Gap shopping in store and online can be cheaper than shopping at Walmart.
Don’t believe me?
If I were to compare Gap to a grocery store, (’cause on KCL, that’s how we do!) it wouldn’t be the no-frills bag-your-own-groceries chain. It would be the corner supermarket (think Kroger) where regular prices can seem high, but loss-leader sales and promotions drive them lower than any competitor.
I’ll show you how to time your shopping around those sales, so you can pay less for an outfit at Gap than you would at Walmart.
For example, you can get GapKids clearance shirts for under $8 and jeans for under $10 — slightly less than everyday prices you’d see at Walmart.
Before you dive in, be sure to download the KCL app to spend less and save more!
1. Wait for Gap 50% off sales, which happen almost every month.
You’ll see tons of Gap sales throughout the year, but the ones to look out for are the 50% off markdowns and sale prices that occur almost every month.
These are the sales where you’ll get women’s jeans for $10-15 and men’s khakis for $9. Shop the sale early for the best selection — sales last about a week, longer during the summer.
Ignore sales like “Great Gap Sale” or “Summer Cyber Sale,” because they’re basically hype. These sales won’t offer deep discounts like an extra-percent-off markdowns sale will.
Here’s a breakdown of what sales to look for and when:
- 50% off markdowns: Take place in January, March, June and October
- Store-wide 40% off + an extra 10% off: Happen every four-to-six weeks, last three-to-four days and usually take place in February, May, July and September
- Friends and Family event: 40% off everything and typically take place in March and November
PRO TIP: Sign up for Gap and GapFactory emails to get instant updates on upcoming sales.
2. Shop the Gap Black Friday sale and get an extra 50% off everything in store.
Black Friday is the prime time to shop at Gap — period. During the week leading up to Black Friday, and on that day, you can get an extra 50% off everything in the store, including markdowns.
Best part? You can shop online! Last year, you could use a Gap promo code to get an extra 10% off on Cyber Monday as well.
RELATED: Find out how to get your favorite jeans (including Gap!) for 75% less.
3. Sign up for Gap’s Bright Rewards to save 2% cash back.
Sign up for Gap’s Bright Rewards and get 2% cash back.
You’ll earn two points for every $1 you spend and when you reach 500 points ($250 spent at Gap), you’ll receive a $5 reward to spend at any of the Gap family of stores.
Another perk is that you can use your points both online and in store. For online purchases, make sure you use the email linked to your Bright Rewards account. For in-store purchases, just enter your phone number at checkout.
It’s not a credit card, and it’s free to become a member (you can sign up for Bright Rewards here).
PRO TIP: Not sure about the status of your rewards? Check under “My Points and Rewards” at Gap.com to see how many points you’ve racked up.
4. Always use a Gap coupon code and never pay full price.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — never pay full price at Gap!
With Gap coupon codes, which are widely available and updated frequently, often multiple times per week, you’ll never have to. Here’s how to get Gap coupons and promo codes:
- Visit Gap.com and watch for the coupon banner at the top of the page for discounts between 30-70-40% off
- Sign up for Gap emails and receive a 25% off coupon within minutes. Avoid junk mail by signing up for a dummy email account just for newsletter signups
- Add services like Honey to your browser toolbar to automatically apply Gap promo codes to your order at checkout
5. GapCash looks like a deal, but you have to spend a lot to earn a little.
The problem with GapCash is you have to spend a lot to earn a little.
You can apply $25 of GapCash to every $50 you spend. If you spend $50-75, you earn $20 of GapCash that can be applied to a future purchase, including sale and clearance items.
So if you buy $100 worth of clearance and regular price items, you can redeem $50 of GapCash and get 50% off that purchase, which is a great deal.
Here’s the catch: You can only save and redeem GapCash during specific GapCash periods throughout the year, and you can only redeem up to $120 of GapCash per purchase. After the GapCash period expires, so does your GapCash.
You also can’t stack GapCash with other coupons or promo codes; you have to stick with one or the other. If you’re a frequent Gap shopper and you pile up stacks of GapCash, by all means use it.
