Consistently being able to snag a good deal is a fine art, mixed in with a few sprinkles of chance.
We all know that one person who can get a $800 pair of shoes for $40 at TJ Maxx, and not the one on their side of town but the one up the street from your house. Sort of like someone on the inside is giving them tips Martha Stewart style. Inside markdown trading is what I like to call it.
Be it a thrift, consignment, or retail store there is a strategy to ensure you have a chance at snagging a great deal and then… well I hate to say it, but some of it just boils down to being in the right place at the right time..or as the old folks would say
fayva favor, and no favor “ain’t” always fair.
While I can’t drape you with favor I can pass along a few tips that work for me when it comes to snagging a great deal.
Being a savvy shopper starts before you step foot in the store.Find inspiration from your favorite actress, magazine or Pinterest. Having an idea of what you like and what is on trend will enable you to snag relevant items. Sometimes its not about the trend at all but what you personally like, again inspiration is a good thing. It materializes those things you love into something visual that you can use as an example when trying to recreate a look.
Off season, markdown days, and final clearance indicators are your friend. I am known to shop off season. For example, it is now fall. Fall clothing will be marked down in the next few weeks to make way for winter fashions. Guess what? Layer your fall items and make them work for winter.
Ask sales associates for tips. Here’s one, if you are in the Gap and the price ends in $.99 it will be marked down again. If the last digit is a 7 that is the lowest it will ever go. Just ask, more than likely they will spill the beans.
Blogs are your friend as well. Coupon sites don’t just dish out coupon news for groceries they often get the scoop on retail deals as well. Every now and then they may link a coupon so keep your eyes peeled for deals there as well. Sister Save-A-Lot is one to read.
LOOK at each piece of clothing on every rack. This is the key to success in a thrift or consignment shop. There are many times when I have almost bypassed glory because I wanted to be lazy. Want to find great things thrifting? You have to look and be ye not weary, for you will find awesome things if you stay the course and do not falter. *church organ chord plays here*
I remember a day when outlets were truly outlets..ya feel me? Now on a good day you have to stand outside and look for the tall sign…the one you can see from the highway to make sure you are in the right spot. The black and white line that defined a retail store from an outlet store has become gray. Fret not my pet. Make sure you sign up for emails from your favorite outlet stores. The deals come in the form of random coupons they send. Couple these with the measly 20% off in the store and you might find yourself something. Some of the best deals I have found at an outlet come from Gap, Children’s Place, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Carter’s and Gymboree.
I live close to an outlet mall so its worth it for me. If you will have to travel a distance I would rethink taking the trip unless I was planning to do a large amount of shopping and I knew there were deals and coupons. Otherwise the gas and time may not be worth the trip.
Some folks subscribe to the spend it you can’t take it with you theory, and I don’t knock them. I cancelled my subscription when I realized that my babies futures can’t be built on the back of a Gucci bag but that $800 in a bank account makes a true difference towards their future. I will say I do believe in a good splurge on a classic handbag and pair of shoes within reason. However, if I don’t have it, I don’t spend it.
Nothing is a true deal if you don’t need it and you have no control over what you are spending. Set an amount you want to spend and try not to go over. Sometimes it gets hard. I know, I’ve done those quick calculations in my head and made some bad decisions but when you know better you do better.
It is very possible to look fab on a modest budget. It takes, time, patience and strategy. If you work at it, you will perfect it.
Have any additional tips to add? The comment section is all yours. Sharing is caring 🙂
Do you have any luck finding great deals, or are you the one who always gets there right as the person is putting said item in their buggy
and you secretly stalk them around the store hiding behind endcaps hoping they put it back?
Don’t forget to enter the $75 Zutano Children’s Clothing Giveaway