If a poor workman always blames his tools, then a poor sportswomen always blames her equipment. I should know! Whenever I suffer a crushing “double bagel” defeat (that’s a 0-6, 0-6 game) on the tennis court or score a quadruple bogie on a par-3 in golf, I always believe that the solution to my athletic shortcomings is buying a new tennis racket (I’ll take whatever Serena is using!) or a new driver made by NASA scientists using ionized moon rocks. As such, I am a regular at my local Sports Authority. While Sports Authority may not always have the cheapest prices in the sporting goods industry, you can’t beat the selection and the convenience. Here are my best tips for saving money at Sports Authority!

1. Wear lower-priced kids’ sneakers

From their head to their toes, these days children dress just like adults. The majority of kids’ sneakers don’t look childish, but rather are nearly identical to their adult-sized sneaker counterpart. The only real difference is the price. If you wear a US Women’s size 9 shoe or smaller, you should be able to fit into Youth size shoes. To quickly convert your Women’s shoe size to your Youth shoe size, simply subtract two (for example, if you wear a Women’s size 7, you should be a Youth size 5. For a more accurate conversion, measure the length of your foot and then consult the size chart pictured below:

Check out these examples of girls’ shoes that are nearly identical (but cheaper) to their adult women’s counterparts:

Women: Nike Women’s Flex Run 2014 at SportsAuthority.com, $80
Kids: Nike Girls’ Free Run+ 5.0 at SportsAuthority.com, $62
Savings: $18 (a 23% savings!)

 

Women: Asics Women’s GEL-Noosa Tri 9 at SportsAuthority.com, $139.99
Kids: Asics Girls’ GEL-Noosa Tri 9 at SportsAuthority.com, $75
Savings: $64.99 (a 46% savings!)

Men’s sneakers

In my hundreds of trips to Sports Authority, I’ve noticed that for some unexplained reason, the clearance shoe section is about 95% men’s shoes and only 5% women’s shoes. Why should the men get all the good deals? For sneakers, the general rule to convert your women’s shoe size to a men’s shoe size is to add 1.5 sizes to your women’s shoe size. For more exact sizing, measure your foot and then refer to Sports Authority’s shoe size measurement guide. Keep in mind that men’s shoes run slightly wider than women’s shoes, so try before you buy.

2. Join The League

Sign up for The League, Sports Authority’s free member rewards card. As a member of The League, you will receive one point for every dollar you spend. If you accrue 100 or more points within the 3-month qualifying period (10/1 – 12/31), you’ll get 5% back in Sports Authority Rewards Bucks that can be used on any in-store merchandise. There is no limit to the amount of points you can earn. Sign up in any Sports Authority store or online here. Other benefits to joining The League include:

  • A $5 Welcome Reward in your account
  • Emails with exclusive member discounts and promotions
  • A $10 Sports Authority gift card for your birthday
  • Special bonus offers throughout the year

When you sign up online for The League, you will receive a welcome email containing a 10% off online coupon code and a $10 off coupon for your next in-store Sports Authority purchase of $50 or more.

3. Price match

Here’s what you need to know about Sports Authority’s Ad Price Match Promise:

  • The Ad Price Match Promise is only valid at Sports Authority retail store locations. It is not valid for online purchases at SportsAuthority.com.
  • Sports Authority stores will match the price of an in-stock item featured in any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical item.
  • The advertisement must be published in print (you can’t print an ad you found on the Internet, the ad must have been originally published in print—like in a coupon mailer or a newspaper).
  • You must bring the published print ad to the store and present it to your cashier who will then match the price for you at the register.
  • Sports Authority will not honor misprinted ad prices of other retailers.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other existing offers or discounts.
  • Does not include competitors’ Internet pricing.
  • Sports Authority won’t match prices on any of these types of items:
    • Items that require a separate purchase to get the price listed in the ad (e.g.,”Buy 3 Nike items and get $49 off your purchase”)
    • Ads that require a purchase to get free product (e.g., “Buy 2 Champion sports bras and get a third one for free”)
    • Buy one, get one (BOGO) ads that don’t list a specific price (e.g., “Buy 1 Adidas duffel bag, get 1 Adidas duffel bag free”)
    • Going-out-of-business or closeout/liquidation prices (e.g., “Going out of business sale – 40% off all shoes”)
    • Deals that offer a percentage off a large category of items (e.g., “30% off all socks”)

4. Buy discounted gift cards online

Save money by buying discounted Sports Authority gift cards from websites like Cardpool.com, GiftCardGranny.com, Raise.com and GiftCardRescue.com, which typically sell gifts cards that are 5-15% off the gift card’s face value. On Cardpool.com, I found 101 Sports Authority gift cards (ranging in value from $25 to $273) for sale at 14% off the gift card’s face value. For example, a gift card with a face value of $54.01 can be purchased with free shipping at Cardpool.com for $46.44—a 14% discount.

The best time to buy

The best time of year to buy Sports Authority gift cards (or any brand’s gift cards) is in January after the holiday season. This is because after the holidays these sites get a huge inventory of gift cards that people received as gifts and didn’t want to keep. With so much surplus inventory, competition rises between the various gift card reseller sites to offer the biggest discount on gift cards.

5. Sign up for emails

Sign up for Sports Authority emails to receive: exclusive offers, in-store and online discounts, and invitations to special events. Right after signing up, you’ll receive an email with a 10%-off coupon that can be used in stores or online. You can also sign up for Sports Authority text messages to receive exclusive coupons and special offers sent straight to your phone.

6. Use cash back sites when you shop

Shop online at SportsAuthority.com using one of these free sites and get cash back:

7. Use ShopDiscover to receive 10% cash back on purchases

If you have a Discover credit card, shop online at SportsAuthority.com through ShopDiscover and receive a 10% cash back bonus on your SportsAuthority.com purchase. There’s no limit to how much cash back you can receive.

 

7 Ways to Save Money at Sports Authority