Otherwise, wait on the big sales and just use Gap promo codes and coupons.
6. You can stack coupon codes for days as long as they’re valid.
Gap.com allows you stack as many coupon codes as you want as long as they’re valid. Not all coupon codes stack. Usually a percent-off discount will stack with a dollar-off discount.
In my order, I used the Gap promo code: NEWGEAR, which I got for signing up for Gap emails and saved 40%. Then I got another $2.34 back in cash through Rakuten for a total savings of 50% percent off.
You can also apply up to five rewards codes in the checkout for even more money off your purchase.
7. If the in-store promo requires manual coupon entry, no other coupons may be applied.
Your Gap store may allow a coupon such as a 10% off in addition to an in-store promotion such as an additional 25% off sale.
But it really depends on the types of coupons being used.
Gap allows you to stack coupons on top of in-store promotions as long as that coupon is valid. For instance, the coupon’s fine print may say that it can’t be combined with in-store promotions.
If you’re unsure if your coupon is valid or not, just try it anyway. The worst that can happen is it gets turned down.
8. Shop GapFactory for cheaper prices on jeans.
GapFactory has an in-house design team that makes their own exclusive “casual-chic” styles not sold at other stores, and the prices are also about $10 cheaper than what you’d find at Gap.
For example, a pair of distressed legging jeans on GapFactory starts at $69.99, but a similar pair of high-rise ankle skinny jeans at Gap starts at $79.75.
You can tell if an item is from the regular Gap or the Gap Outlet by looking at the price. Regular priced items at Gap Factory end in $.99, and regular priced items at Gap retail end in $.95.
Be sure to check out the Gap store locator for a Gap Outlet (or any other Gap store) near you.
PRO TIP: Gap cardholders can earn and redeem rewards at GapFactory Store.
9. Shop Gap Outlet clearance sales and get over 70% off.
Gap Outlet clearance sales are the prime time to shop because you can get over 70% off some items.
For instance, last time I checked the Gap Factory clearance sale, I found:
- Crewneck T’s for $7 (reg. price $24.99)
- Slim-fit khakis for $15 (reg. price $50)
- Flannel shirts for $12 (reg. price $50)
Gap Outlet socks and underwear are already priced cheaper than what you’d pay at a Gap store (like $2-3 cheaper), but if you shop the Outlet clearance sales, you can find these items for as low as $3 a piece. What a steal!
10. Only buy Gap Factory jeans when they’re 50% off or more.
Gap Factory denim goes on sale frequently, so you’re doing yourself a disservice by paying anything less than 50% off. During their last clearance sale, I found several pairs online marked at 60% off or more.
11. Combine items in your online shopping cart across Gap’s sister brands to get free shipping.
Gap charges $6 for shipping on orders placed online or over the phone. But get this: You can combine items in your shopping cart from each of Gap’s sister brands to meet their $50 minimum for free shipping.
So if you add a pair of jeans to your shopping cart at Gap.com, then go to Banana Republic in another separate window and add a shirt, you’ll see two items in your shopping cart when you checkout. It’s that easy!
PRO TIP: Seasonal sales and markdowns tend to overlap across Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap and GapFactory. Hold off on your shopping until these sales coincide to get the most bang for your buck.
12. Gap.com often does markdowns first, but Gap stores will match online prices.
Retail prices of Gap apparel are the same online and in store, but markdown prices are almost always different.
Gap.com often does markdowns first. But, once the physical stores mark items down, those prices are frequently lower in store than online.
Just mention the online price or percent-off promotion when you shop in store, and the sales associate will match that price.
Gap.com will also honor in-store sales and promotions when you call to place your order with Gap customer service at (800) 427-7895. If you’re having trouble finding an item or a size you need in store, ask your local sales associate to call in your order, and customer service will honor the in-store price or sale.
13. You can’t combine online price matching with in-store promos.
Unfortunately, you can’t double-dip by matching a lower online price with an in-store promo. In other words, if you saw a denim jacket online for $5 off, but denim jackets were marked 30% off in the store, you wouldn’t be able to price match for the $5 off online and then take another 30% off for the in-store only sale.
