Use Less Cash for Your JCPenney Purchase

By Linsey Knerl on 29 April 2008 7 comments
Photo: Ali West

JCPenney was one of the first department stores I ever shopped at. With a wide-selection of solid brands and locations all over the Midwest, I quickly learned it could be a great place to shop when the sale was right.

Know the Basics. Like most stores, JCPenney has a method to its markdown madness. According to a rep from their corporate office, here is what you can expect when it comes to saving:

  • Sale events can last anywhere from 1 day to a week. While markdowns can go as high as 70% off, it is possible to find higher savings at outlets, clearance racks, and overstock catalogs. (Read on for details.)
  • Online shopping offers a way to have your purchases shipped to your door, although often at a premium. Free shipping promotions are offered throughout the year (usually with a minimum purchase requirement) and return shipping for for any catalog or online item is free. 

  • Sales are company-wide, and the biggest savings can be found on seasonal merchandise, including: denim sales during Back-To-School shopping, gifts and gadgets before Christmas, jewelry before Valentine’s Day, women’s clothing before Mother’s Day, and men’s clothing before Father’s Day.

  • Clearance markdowns can happen at any time, but the most drastic reductions take place at the end of January, the end of June, and the end of September (before the new seasonal items are put out.)

  • Advertised promotions and printable coupons can be found at the JCPenney website, and customers can sign up for special email newsletters for even more inside info on the latest deals.

Use Store Credit. Kim Wolinski, MSW Professional Organizer, offers this advice, “If you have a credit card, you get their specials in mailer form, including a coupon for $10 for anything you want several times a year. If you spend certain amounts on your credit card, you get more savings and specials that others don’t. (NOTE: Clearly, paying off credit cards is also important as they are retail credit cards and are very high in interest.)” Unlike typical store credit cards, which require a minimum purchase amount to activate their savings, or use a “points” system to earn rewards, JCPenney card-holders just have to have an active card to get the savings coupons. Who couldn’t use $10 off a $10 purchase?

Shop by Catalog. Online shopping is pretty slick, but catalogs still have their benefits. By signing up for catalog mailings from JCPenney, you can take advantage of exclusive offers in their overstock and clearance catalogs. These items usually sell out quickly, and can give customers a savings of up to 90% off!

Cruise the Clearance Racks. JCPenney has amazing clearance deals from time to time. By checking the markdowns at the beginning of each sale period, it is possible to get high-quality and fashionable clothing pieces at a drastically reduced price. An example of this is the $1.88 clearance price for baby and toddler’s separates that they do each fall. I was able to buy each of my 3 boys an entire wardrobe (matching, of course) for under $40. It was a savings of over $300!

Shop the Outlets. James Hills of MarketingHelpNet gave us the scoop on JCPenneys’ outlet locations. With big savings to offer customers (and a great selection of larger sizes, including Big and Tall Men), outlet shopping can be a super savings strategy. (For a list of all JCPenney outlet locations, visit

Use Tips from the Trenches. Store managers have some of the best tips to offer shoppers:

  • Each receipt from your store purchase will have an opportunity to fill out an online survey on your shopping experience. By taking a few minutes to share your feedback, you will be rewarded with a 15% printable coupon for your next shopping trip! (Limit of one survey savings opportunity every 30 days.)
  • Check your local newspaper on weekends for circular inserts containing big savings. They will usually include $ off coupons based on your total purchase amount ($10 off $50, for example).
  • JCPenney holds a quarterly VIP event on Sunday evening offering big discounts. If you are signed up for the store credit card, you will get a postcard in the mail notifying you of the event.
  • Another fantastic quarterly savings opportunity is the Friends and Family event. If you are acquainted with an employee, they can give you a coupon allowing you to use their 20% discount.

As you can see, there is huge potential to save big at your favorite JCPenney. And those special $10 off $10 coupons we told you about? They have been arriving in mailboxes around the country starting yesterday. Keep us posted on how you do on your next shopping trip, and many thanks to everyone who gave us a look at their own shopping strategies!

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Guest's picture

I don't know anyone who works for Penney's, but when making an online purchase a while back I signed up for their email newsletter, through which I always get the Friends and Family offers. The other week I was able to get several marked down pairs of tights for only $1.68 each (usually $10)! I would've bought more, but I cleaned my local store out of the smallest size. (8

Guest's picture

In my area, shipping to the store is NOT free. They charge based on the zip code of the store - for me it ends up only a dollar or so cheaper than shipping directly to me.

I'm also on their email list, which means that I get at least 2 or 3 emails per week, often offering free shipping or a percent off. They also offer a $$ off coupon on my birthday and at other times of year.

Guest's picture

Shipping an online purchase to your local store is NOT free. Its not even discounted. That may have been true in the past, but it certainly is not now, I had the option just yesterday of paying $9.95 to ship a BRA to my home or the local store, it made no difference, the charge was the same.

Linsey Knerl's picture

This was what the rep at Penney's corporate told me.  I will make the correction in my story.

Guest's picture

One of my favorites is Wednesday deals on the internet site. Go to outlet and then to Wednesday deals. Check early in the morning cause the good deals go fast!

Guest's picture

I really like Penney's, and I buy most of my soft goods there. My wife loves their housewares department (curtains, rugs etc).

One thing that annoys me to no end though is that their catalog, website, and retail stores are almost completely seperate enterprises. Not only do they carry different merchandise, they also have greatly different prices on the same items.

They have gotten a bit better about it. I think you can return catalog and website merchandise to the stores now, but the arcane way of ordering from their catalog has turned me off from them entirely.

Think about it. In some stores not only can you check stock online, you can pay for it and have it waiting for you when you get there. Why can't J.C.Penney do this?

Guest's picture

Great blog that is related to JC Penney Outlets that it is one of the first department stores and is the best. We can get different brands of clothing specially in jeans and summer wears. Its really heartening to know that it is one of the biggest brand store in apparel in United States.