chimes all reduced 35 percent.

Philip Morton Gallery (47 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 727-0905) shuts its doors from January 1 through Valentine’s Day, so the weeks before offer some great bargains on stunning ceramics, glassworks, paintings and photography. Savings of 10 percent to 50 percent can be had for one-of-a-kind artwork. Repeat customers (even if it’s only their second time there) get 5 percent off their purchases.

There are three yearly sales at Romanick Pottery (170 E. Main St., Newark, 738-8038): in March, October and July. But the biggest is its sidewalk sale in July, which also happens to be Newark’s Shops and Hops retail and beer festival. Most pottery is discounted 30 percent. Find great wedding gifts and bridal registries. To save an extra 30 percent, take the wedding invitation with you.

Want to find European furniture, fabulous Swedish china cabinets, antiques or ceramics? Head to Somethings Unique (3834 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 426-1950). The 6,000-square-foot space is packed with items from all over the world, and they are reasonably priced year-round. There are no set sales, but customers can receive a 20-percent discount on orders for upholstered, slipcovered and leather furniture by Lee Industries. The store has a good selection of sofas, chairs and ottomans. Dress them in one of the gallery’s 1,000 fabrics and 60 leathers.

The Bastille Day Sale from July 11-14 and the White Sale from August into early September are big events for Yves Delorme (3801 Kennett Pike, No. 115, Greenville, 656-3700). Both sales offer 20-percent discounts on bedding and bath products, but those hoping for discounts on Royal Pedic mattresses will do better in July. This year, a lucky customer won a gift certificate to C.W. Harborside restaurant in Wilmington, so there are always surprises. Customers in the mailing system get a discount coupon each season. The store also keeps a record of guest purchases and helps to match old patterns to new ones or to create design motifs.
 

Page 9: Get It For a Steal | Food and Drink

 

FOOD AND DRINK

Drop in for free tastings—that’s right free—at Bin 66 in season.Owner Tom Poor and the crew at Bin 66 (3712 Highway One, Reboboth Beach, 227-6161) host complimentary wine tastings every Saturday from May through December—with great food. If you miss out, sign up for the store’s wine club. Members receive 20 percent off a dozen specially selected bottles every month: three reds, three whites, three Pinots Noir and three Cabernets handpicked by the staff.

Black Lab Breads (812 N. Union St., Wilmington, 658-1307) offers delicious, freshly baked bread, from Italian to pumpernickel to raisin challah. November through March, the shop offers BOGOs (buy one, get one) on various breads, including fabulous baguettes. Sniff out occasional sales on almond or anise biscotti, oversized cookies, cannoli, tomato pie and focaccia. Gift boxes are available with 48 hours’ notice.

Monthly wine packages at Collier’s of Centreville (5810 Kennett Pike, Centreville, 656-3542) allow oenophiles to purchase 12 bottles (five reds, five whites, one bubbly and one dessert wine) for $99.99. The wine list is extensive, so consult cellar mistress Linda J. Collier. She’s always happy to share her knowledge of fine wines from around the world.

At Frank’s Union Wine Mart (1206 Union St., Wilmington, 1-800-AT-FRANKS) a select varietal is offered at a discount every day. For the complete menu of markdowns, see www.frankswine.com. At the website, guests can check out when the store will host tastings and sponsor wine dinners at Caffé Gelato in Newark.

At Good For You Natural Market (28841 Lewes-Georgetown Hwy., Lewes, 684-8330), Southern Delaware’s greenest grocer dispatches monthly flyers to tip customers about the latest in organic and natural groceries. Saturday afternoons are a good time to hang around, when free samplings of the latest haul from Lewes Farmer’s Market can be had. Catch executive chef Gretchen Hanson during free in-store cooking demos, plus every Thursday night at the Lewes Senior Center.

Pop into Good News Natural Foods (739 S. Governors Ave., Dover, 730-1910) on Saturdays for free samples on new and popular product lines—things such as organic snacks, gluten-free goodies and organic teas and coffee. Co-owner Marcia Collins says she passes along savings to customers when wholesalers sell for a reduced price. Everything from organic peanut butter to corn chips has seen drastic markdowns.