You have to stick with “all online” or “all in-store”; no mixing and matching.
14. Look for Gap markdowns during the week.
Gap stores do not adhere to strict or consistent clearance markdown schedules, but here is what I can tell you — markdowns usually happen mid-week, often on Wednesdays.
Friday-Monday is spent preparing for, dealing with and recovering from weekend shoppers. An item’s first markdown (the little orange sticker) happens about four weeks after it arrives in the store.
Gap also has the occasional “long weekend” sales online that bleed into the early week.
15. Gap regular prices end in $0.95 and sales end in $0.99.
Gap has a pricing pattern with their regular prices and sales items. Regular priced items will end in a “5.” The first markdown will result in a price ending in a “9,” such as $8.99 and $14.99.
16. Prices ending in $0.97 are known by Gap employees as “price kills.”
Most items will be marked down at least once before reaching a final sale price (price ending in “7”). In the photo above, the item was marked $4.97, then marked down again to $2.97.
Prices ending in $0.97 are final markdowns and cannot be returned. In rare cases, if a price kill item doesn’t sell for at least a month, it’s “killed” again.
Note that if you buy a GapKids clearance shirt that’s $9.97 and you get an extra 50% off, it’ll ring up as $4.99 on your receipt. But, you still can’t return it because it already reached the $0.97 markdown.
17. The best sizes to find on Gap clearance are fringe sizes.
Demand for some sizes is greater than others, increasing or lessening the likelihood that you’ll be able to get a deal.
In Baby Gap, sizes 3T-5T always sell out first, 12-18 months and 18-24 months last.
And newborn smaller sizes follow the same larger-size trend, making 0-3 month clothing widely available at markdown prices. Across the aisle in GapKids, the opposite is true.
Sizes XS-M are way more likely to disappear before reaching their lowest price than kids’ sizes L-XXL.
By the time we get to adult sizes, this rule is more of a suggestion. Outlying sizes generally hang around stores the longest.
If you wear a ladies’ size zero and size 11 shoe, you should be doing a happy dance right now.
18. If you are a size 0-8, consider shopping in the kids’ section.
Gap often reproduces basic items, like khakis, T’s and denim jackets in kid sizes, which are significantly cheaper.
You can buy boy’s sizes up to XXXL, which mimics a women’s 8. Girl’s sizes go up to 16, which mimic women’s sizes 6 or 8.
A quick online price check will tell you that women’s flat front khakis run up to $80+ a pair. The most expensive boy’s khakis average around $40-$45. That’s a steal.
PRO TIP: Want an even better deal? Shop kids’ markdowns and pocket an additional $20.
NOTE: According to the size chart, adult sizes tend to be a half-inch wider in the waist. You should still try on the corresponding kid’s size item, since measurements and proportions aren’t always exact. If your exact size in kids is a bit small, then size up.
If you want to do some more research yourself, you can compare sizes by viewing the Gap size charts.
19. Shop Gap Kids final sales and get an outfit for cheaper than Walmart.
Gap Factory and Gap retail stores often run final sales for kids’ items making it totally possible to pay less than what you’d pay at Walmart for a full outfit.
It might sound too good to be true, but it’s not. I found a Gap kids long-sleeve graphic T-shirt for $7.97 (reg. price $26.95) and kids Uniform Classic Chinos for $9.97 (reg. price $29.95) — that’s $18 total.
At Walmart, buying a similar outfit (long-sleeve T-shirt and pants) would cost me around $25.
To stay updated on the lowest prices, favorite GAP on the KCL app!
PRO TIP: Most consignment stores won’t buy back kids’ clothes from places like Walmart, but they will make an exception for Gap. To get the most out of your dollar, shop Gap Kids clearance sales and resell them later once your kids grow out of them.
20. Get a price adjustment if your item’s price drops less than 14 days after purchase.
Gap offers a one-time price adjustment within 14 days of an in-store purchase with original receipt. For online purchases, email Gap customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can’t get an adjustment for an online purchase in-store.
