The Real Guide to Bargains in Dallas, Texas
When most people think of Dallas, Texas, they probably don't have serious bargain shopping in mind. However, most people just don't realize that Dallas is a huge distribution and wholesale sales center for the garment industry and allied industries, and so you can find great bargains in Dallas on clothing, shoes, accessories, and even home decor--not to mention all the other great places to shop in Dallas. So put on your old clothing, dust off those comfortable shoes, pack up some snacks and your digital camera and a notebook, and get ready to save some serious cash! With more retail stores per capita than any other city in the world, shopping in Dallas is an art form!
Got here by mistake and don't live in Dallas? Or wish you had opportunities like this in your own town? Try learning to bargain shop wherever you live.
(Note: some of these stores are technically outside of the Dallas city limits; however, all the stores are in the immediate Dallas area with the exception of the Dillard's Clearance Center, and I have determined that that store is worth the drive.)
The Outlet and Discount Chains
There are several very good chains that have multiple locations in Dallas, and they are definitely encouraged: Marshall's, Ross Dress for Less, Big Lots, Tuesday Morning and T.J. Maxx all have wonderful products at great prices, and you should definitely give these stores a try, if only to have a good comparison for prices and products. In addition there are numerous great thrift stores, consignment stores, and resale stores in the Dallas area, and all of them have great bargains on anything imaginable, from antiques to toys. And there are even so-called "outlet" stores, especially in the outlet malls, but some of these stores can be almost as pricey as the original stores. However, this article focuses on the one-or-two -of-a-kind shops in the city of Dallas, TX and its suburbs, where overstocks, samples, and more are tucked away for the discerning bargain shopper to find at incredible prices.
Sam Moon and Jones New York
Bargain Accessories and Handbags
Sam Moon is well known to aficionados of accessories. If you have never been to Sam Moon, it is a huge, crowded store with purses, bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, tiaras, scarves, watches, hair extensions, hair accessories (headbands, combs, barrettes, and more), luggage, and a huge selection of everything, including sterling silver jewelry, all at heavily discounted prices.
Jones New York
Jones New York also has an excellent outlet store in the same center (Sam Moon is on the east side of the center; Jones New York is on the north side of the center). Current season clothes are on sale for as little as $20.00. On my last trip there, I saw nothing above $100.00, and the store was having a 20% off sale. Well worth it if you love this brand of clothing, and there was an excellent selection of jewelry, scarves, skirts, blouses, jackets and suits available on that visit. The staff was helpful and extremely friendly, and the store was spotless. For designer women's clothing, this is a true find!
Bargain Herbs and Spices
There's only one place to go for herbs and spices in Dallas; that's Penzey's Spices, on the southwest corner of Preston Road and LBJ Freeway. Their dried herbs and spices are as fresh as they come, and if you live in Dallas and buy from Central Market or another high-end store, you're buying Penzeys and paying the markup. Sign up for Penzeys mailer, and receive coupons good for free spices! Penzeys also carries soup bases, salad dressing bases, rubs, spice mixes, cocoas, and more. The store is bright, large and clean, the cashiers are fairly knowledgeable and always friendly and helpful, and the selection of herbs and spices is fantastic. In addition, the store is child-friendly, with a table set aside for them to sit and draw while you browse. If you come to Dallas and you love to cook, this store is a must! If you aren't near Dallas, try the Penzeys web site.
Bargain Shoes in Dallas, TX - the Off-Price Shoe Store
Around the corner (back to the west) from Penzeys, in the parking lot right next door, is the best-kept secret in shoe stores--Off-Price Shoes. Usually shoes are $9.99, and boots are about $14.99. Hit a lucky sale and you could walk away with shoes for half price. Just look for the white building that says Shoes $9.99 (or less if they're on sale). Yes, they have women's big and small sizes.
While you're there, check out the dresses at Terry Costa, across from Penzeys. If those dresses are your type of thing, you can find great bargains there, too.
Penzeys, Terry Costa, and the Off-Price Shoe Store
Bargain Indian Food, Clothing, and more
For the best bargains in Indian ingredients, food, and clothing, head over to the southwest and northwest corners of I-75 and Belt Line Road. Three Indian groceries (at last count) and a number of stores selling Indian clothing, cookware, religious items, and more, all at extremely cheap prices. How about two pounds of tahini for $4.99? Some groceries will carry exotic items, such as fresh Indian vegetables. They all carry Indian spices and ingredients, drinks, and some even carry jewelry. The produce is priced much cheaper than at most Dallas-area groceries, and for dried beans, peas, lentils, and other dried foods and teas, the prices are real bargains! Because of India's close historical relationship with Great Britain, you can also find English brands of some products not available in regular groceries. And if you get hungry, there are several Indian restaurants around with delicious food and reasonable prices, or some of the stores have lunch counters inside with prepared foods available.