Harvest Market (7417 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 234-6779), a natural foods store that carries local produce, grains, dried fruit, nuts, organic and vegetarian foods, vitamin supplements and personal care items, doesn’t do standard sales. Instead, owner Bob Kleszics provides the everyday opportunity to order 12 cases of most products at 20 percent off the retail price. If the product is a supplement or a personal care item, customers can order six cases at 15 percent off the retail price. New to Harvest Market is Last Minute Savings, a section in front that offers daily discounts on items such as peanut butter, applesauce and packaged products.

Lewes Gourmet (110 Front St., Lewes, 645-1661), a haven for tough-to-find international foodstuffs (snacks, oils, vinegars, cheeses, cookies, teas and teapots and tons more) runs a $5 coupon in the circular Entertainment Book. Stop in on weekends for free samples.

At Magpie Tea Garden (1715 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 654-2911) homeopathic medicines are big sellers. Ask for rebates on the popular Dr. Hauschka line. A perk: A pot of hot water and 15 tea samples are ready for sipping at all times, and there’s always a Tea of the Week discount on one of the 200 varieties sold there. Special orders are treated graciously.
 

Page 10: Get It For a Steal | Food and Drink + Gifts and Novelties

 

Head to McCabe’s Gourmet Market (York Beach Mall, Del. 1, South Bethany Beach, 539-8550) before heading home for the holidays. Every year around Christmas the gourmet shop marks everything 20 percent off. On December 31, as the store prepares to close for a few months, the staff liquidates all perishables. So grab cheese, baked goods, meats, frozen foods, refrigerated items, desserts and salads for half price.

Purple Sage Herbs and Gifts (41 W. Main St., Middletown, 378-2123) for a variety of month-long sales throughout the year. Sale items include teapots, Dr. Hauschka skincare items and more than 200 varieties of tea. If the selection of tea sounds intimidating, stop by on the first Saturday of the month (except July and August) for a complimentary tea tasting. Purple Sage also carries martini glasses and shakers for under $20 all year long. Actually, owner Elizabeth Barbato says, “There’s something always on sale.”

Buy four pounds of the famous horseradish cheddar cheese spread at Seaside Country Store (1208 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-6110) and get a fifth pound free. That’s the same for the jalapeño Southwest fiesta spread, a Port wine spread and all the rest. One section of the store is devoted to Betty’s Bargains, gift wear and products that have been discontinued by the wholesaler or were part of now-incomplete sets. Swag here can be had for cheap. “Somebody might just want one champagne glass or plate,” says owner Stephen Vickers.

Nothing goes better with holiday dinners than great wine. Vino 100 (1601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 655-8466) has at least 100 labels of reds and whites under $25, including offbeat bottles you can’t always find at local liquor stores. During the two weeks leading up to Christmas, shoppers can find select wines discounted by 10 percent to 20 percent and gifts reduced by 25 percent. Try a bottle of Sancet Ugni Blanc for $9.99 and splurge on a Ravi instant wine chiller for $49.99, a gadget that’s perfect for white wines, says owner John Sands. Friday wine tastings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. are a great way to explore the diverse and plentiful selection.
 

GIFTS AND NOVELTIES

Looking for deals on upholstered furniture, lamps, clocks and specialty gifts? Head to Artisans Gifts and Furniture (2113 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 651-9900) in July, October and April, when items are reduced 70 percent to 90 percent. During April trunk shows, representatives from Vietri, Mariposa and Vera Bradley offer giveaways. Pick up an Artisans rewards card to earn discounts on any item in the store after 12 purchases. Wedding invitations are always 20 percent off.

Competing with mega-stores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble can be tough, but Books & Beyond (7288 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 239-6262) provides a local, homey feel while still offering a great selection of new and classic titles. During the week of Black Friday, books and gift items are reduced 10 percent to 20 percent. Stuffed animals, which sell for $7 to $20, are also included in the sale. The store can also make copies and send faxes, as well as provide wireless Internet access. The shop is also known for supporting local authors via book signings.