Gap price adjustments apply to markdowns (the orange sticker), in-store promotions and items purchased with a free shipping discount, but not if you used a Gap promo code and not if it’s a final sale item (ending in $0.97).
Example: if you bought a shirt on sale for $12.99 and you return a few days later when sale items are an extra 40% off, you should get an adjustment for $5.20.
Another easy way to save money at Gap is by getting the sale price even if you didn’t buy during the sale!
PRO TIP: Sign up for Paribus and they’ll keep an eye on your online Gap purchases so that when there’s a markdown on something you bought, you’ll get any easy price adjustment.
21. Don’t buy anything that’s been in store for less than three weeks.
While you can definitely request a price adjustment, don’t buy an item that just arrived in the store and hope for the price to drop within 14 days.
Instead, wait about three weeks before you buy it
(Just ask an employee how long they’ve had the item in stock.) Items usually see their first markdown about four weeks after the original stock date.
22. Get a Gap Credit card if you only shop at Gap stores.
Sure you can save a little more money at Gap with the Gap credit card if you spend a ton of money at Gap stores. Basically you get 5% cash back at the Gap or sister stores, 10% off in store all the time, and a ONE TIME 20% off plus free shipping code for your first Gap or GapFactory online purchase.
If you’re a new parent and you’re living on a budget, skip the Gap credit card. But, if you’ve got a houseful of kids and you’re outfitting them all in Gap apparel (or Old Navy, etc), you might find it useful. But, the interest is over 27% and late fees are $39! Ouch.
23. Or you can buy a Gap discount gift card instead.
Shop second-hand gift cards and save an extra 10-20%, which I would say is a way better deal.
Browse the selection at Cardpool.com, or Raise.com and look for the greatest discount. I recently purchased a $75 gift card for $64.50 (14% savings), then used it on an online order where I bought $189 retail for only $80. When factoring my gift card savings, it made my total out of pocket $69.50, 63% off retail price.
Keep in mind, Old Navy and Banana Republic gift cards can also be redeemed at Gap, so broaden your gift card search to include other brands!
24. Stock up on kids’ clothes when they’re 55-75% off.
Gap’s pricing strategies have changed over the past five-to-six years. The store has moved to higher prices and bigger sales.
But, the average cost of individual sale items hasn’t really changed. I’ve been using the following as guidelines for children’s apparel:
What I find now is that there are more outliers, like shirts and shorts for $23 and an occasional dress that never drops below $16.99.
But 90% of the time, Gap sale kids’ items can be purchased for anywhere from 55-75% off their original price. For example, I’ve seen toddler beanies go from $24.95 to $4.99 and a toddler sweatshirt marked down from $29.95 to $12.99.
25. Reserve items online and pick them up in-store for free.
Not ready to commit to those marked-down boyfriend jeans until you try them on?
Reserve them online and you can try them on in the store and then decide.
When you see something you like online, click “FIND IT NOW” and type in your ZIP code. You’ll see which stores near you carry it and which one’s don’t.
Items are usually available within one hour and you can reserve up to five pieces per store (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, etc.).
PRO TIP: If you see something in-store you like but can’t find in your size, order it at the checkout counter and they’ll ship it to you for free!
26. Use Gap’s return policy to save even more.
Any unwashed, unworn or defective purchases can be returned within 45 days for a full refund if you have your original receipt (without receipt if you’re a cardholder).
With such a generous return policy, you can fill up your online cart with clothes you haven’t yet made a decision on and meet the minimum spend to get free shipping. Just make sure you return those items before the 45-day period is over and that none of the items are final markdowns ending in “7.”
PRO TIP: If you’re trying out Athleta or Hill City gear, you can workout in your clothes first to see if you like them. If not, return them!
27. Take advantage of the Gap employee discount.
One of the biggest perks for working at Gap or one of its sister brands is the merchandise discount, which extends to employees and their spouses or partners.
Gap employees can take 50% off all regular-priced items at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. You also get 30% off of Gap Outlet prices and 25% off at Athleta.
So if you work at Gap, it would make total sense to do your own shopping (or gift shopping) with that sweet discount.
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