In a poll on the Scribbles From Emily facebook page, the majority of you said that your biggest hangup when it comes to fashion is that it's too expensive. Agreed. When I saw that this sweet little silk dress costs a whopping $1,169, I almost choked. But that's the sale price, it's 65% off the original $3,340.
So yes, fashion can be very, very, VERY expensive. But it doesn't have to be.
You just have to be a savvy shopper.
Today I'm going to share with you my top tips for shopping savvy, both online and in store.
1. Ebay. I just recently discovered the
addicting joys of
eBay shopping! After a few attempts, I won an auction of 12 new with tags or new without tags Old Navy tops for $30. Through Groupon, I got a $15 eBay gift card for $7 a week or so earlier, so with the shipping included, the final price came to $24, $2 per shirt! There is SO MUCH on there that it can be overwhelming, so here's a couple excellent how to posts that will get you started.
- How to Shop on eBay from Already Pretty. I read this post before I got started, and it helped tremendously. Especially the tip about making sure you don't bid more than you can pay, especially if you're bidding on more than one item at a time!
- How to Bid, Win, and Save on Ebay from Haute Lunch. I read this post after I'd started eBay shopping, and Tara shares some great reasons to use eBay, as well as some new tips that I've found to be very helpful.
I first heard of ebates through the Frugal Living blog community
. When you navigate to stores through the links on the ebates site, you can earn "cash back" on your purchases.
If you're going to buy something online anyway, it makes sense! It's easy to sign up, and almost every store imaginable is on there, including eBay! I haven't used it much, and so far I only have 9 cents coming to me. But I've heard from a lot of other bloggers who have saved big time using it. In addition to cash back, ebates also lets you know of sales and special coupon offers for around 1,200 stores.
3. Store Websites.
I have found that sometimes stores put merchandise on sale that you won't find in the the store. Also, many times they offer special discounts and web exclusive sales.
So if there's a store I really enjoy going to, I always visit their website.
4. Email Lists. If I really like a store, I sign up for their emails.
1. Goodwill. Ok, so you all know that I'm a big fan of Goodwill. Sometimes I approach Goodwill as a hunter: I look for specific things, such as a ladle or spice rack. But other times I go as a gatherer: I browse the housewares looking for unique objects, I browse accessories and shoes, and I dig through jewelry looking for vintage finds. Now I always look through the dresses, and sometimes other clothing items catch my eye. I do not walk each row and sort through all the tops and bottoms. That's just overwhelming to me. I only venture in there if I'm hunting for a specific top or bottom. Many Goodwills have weekly sales on a certain color of tag or a certain week number, and sometimes everything in the store is 50% off on Saturdays. Keep an open mind when you go, and you'll be amazed at what you find.
Yes, it's one more thing cluttering up my inbox, but some stores offer exclusive email coupons, such as 50% off at Modcloth,
or 40% off your entire order at LOFT
. And my favorite, free jewelry with any purchase from Charlotte Russe
. I love the emails from Francesca's Collections
, not only because they always have big coupon discounts, but because they're so pretty! They're almost like scrapbook pages.
Did you know there's actually a lot of clothing for sale on Amazon.com? I didn't until I started reading fashion blogs, and over and over, people mentioned getting items on Amazon. The bonus of shopping here over eBay is that you don't have to bid (even though on eBay you sometimes have a "Buy it Now" option too). Since there's a lot to sort through, make your search as specific as you can.
I've used Amazon to find a particular color of tank that I just can't find in stores. Plus, if you use Swagbucks, you can earn $5 Amazon gift cards just by searching with the swagbuck search bar.
2. Consignment stores.
Sometimes these are similar to Goodwills, but usually they sell nicer items, and sometimes they sell brand names only. To find shops in your area, look through your phone book, or try local.com. One of the benefits to shopping at consignment stores is that you can also sell your clothes there.
That way you can make
a little shopping money.
Here's a great post on shopping at thrift stores:
3. Estate sales/Garage Sales. Here in Arizona it seems that garage sales run year round, except
when it's really hot in the summer. I have yet to go to a garage or estate sale when I actually have money to spend, but I hope to soon. I've heard so many stories from other bloggers about the amazing vintage finds they get at estate sales. Garage sales often run cheaper than Goodwill, and many times they are a great place to buy children's clothes or maternity clothes.
4. End of season sales.
When the first daffodils are finally blooming, who really feels like shopping for sweaters? Not me. But, that's when I find the lowest prices! Each season, stores come out with their new lines, and the old ones go on sale. The longer you wait, the lower the price. I watch the store emails I get, since they always announce their new seasons, and then I know it's time.
Sometimes I might not get to wear it until next year, but then it's always a nice surprise to get it out and wear it for the first time. I've bought a few Anthropologie sweaters this way; I've paid $20 for sweaters that would otherwise cost upwards of $80. While it can be hard to feel in the mood for buying off season clothes, get in the mindset of gathering, not hunting, and I think you'll be very pleased with the prices you'll find.
I know this is just scratching the surface of being a thrifty shopper, so feel free to share your best tips in the comments, or even share links to posts on the subject. How do you save money on your shopping? What's the best bargain you've bought recently?
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Labels: Fashion, Fashion 101, Goodwill, Shopping, style, Thrifting