Browseabout Books (133 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2665) owner Steve Crane knows the true meaning of bargain shopping. He puts New York Times Best-Sellers on sale at 25 percent off and applies the same discount during book signings. Members of the frequent buyers club get 10 percent off non-sale books. The fun doesn’t end there. “You never know what you’re going to see here,” Crane says. Spur-of-the-moment sales, buy-two-get-one-free deals and free food are the norm. Crane’s friends at Kirby & Holloway might stop by and serve scrapple and sausage sandwiches. “We have strawberry day, peach day, watermelon day, wine tasting, beer tasting,” Crane says. And more.

Especial Day (10A Trolley Square, Wilmington, 658-4993) knows a thing or two about pleasing its patrons. Cookies accompany seasonal sales in January, along with fresh coffee and the occasional hand massage with Crabtree & Evelyn products. Ornaments retailing from $2.50 to $150 for high-end brands and stationery for $13 to $40 are discounted by 50 percent. Owner Litzie Clayton knows her patrons, so special orders and requests are always accommodated.

Page 11: Get It For a Steal | Gifts and Novelties

 

For Dreamers Gallery gives away gift certificates the second week of November. (Photograph by Amanda Waid)For Dreamers Gallery (743 S. Governors Ave., Dover, 730-1234) owner Joyce Breasure-Herrick holds a food drive around mid-June every year, so for every two food items a customer brings in, he saves a dollar on every $10 spent on brilliant glass works, jewelry and pottery. During the second week of November, For Dreamers gives away a $10 gift certificate every hour.

At Forney’s Too (102 W. Loockerman St., Dover, 734-2425), a shopper can find anything from Webkinz to Vera Bradley handbags. Hit its big sale right after Christmas, when all holiday merchandise shoots down to 50 percent off and more. Around June and January, retiring Vera Bradley styles and patterns go on sale, usually up to 25 percent off.

Grab a leash and bring the pup to Happy Dog Healthy Dog (1825 Delaware Ave., Wilmington 428-1919) a week before Christmas for discounts on doggie toys, treats and collars. Many items are 70 percent off. Happy Dog’s food line, Walter’s Whole Foods, are all-natural products made for dogs with weight issues, allergies and cancer. Owner Diane Meyer specializes in massage, Reiki (a Japanese technique for stress reduction), wellness and end-of-life therapy for dogs.

Known for its selection of freshly cut flowers, Petals Flowers & Fine Gifts (Del. 100 and Rockland Road, Montchanin, 654-9556) also offers a wide variety of gifts and services for chic, classic tastes. January’s after-Christmas sale is the best time to shop. Seasonal items are reduced by 50 percent. On the third Friday and Saturday of each month, a storewide 30 percent discount is applied to items such as stationery, garden decor and home accessories. Petals has recently stocked three lines of jewelry, including 14-karat gold earrings for $35 to $100, Swarovski crystal rings for $100 to $300 and chunky hammered gold accessories for $300 to $1,000.

The Ladybug Shop (131 N.W. Front St., Milford, 422-5470) is devoted to the helpful bug and loaded with gifts, toys, collectibles and home decor items. Seasonal items are on sale from the first week of October through the holidays. Look for things like Christmas candy dishes, Thanksgiving table settings, candle holders, ornaments, kitchen and home items for at least 20 percent off. Spend over $25 and get a free ladybug coffee mug.

Ninth Street Books (104 W. Ninth St., Wilmington, 652-3315), an independent bookstore that has served Wilmingtonians for 32 years, holds great back-to-school sales August through September. Find 20 percent discounts on hardback dictionaries, thesauruses, atlases and calendars. The sale room is brimming with titles marked down 50 percent to 80 percent. A customer rewards card will save you 10 percent off a purchase of five or more books. Co-owner Gemma Buckley gladly does special orders.

