LUXURY FOR LESS Tim Smith, who has owned Eclectic Fashions for 20 years, says it's the only consignment store in Columbus that exclusively stocks clothing for men. You'll find menswear by Armani, Hugo Boss, Versace and other famous brands at discounts that can be up to 80 percent off retail prices.
Smith says he sells everything for men except underwear and socks. Designer ties are $10. Most suits are $99 to $300, but can go as low as $49. There also
are new custom-tailored suits from several sources. Outerwear such as leather jackets runs $45 to $150. Smith offers professional help in putting outfits together, particularly helpful for men transitioning into the business world.
Eclectic Fashions, 3139 N. High St., 267-2900. Open Mon-Sat 11 am-6 pm; closed Sun.
MUSIC TO THE EARS Stanton's Sheet Music is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year as one of the three biggest music stores in the country and the largest under one roof. Music teachers of all types shop here. You also can get in tune with a transposition system that puts vocal and instrumental music in your most comfortable key. Most music is in basic keys, especially the popular standards. If you sing higher or lower, you can have the music transposed to your key for $5.99 to $6.99. Do it in the store or over the web. When I talked to the store's Barbara Malonson, she told me all the staff members are musicians.
Main categories of music include popular, classic, guitar, folk, piano, organ, instrumental and keyboard. You'll find instruction books, vocal solos and music for concerts, choirs, marching bands and orchestras. Performance CDs and DVDs also are available. When music becomes outdated after about three years, it's marked down and sold in clearance bins.
Stanton's Sheet Music, 330 S. Fourth St., downtown, 224-4257. Open Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm, Sat till 4 pm; closed Sun. Order online and find downloads at stantons.com.
FLOOR FINDS Floor & Décor Outlets debuted in Hilliard in October with a warehouse format and low prices. The company opened its first store in Atlanta in 2001 and now has 25 retail locations in 15 U.S. metropolitan areas. You can save 40 to 60 percent on just about anything you need for a quality floor, according to store manager Ryan French.
The company focuses on residential remodeling for do-it-yourselfers, though it also hosts contractor lunches every Friday. Products are displayed on pallets and arranged by surface categories, such as decorative stone, wall tile, wood, porcelain and ceramic. You'll find many selections in each category as well as the tools needed to finish the job. French says the company doesn't have sales
per se because it keeps the lowest prices throughout the year, but he adds there will be Labor Day events. Free design service is available and free how-to sessions are scheduled every Saturday, with wood classes at 10 am and tile and stone classes at 2 pm.
Floor & Décor Outlets, 3785 Park Mill Run Dr., Hilliard, 777-6170; flooranddecoroutlets.com. Open Mon-Fri
7 am-8 pm, Sat 8 am-8 pm, Sun 11 am-6 pm.
MORE THAN FAIR FARES Megabus.com can get you on the road to certain locations for as little as $1.
The company offers daily service from Columbus to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Chicago. Fares start at $1 and rise as the departure date nears. Buses leave from Nationwide Boulevard and High Street. Go to megabus.com for fares and to make reservations. You can book outbound and return trips. Inquiries also can be made at (877) 462-6342.
Send sale and bargain suggestions two months before sale to: Bargain Bits, Columbus Monthly, P.O. Box 29913, Columbus, Ohio 43229-7513, or firstname.lastname@example.org.No phone calls, please.