Let’s face it – we are all becoming Rebecca Bloomwood of Confessions of a Shopaholic every sale season. We max out our credit cards like crazy, and cry like a baby when we see our billing statements. This would be every girl’s question: how will this end if everything is so tempting? BASIC. If it’s on sale and you don’t need it, it’s expensive. Yup, this should be your everyday reminder to yourself.
Apart from splurging on sale items, here are some tips on how to dig shopping every sale season.
Start shopping early to catch the best deals
There are malls that offer additional 10% discounts, for example, when you shop during the first two hours of the sale event. Getting first dibs on such offer can really save you money.
The best marked-down items are usually gone even before you know it. But there are times when these hidden gems are just lurking on the floor, so it’s best to practice patience in searching for them. Pro tip: Don’t go to a sale event on an empty stomach because you will need energy to sustain you from shopping from one aisle to another.
Make a list of items you need
Creating a list that you can refer to on the day will help keep you focused on the task in hand. Concentrate on staples that need replacing as well as classic pieces that won’t date and quality fabrics that will stand the test of time. Beautifully cut dresses, trousers, blouses and jackets can be cleverly layered to take you from winter to spring.
Compare prices before making that purchase
That leather bag you’ve been eyeing may come with a 50% discount at one store, but it can also be offered with a much bigger discount somewhere else. Check prices to see if there are better deals being offered. It may hurt your feet but visiting different stores to compare prices is a lifesaver especially if you’re trying to shop on a budget.
See if your credit card has promos during the sale event
If shopping were a sport, a credit card would be your best friend. Some credit card issuers offer rebates or rewards points when you shop in particular stores. Make sure you keep up with your credit card issuer’s announcements, so you wouldn’t miss their exclusive offers. Follow them on social media and sign up for a newsletter to make the most of your credit card perks. There’s nothing wrong with shopping using your credit card, but you have to make sure that you won’t take advantage of it. Owning a credit card comes with great responsibility.
Know the Return Policy
Clearance buys are often a great deal, but it’s important to read the fine print. Finding a shirt for a certain amount is great, but not if you can’t return it if it doesn’t fit. Always read or ask about the clearance return policy. In most cases, all clearance jewelry sales are final, but plenty of stores offer store credit in lieu of a refund for clearance clothes. Stores do not want to see out-of-season merchandise boomeranging back to the store since they need space for new wares. That’s why most clearance return policies are pretty short, usually around 14 days.
Shop at the End of Season
One of the best times to get the most bang for your buck is to shop around the end of a season. Keep in mind that retail stores are a couple of months “ahead of the weather,” so you could still pick up a cheap sweater and get a month’s worth of wear before it’s time to bring out your spring wardrobe.
Subscribe to email newsletters so you can dibs on sales
An underrated way of finding out where to get the best shopping deals are email newsletters. What’s great about them is that you can choose which brands will notify you during warehouse or online sales. Such notifications also go straight to your email inbox! This also eliminates the need to do so much research since the email newsletter has curated content on what might interest you. Cool, right?
Don’t ONLY look in one place.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve gone into the men’s long-sleeved shirt section and found an incredible woman’s button-up wedged in-between the shirts. Items can easily be mislabeled or mis-tagged – which means that the one thing you could be looking for may be in another section. If you’re after something specific and haven’t had any luck in the right section, take a quick minute to scan through the next-closest rack to see if you’re in luck.
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money, walk away with great clothes and avoid any post-purchase feelings of regret. It all begins with preparation – you need to know your current wardrobe inside out and create a list of what you wear often, what you don’t have but would like, and the items you really don’t need another version of.
You don’t have to spend a ton to look great. When you’re smart about buying during sales and clearances, you can dress the same as your friends, only for much cheaper. It’s the best way to stay in the loop without completely busting your budget.
An immigrant who grew up in NYC, Eddie has been an active style icon in the LGBTQI+ community, preaching and predicting street fashion trends to some of the most influential designers in the Big Apple.