Anyone in the market for a great movie poster should head to Rockford Map and Globe Company (1800 Lovering Ave., Wilmington, 576-8900), where posters are always 50 percent off. On weekends, laminated wall maps are knocked down at least 30 percent. Rockford’s art gallery department houses paintings, photography and prints commemorating local icons such as Kelly’s Logan House. During the Art Loop, find art items reduced by 10 percent. Frames are never on sale, but they’re still about 40 percent cheaper than frames sold at larger venues.

Next door neighbors Scandinavian Occasion (135 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3945) and Valhalla (137 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8489)—hot spots for gifts and jewelry, respectively, spin big savings around the holidays. Thanksgiving through Christmas, save big on candles, lamps, Scandinavian crystal and more at both stores. Catch the newest craze in jewelry, Lovelinks, at Valhalla, where it’s buy five, get one free.

About every six weeks, The Soap Fairy (130 Second St., Lewes, 491-0510; 215 N. Rehoboth Blvd., Milford, 491-0620) owner Scott Blackson sends out email coupons with special deals, like half-off sales and even free soap. That means a lot at The Soap Fairy, where luscious handmade soaps such as rose-geranium and lavender-oatmeal, bath salts, balms and lotions make up the bulk of the inventory.

Page 12: Get It For a Steal | Gifts and Novelties + Grown-up Toys

 

The Station Gallery (3922 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-8638) is Delaware’s go-to showroom for prints, photos and paintings, but the gallery features a sale on custom framing during July. Instead of paying at least $100 in regular retail pricing, customers will receive 15 percent off any type of custom framing for mirrors, decor and prints.

Visit Tideline Gallery (220 Lantana Square, Hockessin, 235-0860; 146 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-4444) between Thanksgiving and Christmas for 20 percent savings on unique gifts, decorative pottery, jewelry and lamps. Tideline also hosts a jewelry sale in April, with discounts ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent.

Looking for sales in unusual items, such as clothing, jewelry, chocolate, purses, accessories, picture frames and artwork? Get on the mailing list at Village Imports (165 E. Main St., Newark, 368-9923) to receive 20 percent savings on select items. On the  first Saturday in May—World Fair Trade Day—the store features live music and serves chocolates, bananas and coffee.

At Whiskazz and Pawzz (500 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin, 235-2002) customers pant for sales in July and immediately after Christmas. All merchandise is discounted 50 percent, including Breeders Choice and Merrick foods, Douglas Paquette and Up Country collars, and Meteor Balls that light up, make noises and make dogs really happy. During sales, humans enjoy cake, champagne and soda while dogs munch treats. The store specializes in gift baskets for anniversaries, birthdays and new litters. “The guest pays for the items and the packaging and decorating is done free of charge,” says owner Alyce Duffy.

The Wooden Indian (25 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8331) celebrates its birthday on July Fourth weekend, so everything goes on sale at birthday time, though the amounts vary. Items which have been retired or discontinued sell for half-price. Retired Waterford gift pieces and Armani figurines can be had for a huge bargain.
 

GROWN-UP TOYS

Bike Line goes nuts in March, offering 10 percent to 50 percent off all merchandise.Preseason savings are in gear at Bike Line (486 Middletown Warwick Road, Middletown, 285-0134; 212 E. Main St., Newark, 368-8779; 2900 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 479-9438). An annual sale kicks off March 15 for the Newark location. In years past, the sale lasted all weekend, and the staff set up tents outside with 50 percent discounts. Other sales include 10 percent and up on accessories, as well as 15 percent off roof-rack systems, bicycling shoes and pedal systems. Look for Tour de France sales in July. Check the web site for big, big discounts on discontinued, but still bangin’ bicycles.

East of Maui (104 Saint Louis St., Dewey Beach, 227-4703) hosts its big Midnight Madness clearance sale on the second Wednesday of every August. The sale runs from 7 p.m. to midnight when apparel from Billabong, Rip Curl, O’Neil, Reef and more go on sale for half-off. Check in on Labor Day weekend for discounts and special pricing on kayaks.