Discount Fabric in Dallas
Bargain Fabric in Dallas, TX
If you sew, or you need fabric for curtains or another home decorating project, such as reupholstering furniture, head on down to Perth Street in Dallas for the best deals around. Simply start on Perth Street at Best Fabrics, and work your way around the dozen or so wholesale fabric stores located on this street. Don't get excited and buy too soon, as you may find your best deals at the third or fourth store you visit. Don't forget to check out items like notions, trims (including upholstery trims and nailheads), beaded or lace collars, and designer buttons. Then head down the block a little south on Harry Hines to Golden d'Or, which supplies retailers all over the country with some of the most beautiful fabrics you've ever seen. Don't forget to check out their fabulous bridal fabrics and the clearance room at the back of the store! On your way out of Golden d'Or, be sure to sign up for their email list so that you'll be alerted to their clearance sales. And if you don't sew, Golden d'Or offers free sewing classes!
Once you've finished there, if you have energy and cash left, head on over to Petra's Fabrics. They have a nice selection of lace, as well as some other things you won't find at any of the other stores. A little pricey compared to some of the stores, but you'll definitely want to check it out.
Many More Bargains
Heading south on Harry Hines towards downtown Dallas will give you an astonishing array of stores selling just about everything from cabinets to floors, lighting fixtures to carpet. Go in, scope the place out, make a few notes, and hurry down the street to the next place. Find the best deal, then go back and buy it fast before it disappears!
Read More From Toughnickel
If you have a day to spend exploring, turn on Lombardy Lane back west, and drive up and down the side streets. If you see a store, simply walk in and ask them if they sell to the public. If no, the person you ask will often point you to a nearby store that does sell to the public. I have found incredible bargains!
Vantage street is anchored by Vantage Shoe Warehouse, which carries clothing, accessories, and, of course, shoes! Prices are usually at least 60% off and often 80% off of designer brands. Vantage Shoe Warehouse is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and their 9,000 square foot showroom stocks thousands of pairs of shoes. Of course, you can (and should!) go exploring the neighbourhood, which, like all warehouse and distribution districts, changes its composition from year to year. The question to ask the store is, "Do you sell to the public?" If they say no, smile, and say "Thank you. Do you know someone who does?" If it's a nearby warehouse store, you are in luck!
(There is an art gallery on Vantage Street. Don't expect to find any bargains there.)
Bargain Appliances in Dallas, TX
The venerable U.S. retailer, Sears, built its long-standing reputation on offering serviceable and durable goods at reasonable prices. But some items just don't sell, and then they go to the Sears outlet store in Carrollton (just north of Dallas). Refrigerators, stoves, ovens, dishwashers, tools, washers, dryers, lawn mowers, trimmers, edgers, and some home electronics such as televisions can all be found at quite reasonable prices. Depending on current policies, stores may or may not be able to negotiate further. However, it doesn't hurt to ask "Is this your best price?" Appliances will most likely be the highly-rated and usually reliable Kenmore brand, but other brands may be available from time to time.
Not far away, Sears has another outlet: a huge store filled with just about everything Sears sells, and all at extremely low prices (the last time I went, jeans were just $7!). You'll definitely want to keep this on your list and stop by often. The quality and selection of merchandise is good and the prices are excellent.
Inwood Outlet Center
Bargain Housewares in Dallas, Texas
Along with several other stores, Crate and Barrel has an outlet store in Dallas. While not as great as some of the bargains you can find elsewhere, if you really love something Crate and Barrel carries, it's worth looking into. Try next door for more housewares. There's also the Simmons Mattress Outlet, and several other outlet stores that, obviously, come and go with the vagaries of the economy, but if you're in the area, it's worth a stop to check out.
One item of note for those who sew: the Crate and Barrel Outlet sells fabric remnants (very small) for 95 cents per pound. They're not big enough remnants to make a scarf or anything, but extremely useful and cheap for such things as covering buttons, making patches, or doing patchwork quilting.
For those of you who love the Tuesday Morning stores (and who doesn't love them? even my father will go to them!) they always have great bargains and many convenient locations. Although Tuesday Morning recently closed their outlet store, you can still find clearance items in the original store on Inwood. When you go in, buyer's samples will be on the rear wall at the far-left of the store, and the clearance room will be at the room farthest to the left by the front wall. The size of that room is changeable, so sometimes you will find tons of great stuff, and other times the pickings will be slim. That's the life of the bargain hunter, unfortunately!
