Last week I ordered some parts for our Craftsman snowblower. Sears Parts Direct had two promotions running: Choose either 10% off your order, or get $20 back in Shop Your Way points on a purchase of $50 or more. The $20 back in points was a much better deal, so that’s what I went with.
This week, my parts arrived, and so did my $20 in points… with a note that I had 7 days to use or lose them.
I browsed around Sears and Kmart’s websites, but nothing caught my eye — and I didn’t want to lose about $8 to ship whatever I might have found there too. So, last night, we decided to head to an actual Sears store and see if we could find something to spend them on.
The closest Sears location to me is at Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee, Illinois. This Sears location opened 40 years ago as an anchor store in the mall, and in 2019, Sears announced that they would be closing the Spring Hill store in February 2020.
The last time we went to this Sears location was back in August 2019, when the store was still active and fully stocked. We had no idea what might be left at the store now.
There is a sign on the door that this Sears store will close in 4 days (February 3, 2020.)
How this store has changed in a few months! There is very little merchandise left at all. Signs on the doors and escalators noted that the upper level is completely empty of merchandise as well. This is the former menswear area.
In this photo, I’m standing in menswear looking toward the former appliance department.
Here, I’m standing in the hardware department looking back at the former appliance department.
There are more fixtures, shelves, racks and mannequins for sale than actual merchandise. I don’t know who posed all of these lonely mannequins in one spot, but you could take one home for $45.00.
What little clothing remaining from the men’s, women’s, and children’s departments has all been organized in a corner of the former women’s department. All of this clothing is 80% off the marked prices.
The one underwear rack on the right contained solely men’s thong underwear. My kids though this was hilarious, of course.
We browsed around, and my son found a sweater and a Star Wars T-shirt.
However, the marked prices are kind of a misnomer, as some items have been “clearance” tagged for the store’s closing. The Star Wars t-shirt has a clearance tag of $16.00 right above its original price of… $16.00. After the 80% discount, his Star Wars shirt was $3.20, and the sweater was $7.99. We were on our way toward using up our $20 in Sears points!
My husband found an ugly holiday sweater for next year’s office party ($6.99) and an AC/DC t-shirt ($2.99.) We were now at $21.17! Score.
The cashier informed me I had another .87 in points to spend in addition to my $20 in rewards. So, after points, we paid .33!
We continued browsing around the store. The cashier informed us that if we bought actual Sears merchandise, we could continue to spend points and earn points, but if we bought anything that wasn’t, it would be rung up as a separate purchase that could not have Shop Your Way points spent or accrued on that purchase.
The hardware section of the store is down to just this wall. We saw a few lawnmower blades, some electric weedwhackers, some Craftsman wrench and screwdriver sets, and a few other random items.
There were only two appliances left in the store – a range, and an apartment-sized dishwasher. My kids could not believe that “little” dishwasher was still priced at $300. I told them to guess what a full-size dishwasher costs.
The hardware department also had some interesting items for sale. Here, you could purchase a stack of 25 cardboard boxes for $5. The enormous rolls of bubble wrap next to the boxes seemed overpriced at $90.
The store was also selling surplus boxes of the same floor tile used in the store for $15.00 each, along with buckets of mastic.
While I thought my family had done pretty well with their clothing deals, my husband spotted the very best score of the night on a table filled with everything from office supplies to bathroom paper towel dispensers to those credit card friction-sliders that hold carbon-paper forms for processing credit card transactions — you know, the way people shopped with credit before phone and internet-connected swipers became the standard.
Anyway, he saw three HP toner cartridges for my old, workhorse HP LaserJet printer. It’s been a staple of my home office for close to two decades, and the cartridges for it are not cheap. (Are any printer cartridges ever cheap?!) I try to find deals whenever I can, but they are just under $100 each for brand-new ones.
I am open to buying refilled cartridges to save some money, but I’ve had better luck with certain brands over others. The kicker was that I had just been to Office Depot earlier this same day to buy a refilled cartridge: It was $79.99.
All three of these cartridges were priced at $11.50 each! That’s an absolute steal for these. While nothing purchased during Sears’s store closing sale can be returned, I felt like these were absolutely worth taking a chance on with my printer. I knew the brand-new HP cartridge would be fine, so I bought all three.
I wish I had found these toner cartridges before I spent more than twice as much on one cartridge at Office Depot! And, of course I’d already opened that one and used it earlier in the day. Oh well – with these new acquisitions, I should be all set on toner now for several years.
I did open one of the refurbished cartridges I got at Sears, and it works fine in my printer too, so this really was my favorite deal of the night!
Unless you live very, very close to the mall, I wouldn’t recommend making a special trip there at this point. There simply isn’t much left at all — unless you are setting up a retail location and need shelving, tables and racks.