So you've found a price mistake. A glitch. A super-limited in-store only 900% off clearance offer. The kind of deal you don't tell anyone about until you've secured the coveted item for yourself (unless you're a Thrifter editor, of course.)
These discounts can be tricky, but your pals here at Thrifter are here to help you understand the nuances of the hottest of the hot deals.
What's YMMV, anyway?
"YMMV" stands for "your mileage may vary." Simply put, usually these deals come down to getting lucky. Whether or not you can get in on the deal depends on a number of factors: your store's stock, coupon policies, how many other locals are onto the discount, and even the mood of your cashier. As one example, I once took advantage of a $25 off $25 coupon price mistake at Kmart. You could place your order over and over again. Being 20 and broke at the time, I placed several, chose free in-store pickup, and went immediately the next morning to retrieve my carts full of free goodies (pic for proof). The employees at my store were bewildered but happy to help, even casually mentioning an emergency meeting regarding the promotion that had taken place shortly before my arrival. Other shoppers didn't get so lucky. Stores ran out of stock, or caught on to the fishiness and refused to fulfill the "glitch" orders. Some customers tried to get purchases shipped to their homes, and that resulted in cancellations as well. In the end, it mostly boiled down to luck.
When dealing with YMMV deals, the number one tip I have is to never call the store. Just don't. You run the risk of the retailer catching on to their pricing error, or perhaps alerting an employee to a deal that they'll purchase for themselves whilst telling you the product is out of stock. Calling the store never results in a good time. The 55-inch TV price mistake my naive younger self missed due to tipping off a retail chain can attest to that personally.
Your best bet is to go to the store and try to find the item yourself. You can use a website like Brickseek to check for inventory at your local stores, but once again, those numbers aren't ironclad and you should take them with a grain of salt. Act nonchalant if you need to ask for help finding what you're looking for. Don't scream "this computer is $400 off!!!!" and start a stampede. Assuming your store has stock of the item and it's safely in your shopping cart, take it straight to the cash register. The vast majority of the time, brick-and-mortar stores aren't aware of any crazy pricing, so don't be surprised if they're surprised. Another thing to consider is that your local store may not show the deal price you're after. That's part of the whole "YMMV" thing. You can try to negotiate, but unless you can see the deal clearly on the retailer's website and the manager is in a friendly mood, you may be out of luck. Best case scenario, you'll walk away with 85% off a Nikon D3400 Camera bundle or something equally exciting. Worst case scenario, you spent a little time out of your day hunting down the elusive white whale.
Which brings me to my next point: be nice! Being friendly has won me nothing but good fortune. Not every person you meet is going to be a discount-rabid deal junkie that scours forums for price mistakes during their free time. A smile and a little empathy go a long way, and the people you interact with in the store are just trying to do their jobs. Cracking a joke once got me bumped up in line while waiting for a Hatchimal. You might find that empathizing with a confused store associate helps butter them up a bit and gets you that sweet, sweet dicount. At the very least, the interaction will be less stressful. Kindness pays off.
Finally, if you're participating in an online YMMV deal, you'll want to move quickly. Choose free in-store pickup when possible, and if you must choose shipping, you may want to pay a bit extra for expedited shipping to get your item sent out as quickly as it can. If your browser gives you trouble thanks to the other deal hunters overloading the site's bandwidth, be patient. You can always try a different browser, an incognito window, or the mobile app. Placing multiple orders on one account is generally playing with fire, so you may want to create multiple accounts to increase the likelihood of your order being fulfilled. It's almost always worthwhile to try, and even if your order ends up going unfulfilled, you'll often end up getting a credit of some sort for your troubles.
Did you find a swoon-worthy deal we missed? Did you score a discount so good you want to yell it from the rooftops? Be sure to follow Thrifter on Twitter and let us know all about it. Best of luck!