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Well for some reason this company has three entries at Ciao – so this op concentrates on those can’t be missed bargains at the local store – trainers for 75p, wardrobes for £45, all brand new…
Not sure where to start, but I’ve introduced the Bargain Crazy store with my opinion for the www.bargaincrazy.com Ciao entry which goes as follows “They also have shops (formally CBS) and locations can be got from the Website – our local one is at Newtown, from there we have bought lots of clothes, shoes etc, a cot for £60.00, some furniture e.g. 3 door robe reduced from £189 to £45, and for the same price matching shelving unit and a matching ottoman for £9.00. I even got some trainers for 75p. Customer service is good – but there is no direct link with the website – even the prices for the same item varies and tend to be better on-line.”
Saying that, they have there own brilliant bargains, lot more goods and a much greater variety of items. A lot will depend on the size of the store and the store management. The way they get their stock is to buy it in bulk at knock down prices and then sell it onto the customers. Its warehouse clearout, end of range, surplus stock. Originally it was all from the GUS group which includes Argos, the mail order catalogues Great Universal, Choice, Kays. From what I gathered from the Internet and literature available some of the electrical items are sold to them at about 10% of the original price, but will need repairing – they are brand new but need some work doing for minor faults, some of the items are catalogue returns – but I am not sure to what extent, and not all the electrical items are returns/repairs. However they have now started purchasing direct from manufacturers according to the signs within the Newtown (Powys) store, I think this concentrates on electrical items at present.
The best way I can describe the store is to take you through a tour of the Newtown Branch. As you enter the store the current promotion is advertised to hit you – sometimes it is worth looking at – but take caution – you could spend a lot of money and you haven’t got through the main door yet! This summer they had a really good deal on all fashion and footwear – 75% off! That is 75% off the already reduced prices – not the original ones.
Anyway some current deals seasonal items (possibly) will greet you in the foyer e.g. picnic seats, bookcases, dinning sets with possibly a bargain rail. It was here I picked up a fully lined fleece jacket for £3.00 – I think it originally was about £25.00. From here you go through the main doors to the sales desks & electrical section, with its current promotions to entice you in. I normally whizz past this section which also contains videos etc. and go full steam ahead to the fashion section. This is big and is continuously being updated. They regularly have new season clothes in and this is where the bargains start. They have good size departments for both women and mens clothes, and a smaller one for children – baby section is very small – I expect this is probably because it sells out very quickly – a very good reason for making regular visits. (Trouble with me is – it may be just away from the centre of town – but it is on my way in from my village, plus it is next to the mainline station.) As I was saying – you can’t tell what you will find – but some examples are two sundresses for about £5.00, a mens suit reduced from £100 to £19.99 – the sizes were a bit weird on this – and didn’t match which worked well for us as we needed a suit for my younger sister-in-laws wedding as my husband had outgrown his other one – and the best bit is – I have machined washed it twice to no detriment. It has a few wrinkles on the back of the jacket when we bought it – probably another reason why it was there – but its been good for us. Ohh and then there is the very small baby section – I managed to get a baby’s snowsuit – all in one fleecy type reduced from £10 shop price to just £2.50 in their 75% clearance – this is to make way for new stock??? Considering this was probably about £15.00+ originally – I got two… Other items have included tracksuits for about £4.00 or less, jog bottoms – 2 pairs for £3.00…….
Lets move on to the home and wear section – past a selection of standard kitchenware at good prices – not real bargains but if you need some new saucepans, chopping board or similar you may find what you need at a ‘fair’ price… Onto the furniture dept as we needed a cot for our son which could be adapted – living in a static caravan we needed to keep him in our bedroom as the temperature could drop too much during the night for him in his own room, so we needed one which could be adapted to fit. We have another one full size which could not be adapted (he will go into this soon as we are moving into a much bigger caravan as the work on the house hasn’t yet started) – back to the cot a ‘Verona’ – cost us £60.00 – normally about £90 in Argos Additions and £100 from the big catalogues. This one has a solid board base which meant we could chop it down – so it is now about 2 ½ inches narrower and fits snugly between our bed and the wall – but is full length – well he is a thin baby….
