Philly’s Best Deals, Secret Sale Racks and Little-Known Freebies

How to score everything from clothes and fitness classes to tech goods on the cheap.


Happy shopper. | Shutterstock.

Because everybody loves a deal, and no one knows how to sniff them out like we do. Here is your guide to the deals, steals and secrets of shopping Philly on the cheap, and how to nab the city’s best freebies. And hey, it’s not all clothing and accessories here. We’ve got tech, culture and fitness classes in the mix, too. Keep reading and then flex your savvy shopping muscles. 

Best Off-Price Store: Century 21
There are plenty of things that aren’t worth a second look (e.g., the lackluster shoe section), but do some digging and you’ll find coveted brands (from the likes of Missoni and Armani to Vince, Theory and DVF) at prices worth the hunt. Bonus points for the luxury vintage shop-in-shop and the stellar athletic-wear department. // 821 Market Street, Market East, 215-952-2121. 

Best Annual Sale: Lilly Pulitzer
Three days. Thousands of women. Endless racks. One dressing room. In short: It’s the shopping equivalent of the Super Bowl. The next one’s in June 2016. Work on your game plan now. Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 484-754-3976. 

Best Secret Sale Racks: The Boutique at 25 South
After a cursory spin through the front of the shop (it’s only polite), beeline to the cluster of sale rooms in the back, which are bursting with steeply discounted womenswear by designers like Mara Hoffman, Clover Canyon and Helmut Lang. The very last room has spangly stuff and is where we discovered a drop-dead-gorgeous beaded-and-sequined jacket for $150, originally $600. (Sorry. We bought it.) 18 South State Street, Newtown, 215-579-1200. 

Best Free Workout Class: Yoga on the Pier, Delaware Waterfront
This outdoor seasonal series, helmed by beloved local yogi Malik Wilson, runs every single day and goes beyond anything you’d expect from a free fitness class. Instructions like “Twist your torso toward Camden” are just a bonus. Race Street Pier, Race Street and North Columbus Boulevard.

Best Freebie Culture: Institute of Contemporary Art
You can now visit the place that first exhibited the art of folks like Andy Warhol and Laurie Anderson for free, thanks to a generous grant. The ICA has no permanent collection; instead it hosts up to 12 new shows each year, so you can continue to expose yourself to the rising stars of the contemporary genre withouts pending a dime. 118 South 36th Street, University City, 215-898-7108.

Best Cheap Tech: Bundy
As an authorized Apple dealer, Bundy — in business for nearly a century — does vigorous in-house testing on the rehabbed iPads it gets from a reliable source, and each purchase comes with a free 90-day warranty. But the “open box” items, which have only been used for demo or floor-model purposes, are the real steal: On a recent trip, we spotted a 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2014 priced $400 below nearly identical newer models. 1809 Chestnut Street, Center City, 215-567-2500. 

Psst: Want more guides to the best of Philly’s shopping scene? See below!