Steer the cart toward Golf Galaxy (1295 Churchmans Road, Newark, 388-9005) during spring months for great savings on clubs, bags, apparel and technology. That’s when companies come out with new lines and the old lines are marked down. Manager Gary Corsaro says discounts and promotions vary, but there’s always something going on from week to week, especially for Advantage Club members. Local pros receive the latest on sales and discounts, as well as inside information on store merchandise. Call for details on memberships and promotions.

The Ski Bum (218 E. Main St., Newark, 454-9829) celebrates its anniversary every year by holding a mondo sale November 21-30. In the past, owners have allowed trade-ins of old skis for discounts on select items. The store also has a consignment sale October 18-19 and October 25-26, when customers swap used ski equipment for store credit or cash. The customer rewards program gives back $10 for every $200 spent.

Pedal to Wooden Wheels (301 Newark Shopping Center, Newark, 368-2453) during the second weekend of March for savings on everything in the store. From Friday to Monday, bikes, equipment and accessories are reduced by 10 percent, with some extra savings on selected items. For the serious cyclist, road bikes are available from $700 into the thousands. If you still have your training wheels, make sure you have helmets as well, which start at $30. Adventure bikers can grab a car rack for about $60 to $200. Though it’s not a mom-and-pop business, it is a brother-and-sister effort, so product quality and customer service are top priorities, says co-owner Kim Harvey.

Page 13: Going Once…

 

 Going Once…

Whether you’re pining for furniture, fine art, toy cars or Civil War carbines, Delaware auction houses are a great place to find unique bargains.

Mid-Atlantic Auctions and Appraisals, based in Greenville, holds its auctions at the Newark Senior Center (200 White Chapel Drive, Newark, 737-2336) two to four times a year. Find antiques, fine art, Oriental rugs and anything else auctioneer Edward Stinson calls “high-end 18th- and 19th-century stuff.” Visit www.mid-atlantic.com, or call 633-9470.

From its 15,000-square-foot facility, downstate giant Joseph C. O’Neal & Sons (11112 Laurel Road, Laurel, 875-5261) auctions antiques, farm machinery, real estate and personal property weekly. Visit www.onealsauction.com.

Each Saturday, Reagan and Associates Auctioneers (115 N. Washington St., Milford, 422-2392; 8956 Middleford Road, Seaford, 628-7653) bangs the gavel on antiques, restaurant equipment, farm machinery, vehicles and firearms, says auctioneer D. Scott Reagan. Visit www.reaganauctions.com.

Evard B. Hall Auctioneers (14099 Woodbridge Road, Greenwood, 349-0261) are purveyors of fine art, antiques, and the decorative arts of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Visit www.ebhallauctions.com for more.
Watson’s Auction Gallery (115 N. Washington St., Milford, 422-2392) specializes in antiques, collectibles and estate sales. It’s also a great place to find black Delaware license plates. Visit www.watsonsauction.com.

Staffed with an expert crew of appraisers, William H. Bunch Auctions & Appraisals (1 Hillman Drive, Chadds Ford, Pa., 610-558-1800) hosts bi-weekly sales featuring expansive estate catalogs culled from private homes, museums and collectors. Visit www.williambunchauctions.com for more.    —Matt Amis
 

Page 14: Be an Auction Ace

 

Be an Auction Ace

How? The experts tell.

DO Your homework. Know what you want before the bidding frenzy begins. “Knowledge is a good thing,” says Edward Stinson, owner of Mid-Atlantic Auctions and Appraisals in Greenville. “The most important thing is to buy what they love and will enjoy.” Most auction houses provide detailed listings of lots weeks before an auction, and many hold in-house previews. Get in early and ask questions, says Glen Watson of Watson’s Auction Gallery. “Most auctioneers will be happy to assist you,” he says. “And we have resource guides on hand for particular items, if someone wants to do their homework.”

