National Consumer News

7 things you didn’t know about Nordstrom Rack that can save you money


By Charis Rebecca Brown,

It’s no secret that Nordstrom Rack is my favorite discount store, and as it turns out, it’s many other people’s favorite store too! The extreme bargains, the brands you love, and the rush you get when you find an amazing item that’s 70% to 90% off —  it’s a bargain hunter’s dream.

But some people wonder if the deals are really worth it there. After all, parent retailer Nordstrom is known for being a high-end fashion retailer, selling things like designer handbags, clothing, shoes and accessories that can cost you a pretty penny.

The good news though is that Nordstrom Rack really can save you money on quality apparel you’d be hard pressed to find at any other place!

Here are 7 things you didn’t know about Nordstrom Rack that can save you money!

1. The “Clear the Rack” sales happen about 12 times a year.

If you really want to save money at Nordstrom Rack, you’ll want to go during the end of season “Clear the Rack” sales. During these sales, you’ll get 25% off already reduced items, which mean huge savings for you!

Though the exact dates for the Clear the Rack sales change every year, these are the remaining dates for 2016 and some in 2017:

  • 9/2-9/7; 9/29-9/30
  • 10/1-10/2; 10/11
  • 11/9-11/13 11/25;11/28
  • 12/26-12/31
  • 1/1-1/2
  • 2/17-2/20

And when it comes to discounts, these aren’t namby-pampy discounts we’re talking. Check out this designer jacket I found during the last Clear the Rack sale.

Things you didn't know about Nordstrom Rack that can save you money

It might be a little difficult to see since the price is upside down, but this designer jacket had an original price of $299. I would never pay $300 for a jacket, and I’m not sure if I would have considered it for $59.97 either, even though that’s a savings of 80%. But once the stickers start turning red, that’s when you know you’re starting to get a great deal!

The discount on this item didn’t stop there though. Although it was marked at $44.91, during the Clear the Rack sale it was an ADDITIONAL 25% off the clearance price, making the final price $33.68. That’s 90% off the retail price. Score! And I loved that the item was made in the USA too.

2. Not everything sold in Nordstrom Rack stores is from Nordstrom.

Though items that did not sell at the mainline Nordstrom stores do get moved over to the Rack, other items are purchased specifically for the Rack end up in Rack stores too. Rack buyers are super concerned with quality and value and they want to make sure they purchase brands Rack customers will love, so you can also find a great deal on these items.

Brands that are purchased in lots for the Rack include Calvin Klein, Democracy Jeans, Lush, Pleione, Bobeau, Splendid, Vince Camuto, Lucky, True Religion, Daniel Rainn and more.

3. Many items are American-made!

One reason why items at Nordstrom are a bit more expensive is because the company is big on buying made in the USA whenever possible. Though Nordstrom has a section of made in the USA items on its website, many of these items get shipped over to Rack stores if they don’t sell at the mainline stores.

Here are just a few of the made in the USA brands that are sold at Nordstrom Rack:

  • 7 For All Mankind®
  • AG
  • Bobeau
  • Citizens of Humanity
  • Eileen Fisher
  • Free People
  • Gibson
  • Hanky Panky
  • Hudson Jeans
  • Karen Kane
  • Lush
  • Michael Stars
  • Munro
  • NYDJ
  • Pleione
  • rag & bone
  • Socialite
  • Splendid
  • Theory
  • Zella

4. If you find something you love that’s not in your size, it can be shipped to you.

If you find something you love but it’s not quite the right size, you can ask a sales associate to use the inventory finder to locate it in another store. If it’s a store that’s close enough to drive to, you can visit the store; otherwise, they can send the item right to your house! Shipping costs about $8, depending on the item. Though it may be pretty rare to find additional inventory of something at a great price on the clearance racks, it never hurts to ask. And who knows, another store just might have it!

5. Nordstrom has a debit card that allows you to earn free money you can spend at the store.

Though Clark isn’t big on store cards due to the high interest rates, there is a type of store card he does like: Store cards that are actually debit cards!

Such is the case with the Nordstrom Debit Card. Not only do you get to earn points just like Nordstrom’s regular credit cards, but you’ll avoid high interest rates and the temptation of racking up a high balance, since it’s actually just a debit card connected to your bank account. This card is much like Target’s REDcard.

When you first sign up and spend $100, you’ll get $20 back in the form of a “Nordstrom Note” you can spend in the store. Thereafter, you can earn 2 points for every dollar spent, and every 2,000 points earned gets you another $20 Nordstrom Note. But, these points can add up quicker during sale events — adding up to as much as 6 points per dollar spent.

6. Sometimes you can find items for $.01!

This is a rarity, but I once found an item for $.01 at Nordstrom Rack, and another time when I was shopping with a friend she found an item for $.01 too! Shopping for the $.01 items is for the real bargain shopper, because technically these items are supposed to be taken out of inventory. These $.01 items appear every so often because an associate didn’t catch it during a stock transition. They are supposed to be pulled out of inventory and shipped to Nordstrom’s “Last Chance” clearance store in Phoenix, Arizona, where they are sold final sale — no returns or exchanges.

If you ever do find a $.01 item though, it may well be a surprise at the checkout line, since the tagged price is never marked this way. If you want to try to find $.01 items, go to a store with a lot of inventory where something is likely to fall through the cracks. You might have to annoy a salesperson for price checks in order to find the penny items though. For the most part, these $.01 items are just an extra welcome surprise for shopping at Nordstrom Rack.

7. Nordstrom Rack offers alterations in-store.

This is something not many people know about, but if you have a dress that needs alterations or pants that need hemming, you can request alterations right in the store! Typically the alterations department is located near the men’s dressing room.

Though full-line Nordstrom stores offer free alterations on most full-priced items, (depending on the service), Nordstrom Rack does charge for alterations in its stores. But, having alterations done at the store will save you time and hassle since you won’t have to take your item to another place! You can find a price list for Nordstrom Rack alterations here.


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