Plus: Consumer Reports auto issue rates cars, tires
It's not every day that you see a sidewalk sale at an address as prestigious as the IDS Center, but Hubert White men's store (747 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-339-9200, www.hubertwhite.com) has its semi-annual sale through Friday (or Saturday if any stock remains). Unlike some big-box stores that return unsold merchandise, the small, independent Hubert White liquidates its leftovers. Buy any three sale items and get 70 percent off all three, 60 percent discount with two items and 50 percent off one item.
Key items at the sale include spring and winter sport shirts, sweaters, belts, winter jackets, dress pants and jeans. Men's white dress shirts rarely go on sale but Ike Behar white dress shirts are $40 to $50 on sale, regularly $130 to $150.Consumer Reports auto issue rates cars, tires
If the auto show put you in the mood for a different vehicle, now is a good time to pick up a copy of Consumer Reports' annual auto magazine. The April issue ($7) now on newsstands rates all new vehicles and evaluates the reliability of used cars from 2006 to 2011. Shoppers who want to get reliability history on older vehicles can look at the April issues from previous years at public libraries or online (www.consumerreports.org) with a paid subscription. The issue also includes ratings of recommended tires in nine categories.
Last year I helped a friend get a lower price on a vehicle with Consumer Reports' new price report ($14). It provided the CR bottom line price, the average amount paid, and the dealer invoice price. The report helped me know when I was getting a good price. To order, call 1-888-321-9569 or go to www.consumerreports.org/lowprice.
For a free, comprehensive step-by-step guide to negotiating a low price on a new car, go to www.startribune.com/a1116. It's from the nonprofit consumer organization Checkbook, which publishes Twin Cities Consumers' Checkbook.Cash for your rebate instead of store credit
In case you'd rather stash your cash in a savings account, the February rebate rewards checks from Costco/American Express credit card and Sam's Club/Discover don't have to be issued as store credit. You can go to the service counter and ask for cash instead. American Express and Discover have an expiration date of six months on the checks, but you can get an extension. Costco will still cash the checks after August. Sam's Club members can contact the issuer to send a new check.