DON’T Jump the gun. There are nuances to the bidding process. More experienced bidders will wait to get in on the bidding, Stinson says. Bidding too early or too high might drive the price tag up. Also, have a maximum bid in mind. “It’s so easy to get swept away in the frenzy of the auction,” he says. “Write down the items you want beforehand and how much you’re willing to pay.”

DO Understand the market. Demand for furniture and housewares is low and some great items can be had for a song. “I’m surprised at how little things are bringing right now,” Stinson says. “We have beautiful 200-year-old furniture selling for a quarter of the cost of a new piece of furniture. It’s a buyer’s market and it’s the best time of a lifetime to find furniture.”

DON’T Be intimidated. You can’t get something unless you raise your hand. “I think the biggest tip for a first-timer is not to be scared,” Watson says. “It can be intimidating for people, worrying whether vets of the auction circuit might jump in and steal their bid.” A little preparation and poise goes a long way.  —Matt Amis
 

Page 15: Survive Black Friday

 

Survive Black Friday

Do ravenous hordes of bargain buyers give you jitters? Here’s how to shop fast and light.

The poetic beauty of Black Friday: waves of hysterical, sleep-deprived shoppers grasping and clawing for the last of the Webkinz.

Ah, but Black Friday shopping needn’t be so perilous. You simply need to be prepared.

“The first thing you got to do is realize, hey, it’s Black Friday,” says Ed Tennyson, vice president of operations for Allied Properties, which owns Concord Mall in Wilmington. “Do your homework. Look at the circulars. Come prepared.”

Amy Norgate, general manager of Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach, echoes the Boy Scouts of America-like mantra.

“Make a list,” she says. “Knowing people’s sizes, knowing who wanted that brown leather purse is very important.”

Concord Mall opens its doors at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, though lines have been known to form hours before. Christiana Mall opens at 3 a.m. and Dover Mall opens at 6 a.m. Tanger Outlets lets shoppers go crazy for Midnight Madness, beginning at midnight on Thanksgiving night. Stores remain open and huge sales continue through the next morning.

“The Night Owl at midnight is fun,” Norgate says. “It’s a riot. People are having so much fun. It’s like a social kickoff party. If you have a very specific agenda, if you’re motivated and focused, I’d recommend taking advantage of early bird specials. That’s when the revelers from midnight shopping have died down. So 4 a.m. would be a great time to get in for the focused shopper.”

What about the cranky, unwitting shopper?

“Comfortable shoes are a must,” Norgate says. “Bring snacks, and be lean and picky about whom you shop with—one buddy, two buddies at most. And make sure you bring an honest dressing room buddy.”
“Lock your trunk,” Tennyson says. “Make sure all your hard work doesn’t go to someone else.”   —Matt Amis
 

Page 16: Local Online: www.easy

 

Local Online: www.easy

Special events require serious planning. Deciding what to wear, who to invite and what to serve can eat up time—not to mention gas—even for the most social of butterflies. Thankfully, local entrepreneurs have caught on to the demand for e-commerce convenience by making one-stop shopping as easy as point and click.  

Planning the guest list is often the trickiest part, but sifting through countless sets of stationery at various stores is equally frustrating. Hosts pressed for time and patience can check Wilmington-based finestationery.com, where designs from Vera Wang, Kate Spade and William Arthur can be easily viewed and purchased in a variety of quantities and styles.

When the time comes to find the perfect dress, couture junkies can get their fix at fashionbug.com, a Bear-based company that specializes in sophisticated separates and dresses from hot labels such as BCBG, Christian Dior and Gucci, all at discounts.

As the event gets underway, charming decor and spiked drinks make for a memorable evening and an inviting atmosphere. For fun accessories and whimsical gifts, wise-glass.com provides the perfect souvenirs of a party worth remembering. Wine glasses, highball glasses, mugs and more are engraved with “McDreamy,” “Lotus Lover,” and “Beach Goddess,” to name a few. Bonus: With the engraving on each glass, the goddess doesn’t have to worry about getting her drink mixed up with the lotus lover’s.                        —Emily Riley

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