Pre-Holiday Limbo = Random Deals

This time of year always seems to offer a dizzying array of sales. It's really too soon for retailers to start talking holidays and most of the summer items are dwindling, so they start offering discounts on whatever's on the shelf. Here are the random sales I found this week:

Boots and leather jackets: What better way to honor fall than to stock up on leather. (Yep, I'm talking about boots and coats.) Lord & Taylor is having a Boot Camp sale where women's boots are marked down 20 percent. DSW, the mega shoe store that's been known to overwhelm the faint of heart, is selling boots and other shoes for up to 50 percent off. In my recent quest for a leather jacket for my husband, I found sales at Macy's where most of its leather jackets were about 40 percent off. I ended up buying a $600 leather jacket at Jos. A. Bank's for $200.

Furniture: Frankly it gives me anxiety when stores scream EVERYTHING MUST GO! But in reality these retailers really do want to get rid of their stock in a hurry. Two clearances that I noticed this week were Ainsley's, an iron and brass bed store moving from Alexandria to Old Town in February, and La Mina D'Art, a high-end furniture store that lost its lease and needs to be out of Fairfax by mid November. Ainsley's 50 percent off sale can get you a brass or iron bed for $1,000 to $1,200 until next weekend; La Mina D'Art is unloading its entire stock by reducing already-marked down pieces another 60 percent. I saw an 8-piece dining set for $5,920 and a black leather sofa with two matching leather chairs for $3,000.

Gym equipment: It's an odd time of year to buy gym equipment considering fall and winter outfits can easily hide a multitdue of sins (and a donut and pumpkin bread addiction), but Sports Authority is having an anniversary sale for the next week on its entire stock. Treadmills are going for $400 to $1,300 and elliptical machines are down to $330 to $1,000. As the weather gets colder, exercising at home sounds more and more appealing.

Clothing and make-up: Coldwater Creek, a women's clothing store and catalog, is having a serious sale, marking down fall apparel 70 percent. The Fair Oaks store had turtlenecks, pants and sweaters for under $30. And you normally don't think of Victoria's Secret for make-up but one recent reader pointed me toward their two-for-one sale. Not bad when many of their lipsticks and eye shadows retail for around $20 apiece. Check out Vicky's Web site for a 70 percent off sale on clothing and yes, their infamous panties and bras. No granny panties here.

What random deals have you snagged?

By Tania Anderson |  October 23, 2007; 7:00 AM ET Holidays and Special Occasions
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I wandered into the Fairfax Coldwater Creek store Saturday and found a $120 long knit dress for holiday parties. I was considerably startled when the clerk asked me for $37. It was part of the 70% off sale, it seems. And at Macy's I found a $300 Jones of New York suit for $85.

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