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Floor and Decor Outlet
Seconds and Surplus
Bargain Home Improvement Materials in Dallas, Texas
While most people are familiar with the Habitat for Humanity charitable organization, you may not know that they have "Re-Stores," where the organization sells donated but unused material. The items in their ReStores are new materials or salvage materials that have been donated to (but not used by, or leftover from projects built by) Habitat for Humanity. I have seen sinks, tubs, laminate flooring, cabinets, countertops, lighting, construction materials, and many more items, so if you are building or improving a room or a house, the ReStores are definitely worth a look to see if something takes your fancy. The Habitat for Humanity outlet store has real bargains on everything in their stores and is completely worth the trip. As if that were not enough, each month they have specials of up to 50% off their already discounted prices! With two Dallas locations, the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity ReStores offer you not only great prices, but a chance to support a worthy cause, as well!
The Floor and Decor Outlet has three stores in the Dallas area: I've been to the one in Dallas, where this outlet store features Armstrong and Bruce laminate flooring (as well as some lesser-known brands), hardwood flooring, ceramic, stone and glass tile, underlayments, flooring accessories (threshholds, etc.), stone and glass sinks, kitchen cabinets and countertop materials, and hard surface cleaning products, including the line of hardwood and hard surface cleaners from Bona. There are only hard-surfaced materials here, so for carpet you'll have to look elsewhere. There's a lot to see in this warehouse-type store, so if you're looking for flooring, be sure to take good notes to be sure of what you're seeing, and go already knowing the prices and your budget. There are also two other locations in the D/FW area: one in Plano and one in Arlington. Most locations are open 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, Mondays through Saturdays, and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays. If there's not a store near you, you can still shop with the Floor and Decor savings through the Floor and Decor Outlet website.
Seconds and Surplus is another well-recognized outlet for home improvement supplies in Dallas, TX. With two locations, Seconds and Surplus has great prices on laminate, tile, bathroom sinks, granite countertops, lighting, cabinets, and many more items — even hardwood flooring. Be sure to check the Seconds and Surplus website for coupons and sales, and their products are new, ordered directly from manufacturers' surplus stocks. Featuring both entry-level and high-end products, Seconds and Surplus is well worth a visit for even the most mundane home improvement items (like replacing your toilet roll holder), and there is no telling what you will find. Even if it is not in the store, one of their staff may be able to locate and order an item for you at significant savings.
Bargain Outdoor Accessories in Dallas, TX
:Brinkmann, long a trusted name for grills and smokers, has opened an outlet store in Addison, just north of Dallas. Their outlet store carries gas, charcoal and electric grills and smokers, grill accessories, landscape and handheld outdoor lighting (including solar outdoor lighting), pet accessories, Remington clothing, turkey fryers, camping equipment, and boat covers. In short, if you need anything at all for enjoying those summer evenings outdoors, you can't go wrong with Brinkmann (I have one of their smokers and I love it!). This outlet store is only a few months old, and it will most probably expand over time, as most outlets tend to do. The Brinkmann outlet store is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30. to 5:30 p.m.
My most recent trip there was very nice. We received excellent customer service, and bought a dented Brinkmann gas grill for about 45% off list; got help loading it into the car, and although no manufacturer's warranty was given, the shop agreed to fix the grill if we got it home and it was not working. A big thank you to Brian, who patiently answered questions and helped us make our decision. (Incidentally, not all of the merchandise is scratch/dent quality; some is just plain overstock.)
The outlet store is all the way on the right-hand side of the 4215 McEwen address, past the warehouse docks.
Weir's Furniture Outlet
Bargain High-End Furniture in Dallas, TX
The Weir's Furniture chain has both regular stores and outlet stores; sometimes the regular store and the outlet store are housed together in the same building. However, their Farmers Branch store is only an outlet store. Weir's Furniture offers a wide selection of furniture and accessories, from the rustic to the sleek and modern, and reasonable prices for real wood furniture (no flat packs here!). Remember when you look at the prices that this is real quality furniture, not cheap knockoffs, so there is no particle board and the prices will reflect the quality. Pieces range from console tables, to individual chairs, to bedroom or living room suites. If you're planning on using high-end furniture in your house, Weir's Furniture is definitely worth a look!
Bargain Sports Equipment and Apparel in Dallas, TX
Bargain Retail Clothing in Dallas, TX
The Dillard's Clearance Center (okay this is a stretch since it is in Arlington, not Dallas, but it's so great I will make an exception for it) has out-of-season new clothing and shoes up to 75% off the original retail price with occasional sales (usually on holiday weekends) of up to 50% off the clearance price (you would pay 12.5% of the original price). Inside one of those "zombie malls," the Dillards Clearance Center is dimly lit, dusty, and the fitting room people and managers are rude, but if the price is right, it's worth the trip. Called "Dirty Dillards" by the insiders, it offers mostly women's and men's clothing and shoes, occasionally other items such as furniture, and the children's selection may be limited, but when it is there it is a real bargain. The place is huge, so allow 4 hours or longer for completely exploring the Dillards Clearance Center.