I’m of the mindset that paying full price just isn’t acceptable. It may sound a little extreme, but if there is something I really like, I go to great lengths to get it at a discount. My few designer pieces (ahem, Rebecca Minkoff bags) were purchased shamelessly with coupon codes or during deep sales.
Here are my tips for saving money when building your wardrobe.
1) Find it vintage. Love a specific designer? Look for designer pieces at local vintage, consignment and resale shops. Every once in a while, a beautiful designer top or bag will make its way onto the sales floor at Goodwill. I once found an almost new Burberry scarf at a vintage store for just $30!
2) Search coupon codes. If you are like me, you loathe shipping charges. Good news – most retailers offer codes for either free shipping or a percentage off. Google the name of the store and “coupon codes”. Sites like Retail Me Not will list current codes and their specific limitations. I recently saved my boss $400 on registration to an industry conference. Not fashion, but its money in his pocket!
3) Reward yourself. Be a part of an online rewards program. My favorite is Lucky Magazine Rewards (free to subscribers). I get anywhere from 1-10% back on online purchases. All I have to do is click through the links on their site. They have double and triple cash back bonuses too. The money comes back to you in the form of a Visa gift card, acceptable almost anywhere. I can’t tell you how much money I have saved in iTunes alone!
4) Sign up for email lists. Yes, it can be a pain to keep track of store emails, but they are often filled with special deals and savings. You are the first to know about exclusive sales and special discounts. I keep a separate email account specifically for my “deals”.
5) Browse deal sites. Yes, there are sites out there that specialize in bringing you deals. I frequent sites like hip2save, Slickdeals, and Brad’s Deals. You will find some amazing deals, and much of the content is user generated, making it current and relevant. I turn to these sites first when I’m shopping for a gift.
6) Knock it off. Love a trend? Buy the “knock-off” version, not the designer. Yes, those YSL tassel pumps look great now, but next season you won’t be able to wear them. Don’t invest in designer unless you can see yourself wearing the piece 1, 5 or even 10 years down the line. The knock-offs are affordable and you won’t feel guilty tossing them (or selling them) at the end of the season.
There are plenty of ways to shop smart. Get the style and pieces you want and end up with a few extra dollars in your pocket.