Stephanie Nelson | 

23 Secret Tips to Help You Afford Williams-Sonoma

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Most of us walk through Williams-Sonoma for a moment pretending we’re fancy, but then we walk out without buying anything.

And if you do actually buy something, it’s a gift for a friend or relative. You’re probably not going to splurge on a $95 marble cheese board for yourself, even though it’s so dang pretty.

But what if you could save at least 50% every time you shop? And sometimes up to 75%?

Follow these tips and you might make your fancy kitchen dreams a reality.


1. Shop Amazon to find Williams-Sonoma products for less.

Amazon sells a ton of Williams-Sonoma merchandise for less, even when you calculate shipping on items Prime doesn’t cover. Here’s our top 10 list of Williams-Sonoma items you should buy on Amazon instead.

TIP: Don’t assume Williams-Sonoma is automatically cheaper on Amazon! Always pull out your calculator and add up the cost when there are multiple items in the purchase. Avoid “sets” on Amazon — one apron, one towel, one oven mitt, for example — they’re overpriced. For example, you can get an apron, one kitchen towel and an oven mitt for up to $10 cheaper at Williams-Sonoma.


2. Save up to 70% on holiday food, decor and tabletop when you shop the Williams-Sonoma outlet online.

I get why you’d want holiday-themed food before a holiday, not after. But a lot of the mixes are shelf-stable and may last longer than you’d think. (I mean, right now it’s April and they’re still selling Halloween food…so…).

As an example of savings, right now there’s a pepper mill for $6.99 (regular price $20.00), which is 65% savings. Or you can find a Christmas tablecloth for $29.99 (regular price $59.95), a 50% savings.


3. Sign up for emails and get 15% off your first order.

This is a pretty modest savings margin for Williams-Sonoma, but you should still take advantage of it. The biggest benefit to signing up for emails is getting a steady stream of insider tips so you know when to shop and when to wait. Here’s what I mean. . .


4. Use your 25% off + free shipping email offers when there’s no other big sale.

“What 25% off offers?!” you say?

Well, when you sign up for emails, you’ll regularly get “We’ve Missed You!” emails that include a 25% off your order + free shipping promo code if you don’t make a purchase for a while.

Time these offers to use on big purchases when there’s not a clearance event going in order to create your own sale.



5. Never pay for shipping. Not even once.

Williams-Sonoma offers free shipping at least once a month, sometimes more frequently. Plus, you can always order online and pick up in store on the same day.


6. Don’t leave your house unless you can save at least 50%.

I only go to the mall if the savings make my trip worth it and if my self-control game is strong that day. This goes for online shopping too! Aim for 50% savings, or don’t go.


7. Prices ending in 7 or 9 are final sale.

You cannot return these items or cancel an order you placed online. Final-sale clearance is the smart way to shop here — just be certain you’re committed to your purchase!


8. Prices ending in 5 or 0 are either regular price or a temporary markdown.

You’ll see these price endings either because the item is full price or because it has a temporary markdown due to a sale event. Most sales last one to three days except for the January Semi-Annual Clearance Event, which lasts about a month. During this time, pay close attention to price tags to know if something is a final sale markdown or a temporary markdown.


RELATED: How to Decode the Secret Language of Price Tags at These 19 Stores


9. Wait until the end of the Semi-Annual Events in January and June to shop.

The last three days of these month-long clearance events are the best days to shop, because you’ll save an extra 20% on clearance markdowns already hitting up to 75% off.

Of course, if you wait until the last three days, you’ll chance inventory being lower than it is at the beginning of the sale, but you cannot beat the savings, which makes waiting worth it.


10. Best things to buy are Le Creuset bakeware and handheld kitchen gadgets.

Le Creuset bakeware and kitchen gadgets made by brands like Chef’n, are generally the same price at Williams-Sonoma as they are on Amazon (sometimes cheaper), so you know you’re not being gouged.

Le Creuset Square Baker

Le Creuset Rectangular Baker

Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Chef’n Corn Stripper

Chef’n Kale Stripper



11. Buy Le Creuset in November, December or April to save up to 55%.

In November and December, Williams-Sonoma offers “Gifts of the Day” deals where you can get up to 55% savings on select Le Creuset items.

Otherwise, wait until April during the Spring Cookware Event where you can save up to 55%. And always double-check the Semi-Annual Clearance Events to see if you can beat 55% off since discounts reach 75%. It might be worth waiting for.


