Stephanie Nelson | 

14 DSW Shopping Tips to Save You at Least 70%

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Is a shoe habit really a “problem” if you’re saving money every time you buy a new pair? Asking for a friend… DSW Shoes is one of my favorite places to shop because they always have coupons, sales, and a membership program with special perks.

From how to get the best DSW coupons to why you should always aim to save 70%, here are the best DSW Shoe hacks that I promise you’ll wish you knew sooner. I know I…I mean, my friend did.

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1. Get DSW promo codes and early sale notifications when you sign up for emails.

A sign up email on a cell phone that says "DSW. You're On the List".

In the past, they sent a $10 DSW coupon, but to get that now you have to sign up for the VIP program (more on that below). Nowadays, emails will have promo codes for 25% off certain brands, or, on Jan. 5, they sent an email with a promo code that could get you a free packing set with a $39 purchase.

Find a DSW near you.


2. Join DSW Shoes free reward program to get 5% back on your purchases.

A person holding up a DSW VIP info card near checkout.

DSW’s loyalty program is called VIP Rewards and it basically gives you $5 in rewards credit for every $100 you spend (5% back). The most important thing you get for signing up is free shipping with no minimum spend. And you get a $10 your next purchase coupon!

All three tiers (Club, Gold and Elite) also give you a birthday coupon ($5 off for Club and Gold, $10 off for Elite), additional coupons in your email and a free accessory once a year, like a duffle bag. The Elite tier gets you free two-day shipping, but you gotta spend $500 a year to get to that level.


3. Stack up to three different DSW coupon codes in one transaction.

A person holding DSW coupons at the checkout register in store.

When you’re a VIP Rewards member, DSW will also send you coupons in the snail mail, including the $10 off sign up coupon. These same coupons can be found under Rewards on the app. You can stack up to three different codes in one transaction both online and in store.


4. Donate gently worn shoes once a week to work your way toward a free $5 reward.

DSW accepts any size of gently worn shoes for charity, and DSW VIP members get 50 reward points for your shoe donation — halfway to a $5 reward.

You can donate as many shoes as you want, but you can only get 50 points per week. But, you could donate every week if you wanted to! That’s $10 of DSW rewards a month.

P.S. Your donation is tax deductible.


5. Watch for extra discounts on high-end brands at DSW during Black Friday.

DSW doesn’t typically have earth-shattering Black Friday sales, but this year they will.

DSW’s 2020 Black Friday deals started on Thanksgiving Day — Thursday, Nov. 26. They had deals on high-end and designer brands, like 25% off UGG boots and Gucci, since their parent company mentioned a shift toward athleisure styles earlier this year. They also had 50% off all boots, 30% off almost everything in the store, and a free tote with a $39 purchase.



6. Return online purchases to the store and save yourself $8.50.

A shipping box held in front of a DSW store.

If you’re Gold or Elite status, you get free shipping on all purchases and returns.

But if you’re a Club or non-member, you’ll pay $8.50 to return your shoes by mail. So basically, don’t ever return anything from anywhere but in the store. Plus, these days you can do contactless curbside pickup.


7. Pay attention to the color of price tags to get the best discount.

A close up of a sign for Clearance shoes, showing purple, red, blue, green, and yellow, and the discount vales that accompany each color.

White tags: Full-price items

Red tags: 20% off clearance

Blue tags: 30% off clearance

Green tags: 40% off clearance

Purple tags: 50% off clearance

Yellow tags: 60% off clearance


8. DSW stores do not price match

An iPhone displaying the DSW app showing clearance shoes, held next to similar shoes in the store.

That being said, if you find a cheaper price on on a pair you want to buy while shopping in store, you can — and should — still ask if they’re willing to charge you the lower price. But as a rule, DSW doesn’t price match.

Likewise, you could try to price match a lower in store price when shopping online, but it’s a little tricker because you’ll need to contact DSW customer service at (866) DSW.SHOES.

P.S. Prices can also vary by DSW location.


9. DSW will price match up to seven days after purchase if your item goes on sale.

Bought an item only to find out it went to clearance a few days later? No worries. Head to a DSW store with the receipt — no need to bring the shoes along — and they’ll refund you the difference.


10. Use After Pay when shipping to pay in interest-free installments. orders are eligible for After Pay. Spend up to $1,000, then pay in four installments, every two weeks — with no interest or added fees.


11. Shop in store to get the lowest prices on clearance merch.

A white shoe on display with a blue sales tag reading "40% off". A cell phone is held next to the shoe and sign with the same shoe on the DSW app, with a regular sales price.

If you see something you like in store on clearance, do a quick google or look in the DSW app to make sure you’re getting the best price. In my experience, online prices are rarely cheaper.


12. But DSW Shoes online has a bigger and better selection of clearance shoes.

Person on a computer, online shopping for clearance shoes from

For example, there was one small rack for size 10 men’s shoes in the store (maybe 40 pairs), compared to 409 pairs on I see when I sort men’s clearance shoes by size 10 online.



13. Peruse full-price aisles in the store and get rewarded with a hidden clearance hotspot.

A row of shoes for sale with a purple sign next to one of them that says "Clearance, 20% off

Take this with a grain of salt, but sometimes you can find clearance items mixed in with full-price items.

Only do this if you have enough self-control to pass on everything that’s full price!


14. Hate math? Use the Discount Calculator inside the DSW app.

A person holding and iPhone next to a shoe box with a yellow clearance sticker on it. The cell phone screen displays the Discount Calculator inside the DSW app.

When you’re shopping in the store, tap on “Shop” and you’ll see the Discount Calculator. You can enter the price you see on the tag, the discount percentage, and find out what you’ll pay.

Download the DSW app.


15. Aim to save 70% on everything you buy.

Since most items in the clearance section are marked down before you apply the additional clearance discount, it should be easy to reach this savings margin.

You might even get up to 85% or 90% off some items, because you get to take an extra percentage off the lowest marked price.


16. Save even more when you pay with a discounted DSW gift card.

A person holding a DSW gift card next to a DSW shopping bag.

Look for discounted DSW gift cards through Raise or Gift Card Granny. I’ve seen savings as high as 17%, but the last time I checked the discounts hovered around 4% to 6%.


17. Hoard your rewards for discounted high-end brands like Frye.

Hoarding your $5 rewards and spending them on an expensive brand of shoe (or boot!) is the way to get the best value from DSW.

If you can combine your rewards with a clearance price, even better.


18. Worst things to buy are brands like TOMS, Converse and Nike — get them cheaper elsewhere.

Converse, Nike, and TOMS shoe boxes stacked up on the floor with a person holding one of the TOMS shoes next to the boxes.

You could use your rewards on these, too, but there’s really no need. Look for TOMS and Converse at, where you can find them for up to 75% off.

Get Nike at the Nike Factory store during big savings events like the Friends and Family sale in February and July.


19. Skip buying purses and accessories at DSW because they’ll get ya.

A fossil bag with other purses and backpacks hung on hooks inside a DSW store.

Since you can often find these items cheaper at a store like Nordstrom Rack, don’t bank on getting a great deal on purses and other accessories at DSW.



20. DSW offers curbside order pick-up service.

A sign for Curbside Services outside DSW.

If you prefer not to shop in store and can’t wait for your shoes to arrive in the mail, pick-up your order via DSW’s curbside service. Simply shop online for items available in your store, place your order selecting “pick-up”, and your item will be ready for you to pick up in two hours or less.

Returns and Donations can also be done through the curbside cervices, during the service hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Curbside services availability may vary by store.


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