They did have some fridge freezers for £150.00 ap – well known make but these are now sold out, and as stated above we got some real bargain wardrobes etc – again this was due to one of their clearance specials – 50% off store price – considering their store prices were 50% off the original catalogue price meant we got 75% off in total. Lets go past the three piece suits – we’ll get one once the house is completed, lets pass over various furniture to the bargain corner – it is now called ‘Rockbottom’ in line with the web site – but I don’t think it is so good. They have lots of oddments – but I rarely buy much from this section – however you never know – a couple of things I got included a couple of years ago was a Samsonite rucksack – Aladdin design reduced from about £20.00 to £5.00, some lined boots for £2 and some sandals also for about £2. It really is a mismatch of odds and sods – and now has a couple of clothes rails of oddments – which haven’t sold. Saying that at the end of the summer I bought another set of two sundress – but this time they cost me about £2.50 for the two – or less. – They’ll do for next summer.
Our tour starts to return from the bottom of the shop to the front and here we get to the household textiles. Ages ago I got loads of pelmet covers for 10p each – eventually to be turned into cushion covers etc….They then had 50% textile clearance – so I got some odd bits – but then they had 75% clearance and I got a ‘Blue Clues’ valance sheet for a single bed and matching curtains for silly prices – about £2.50 each. However beware – I put some curtain liners from another shelf in my basket – but these were not covered by the 75% clearance – which wasn’t made clear – so do check at the tills that what you think is on offer – is included – any doubt just ask – the staff are generally really helpful and friendly.
Moving on is the toy section – need I say any more – again the prices here can be different from the on-line store – some items are again more expensive – however earlier this year they had a 50% off store prices – which is how we got a £45.00 extra large paddling pool which had been reduced to about £28 – down to £14, and again a similar deal on a ball house. They also had the Baby Smarttronics (opinion on this coming soon) by Fisher Price at half price at around £14 – but we already had one….Range varies, prices are competitive – but not always such brilliant bargains.
From here we go past the shoes, last seasons ranges, trainers etc – prices can be reasonable and for old stock I got 75% off shop price, so that’s how I got some size 3 trainers for 75p – much to my mother-in-laws surprise – she thought the original £3.00 price tag included the reduction, not proceeded it! My older sister-in-law saw some boots should thought we be good for my niece – but they didn’t have the right size – again it is as with everything a matter of popping in regularly – and mind the wallet/plastic!
From here we go back past the menswear, the videos and electricals – I think my husband got some really good priced speakers for his car here, and a walkman for him for under £10.00. This section I would warn – check the price – not as good as ‘Hitchens’ otherwise known as the ‘Littlewoods’ clearance shops – but you never know..
To find your local Bargain Crazy store – go onto the website and they have a store locator, and please bear in mind most prices quoted are approximate – my memory is not that good, and there is no guarantee that will occur ever again..
In summary – the shop can be cluttered with not a lot of space to move– especially with a buggy – I either go alone or if my husband comes – he carries our son – otherwise we’d loose him under the masses of clothes, pull things over etc. You could go in and spend a fortune, save pounds, or come out empty handed, my mother-in-law during a visit did the latter, whereas my older sister-in-law found a few bargains. It depends on the day, and what you are after and what’s on special.
Hope this helps and trust you enjoyed the different opinion on the shop rather than the website.
I must admit that this was the review that got me to join Ciao after looking for Littlewoods Clearance on Google after my first visit to one of their stores. Great and honest review, thankyou
Zedex 13.12.2003 00:38
Why oh why oh why is there not one of these shops near me? I've never heard of them - sounds like bargain hunter heaven. Shall have to check them out online.
oddbit 29.11.2003 16:57
This is now a review on the Bargain Crazy store - or rather our local branch at Newtown in Powys, leaving the orignal website review on the www.bargaincrazy.com site. This overides previous comment by me.