12. Find cookware on sale for 20% off at least once a month. But wait for 70% off in fall and winter.

I doubt you’re paying full price on cookware at Williams-Sonoma. But if you are, you should stop. At least once a month there’s a sale on major cookware brands or a sale specifically on All-Clad or Calphalon. You can save 20% with your eyes closed.

If you can wait to buy in November, December or January, you’ll save closer to 70% on All-Clad, Calphalon, Zwilling and Williams-Sonoma brand.

Plus if you buy All-Clad, you can get a free gift with a purchase of $500. The free gift is valued at $170.


13. Skip electrics completely. Buy them at Kohl’s instead.

I honestly can’t think of a scenario where you’d save money on a KitchenAid mixer, Ninja blender, or Cuisinart food processor at Williams-Sonoma. Not when you can wait until you see a crazy good deal at Kohl’s and earn Kohl’s Cash for the purchase.

Keep an eye out for KitchenAid coupons, Ninja coupons and Cuisinart coupons, and use them on Kohl’s sale prices.


14. Buy Williams-Sonoma brand soaps and lotions when they’re up to 50% off during Black Friday.

You’ll end up paying about $6.50 for each, which comes out to about $0.40/oz. — quite a bit cheaper than paying full price at Bath & Body Works ($0.74/oz.).


15. Only shop the Friends and Family Sale in November, July and April if you’re desperate.

Friends and Family sales only offer 20% off + free shipping, so it’s not really a reason to pull the trigger since you can get that low of a discount fairly often. Plus you never have to pay for shipping, because you can always buy online and pick up your item in the store.

If you simply need Williams-Sonoma hand soap because you’re addicted to the Pink Grapefruit scent, 20% off is better than nothing.


16. Get the Williams-Sonoma credit card for $45 in free gift certificates.

Normally, I’m more on the fence about credit cards. But if you want to shop at Williams-Sonoma, you need all the savings help you can get. So I say spring for it if you’re all-in.

The credit card will give you 5% cash back, there’s no annual fee, plus you’ll get free shipping on all orders. You’ll also get a $20 gift certificate when you sign up and a $25 certificate during your birthday month.


RELATED: 8 Best Store Credit Cards


17. Go ahead and use your Pottery Barn or West Elm gift card at Williams-Sonoma.

Williams-Sonoma’s #squad includes Pottery Barn, West Elm, Rejuvenation and Mark and Graham. As such, you can use their gift cards interchangeably.


18. Buy a discounted gift card for any of the Williams-Sonoma sister stores and save up to 8%.

Gift Card Granny and Raise are two big players in the discounted gift card world, and they often have different savings margins on gift cards.

Since Williams-Sonoma and its sister stores all take each other’s gift cards, you’ll want to find the highest discount to use on your purchase.

For example, right now, it’s Pottery Barn. You can buy a discounted Pottery Barn gift card and spend it at Williams-Sonoma. Check all three stores at both websites to see what’s currently the best discount.


19. All active-duty and retired military get a 15% discount (10% off electrics).

You can’t use your military discount on sale items or on many of the best brands at Williams-Sonoma. And since 15% isn’t a very big discount for Williams-Sonoma, you might not use your military discount very often. But hey, it’ll come in handy in a pinch!


20. Get 3% back when you sign up for The Key, William-Sonoma’s shared loyalty program.

When you sign up for The Key, you can save 3% at all the Williams-Sonoma family stores. You’ll get your rewards certificates in $15 increments.

So let’s say you bought two of your kids Pottery Barn backpacks, a lamp at West Elm and one of Williams-Sonoma’s killer spatulas. All of those purchases would go toward earning your first $15 certificate that you can turn around and use at any of the sister stores.



21. Culinary students get a 20% discount.

Just apply for the culinary student discount program, and you’ll receive a membership card. Same rules apply as with the military discount. You can’t use the discount on sale items or outlet items.


22. Williams-Sonoma’s cooking classes are cheaper than Sur la Table’s.

They’re not free, but Williams-Sonoma’s classes range from $45-$60 per person per class. Compared to competitor Sur la Table, this is a decent deal since their classes run at least $75 per person per class.



23. Register for your wedding and get a six-month, 10% completion discount plus freebies.

Most places only offer a one-time or at best, a month-long completion discount, so six months is pretty cool. You can add more items to your registry, meaning you can basically get a 10% discount on anything you want for six months, sale items included!

Plus, you can get freebies when your guests make purchases from brands like All-Clad, Le Creuset, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Wusthof, Shun and more.


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